A jack-of-all-trades is how we’d describe our next “Dishing with” contributor, Robin Plotkin, RDN, of RobinPlotkin.com. A blogger (RobinsBite), entrepreneur and dietitian, Robin thrives on each day being a little bit different from the one before! When she isn’t busy with work, she enjoys spending time with her family in Dallas, Texas. In our Q&A below, Robin shares her best tips for becoming more confident when cooking seafood at home. So, get to scrolling!
Tell us about your blog.
As a culinary nutritionist and registered dietitian, my philosophy is to make delicious foods that are healthy, are quick to make, have few ingredients and are inexpensive. RobinsBite is an extension of that philosophy and the blog is geared toward busy families and individuals who want to enjoy food healthfully.
Why do you love seafood?
There’s no denying the health benefits of seafood – from heart health to brain health and everything in between, fish is an important part of the diet. I also love it for its versatility and ease of cooking. Many people have an unnecessary nervousness when it comes to cooking seafood, but, truly, I find it to be one of the easier ingredients to master. Like anything, it takes practice.
What is your favorite seafood dish to make at home and/or order at a restaurant?
If scallops are on the menu, I’m ordering them! The caramelization of the outer char combined with the silkiness of a properly cooked interior makes a perfect bite. Add a flavorful sauce and it’s a home run! I’m also a fan of crab salads, Shrimp Louie, sushi, and any kind of seafood with Thai flavors. My gateway fish was salmon, so I’m partial to salmon recipes, too.
What’s next on your “must make” or “must order” seafood list?
I was recently in Lisbon, Portugal, and had the most delicious prawns. My fellow diners called it spiny lobster because they’d never seen prawns so large! I’m also interested in learning to cook more with sardines. The nutritional benefits of sardines – including their heart-healthy fats, protein and calcium – combined with the fact they are nonperishable and economical make them an ingredient that deserves more attention. My favorite fish recipe is my 4-ingredient salmon salad. I make this recipe regularly, thanks in part to my neighborhood grocery salad bar!
What are your tips for people who might be intimidated by the thought of preparing seafood at home?
My answer is often to take a cooking class that is seafood specific. If that’s not an option, head over to YouTube and search how-to-cook-seafood videos. I’m a visual learner, so videos or live cooking demonstrations are the best way for me to learn new things.
Any words of wisdom for parents who have picky or challenging eaters? How did you get your kids to eat seafood?
I’ve always subscribed to the “one meal for all” approach and it has served us well as a family. Seafood has been on our table since day one and it’s often part of our weekly meal planning. The most realistic advice I can offer is to not make fish – or any food, for that matter – a big deal. Kids mimic their parents, from the way they stand, sit and talk to the way they act or react to foods. Take a look internally to see if there’s anything that needs modifying on your end. If it’s a taste/texture thing, no problem! Don’t like salmon? Serve cod. Hate fish tacos? Try breading fish and baking it. There are so many ways to cook and serve fish – jump online and try a new recipe or use a different type of fish. Start with small bites and go from there.