One of my favorite local restaurants is Checkers, a lovely little bistro. The food is usually excellent, the service and staff are exceptional, and the atmosphere is cozy and unpretentious. They have a portion of their menu dedicated to small plates, and that's usually what I pick from. One of my favorites is their Seafood Bruschetta. It's clams, mussels, scallops, and shrimp, poached in a lovely buttery broth, and served over grilled bread. It's absolutely fantastic! What's ironic about this dish is that it's the first dish I ever had at the restaurant when it first opened, and I absolutely did not like it. I think part of it was the fact that I was expecting more of a traditional bruschetta, and secondly, the dish was overcooked.
Obviously, it wasn't enough to keep me away, from either the dish or the establishment. I've ordered it since quite a few times, and it seems to get better and better.
For this dish, I wanted to try and recreate the seafood mixture part, but kick up the flavor of the broth. This time, I've used a mixture of flounder, scallops, shrimp, and mussels, but you can easily mix and match any seafood you want. I added some coconut milk and red curry paste for a serious dose of taste. The fresh cilantro tossed in at the end adds just the right kick.
The best part of this dish?? It's one of those "Ace In the Hole" recipes. I've talked about this before, but every cook needs an arsenal of recipes that can be whipped up in the least amount of time possible, uses ingredients that are usually stocked in your kitchen, yet looks like you spent hours slaving over the stove. This recipe has some serious "Impress" factor, and is perfect to whip up when you are serving guests, or better yet, that special someone.
Thai Curry Seafood Bruschetta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced plum tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15 oz) cans coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
3 lb assorted seafood
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
salt to taste
In large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add tomatoes, ginger, and garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add coconut milk and curry paste, stir well, and bring to a boil. Add seafood and lower heat to a simmer. (It may be necessary to add seafood in stages, judging by how fast it cooks - please see chart at the end) Simmer until seafood is done. Add cilantro, stir well, and served with crusty bread.
The following are guidelines on roughly how long my seafood took to cook:
Fish (flounder, tilapia, etc), cut into 1-2" pieces