Readers' Favorite Recipes

Living on the coast may not automatically make you a great cook, but Coastal Living readers certainly possess an outspoken passion for seafood.

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Cook crab cakes, in batches, in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with Watercress Vinaigrette. Makes 10 (2-ounce) crab cakes.

Watercress Vinaigrette
1 bunch fresh watercress
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup canola oil

Process first 7 ingredients in a food processor or blender until blended. With processor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream, and process until blended. Makes ¾ cup. ― Dan Thiessen, Seattle, Washington

Pour: 2004 Château Turcaud Entre-Deux-Mers.
This quite dry Sauvignon Blanc blend is refreshing and light, but will stand up to the crispness of the crab cakes.

Paula Merrell offers her favorite salmon recipe. "It's moist, delicious, and ready in 30 minutes," she says. "Serve with couscous and a fresh tossed garden salad and you have an elegant, easy meal."

Paula's Easiest Salmon Ever
½ cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (0.7-ounce) envelope Italian-style dressing mix
6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Arrange salmon in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour dressing mixture over fillets. Bake, covered, at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Makes 6 servings. ― Paula Merrell, Corona, California

Pour: 2004 David Bruce Central Coast Pinot Noir.
A stronger-tasting fish demands a mild red wine, rather than a white. This is fresh and fruity, and has nice acidity.

Patty Frank of Spring, Texas, says her citrus-flavored shrimp is a standout because "it's simple, with few ingredients, and the lemony sauce really complements the shrimp. We have a small cottage [in Galveston], about six houses from the beach, that we love to escape to every chance we get. Something about driving over the causeway makes us forget the challenges of our business life. There is a small seafood market close to our home. We can ride our bikes over and pick up shrimp, fish, crab―whatever. And what we make always tastes better [there] than it does back in the city."

Nearly Shrimp Paisano
1 pound unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
¾ cup half-and-half
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup butter, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Peel shrimp and devein, if desired. Soak shrimp in half-and-half 10 minutes. Drain shrimp, and dredge in flour. Fry shrimp in hot oil over medium-high heat 3 minutes on each side or until golden.

Whisk together egg yolk and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan. Add ¼ cup butter, and stir over low heat until melted. Add garlic and remaining ¼ cup butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter melts and sauce thickens; stir in parsley. Pour sauce over shrimp, and serve immediately. Makes 2 to 3 servings. ― Patty Frank, Spring, Texas

Pour: 2002 Brampton Unoaked Chardonnay.
Wonderful pear flavors come through and stand up to this mildly citrusy dish.

The Case for Wine
George M. Taber, author of Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine Buy it at (Scribner, 2005) and a resident of Block Island, Rhode Island, selected wines to go with these dishes.

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