Seafood (again)

I’ve said before, I don’t have a lot of experience cooking seafood. This can be a problem, since sometimes I crave it. Like now.

Last might I made baked catfish. Just catfish fillets with some Cajun seasoning, sealed in foil, and then baked. Simple and tasty.

Jambalaya? Love it. But a bit of work, and I always make too much. Fish’n’chips? Absolutely. But the SO wants to cut down on ‘fried food’. Cajun salmon is good, as is baked dill salmon with lemon-dill Béchamel. But we have them a lot. I can also make scampi. Maybe I should try making scampi with fish instead of prawns?

Many recipes I see go like this: Put some lemon slices on a fish. Wrap it in foil. Bake. Or: Stuff a fish with lemon and onions (and/or herbs). Wrap in foil. Bake. How about some new recipes that don’t involve grilling or baking? Or baking, but more interesting? Something with fresh vegetables and cooked in a pan? Something… ?

Cooking method depends on the fish. Some are soft and don’t stand up to frying. Others are excellent pan-fried. Does this chart help?

I get a kick out of cooking live clams. It’s delicious, primal and fun. This was the first recipe I used, great with lots of bread Spicy Braised Clams. Another fun and amazingly delicious thing to do with clams is to grill them until they pop open, carefully remove them from grill without losing the juice, and toss them in butter, garlic, sesame seed and cilantro (again, with bread to sop up the delicious result.)

The salmon recipe that converted my SO who wasn’t a salmon admirer I got from someone (sorry, don’t know who) on this board. It’s also a grill recipe but I think you could get away with it in the oven and it’s very easy. You quick marinate the salmon in soy sauce for about ten minutes and rub it with dry Zesty Italian mix. It’s amazing…

Edited to add… I also will fry catfish, red snapper or trout fillets that are dredged in Louisiana fish fry and fried up as much canola oil as I can fit in my cast iron pan without it splattering. The trick is to get the oil just hot enough that it isn’t dangerous but water will make it sizzle if you drop some in there. Serve with lemon, Tabasco and rice- easy!!

Actually, I’m looking for recipes. Most of the fish available here are good for ‘poaching, baking, broiling, grilling, frying’. Commonly available in stores are salmon (of course) halibut (generally too expensive), sole, mahi mahi, tilapia, swordfish (which I don’t eat due to over-fishing), and such.

That reminds me that a ‘boil’ would be nice. Corn on the cob, potatoes, onions, clams, andouille sausages, Old Bay, prawns…

Got a Trader Joe’s nearby?

[li]Get a bag of TJ’s langoustine tails and thaw[/li][li]Melt a stick of salted butter and a good splash of olive oil in a large pan and very slowly soften 4-5 very finely minced garlic cloves[/li][li]Meantime, cook a lb. of linguini and drain reserving a cup of the water[/li][li]When the pasta is done drop the langoustines and a handful of torn baby spinach in the garlic butter[/li][li]When the langoustines are warned through and the spinach is wilted pour the whole mess over the pasta and add the reserved water a bit at a time while stirring until you have nicely coated pasta[/li][li]Enjoy![/li][/ul]

Oh, yeah - sprinkle with parmesan and/or parsley and/or cracked black pepper if you want another level of flavor.

Greek-style fish with feta and tomatoes

Made this salmon recipe recently. I didn’t want to cook a whole salmon, so I did two servings of salmon fillet and cut the topping to about 1/4 to 1/2 of that called for in the recipe. But very very good.

Tomato, herb & pine nut salmon

Serves 8

1.5kg salmon fillet with bones removed (1 whole side of salmon)
0.5 cup plain Greek style yogurt
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
0.5 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
0.5 cup firmly packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 tbs chopped fresh dill
3 tomatoes seeded, finely chopped
0.25 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tbs drained capers, chopped
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tb extra virgin olive oil
lemon wedges to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fanforced/convection). Line large baking tray with foil then baking paper. Place salmon skin side down on baking paper and spread yogurt on top of salmon
  2. Combine onion, garlic, mint, parsley, dill, tomato, pine nuts, capers, lemon juice and oil in bowl. Press mixture evenly over yogurt layer. Season well with salt & pepper.
  3. Bake salmon for 25-30 mins or til cooked to your liking. Serve with lemon wedges.

En Papillote with Yellow Squash and Freekeh.

You can substitute something for the freekeh, but in that case, when the SO says, “What is that stuff,” you won’t be able to say “It’s freekeh!”

Keep 'em coming! :slight_smile:

Tonight’s menu:

16-20 count fresh prawns
2:1 shallot and garlic
White wine
Kosher salt

Melt the butter and sauté the shallots and garlic with a little salt. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Add the prawns. Add the cream. Serve with a salad and some herb bread.

I remember an episode of Alton Brown’s show Good Eats in which he made fish and chips. He pointed out that if you do it properly, the food only absorbs a very small amount of oil. Meaning that it’s not as unhealthy as it’s perceived to be.

Yes, but it’s futile to fight the impression.

Court Bouillon
I prefer a light medium bodied white wine.

get a shallow cook top safe heavy pan - my favorite is by la creuset.

Take a stock pot of about 1 gallon, start by making a fine dice of equal parts celery, onion and carrot [1 cup of each], about a handful of salt, add a bouquet garni wrapped in cooking gauze of a couple sprigs each thyme and parsley, a pair of bay leaves, and a teaspoon black peppercorns roughly smashed. Chuck in 1 cup of white wine, and about 3 quarts of water. Simmer for about half an hour then strain out the solids. Chill it or use it right away. [I do know someone who wraps everything in gauze to make it easier to deal with. Up to you.]

Small fishies can be started in hot bouillon, larger pieces of fish you need to start in cold bouillon.

Since I prefer to do large fillets [like 2 servings per fillet] I take a heavy skillet, put it on the larger burner on my stovetop, lay the fillet or fillets in and add the bouillon to just cover the fillet. Then I turn the burner on to medium low - you do not want to boil, but to just barely simmer. You want to see a sort of shimmer in the pot. You cook it very gently until the flesh is opaque and barely starting to flake.

It is a great way to cook delicate fish like a trout or sole/flounder that also gives it nice flavor and is ultra low fat. If you do not want to use wine because of the alcohol you can sub in lemon juice or vinegar. Tarragon and dill are other herbs that are nice with different types of fish, something like salmon that has a stronger flavor for example. I have seen someone mention using blood orange juice in place of wine or lemon or vinegar.

You can reduce part of the poaching liquid [you can poach in milk and reduce it as well] to do a bit of a sauce, but I prefer not to.

[of course you can go the other way entirely and use clarified butter as a poaching liquid, a couple years back there was a slight fad for poaching stuff like lobster, shrimp, scallops and oysters in butter. Lobster poached in butter is great, but really intense.]

Seafood gumbo. Yes, I am from Louisiana. And my gumbo is the best in the world.

Make a roux – it takes a while, but it’s not actually that difficult. Heat about a half-cup of oil on med-high heat, then slowly add a half-cup of white flour, stirring continuously. Keep stirring until the roux is chocolate colored, then remove from heat and put aside. Then, in a big pot, saute chopped onions, green peppers, and celery (about 2 onions, 2 peppers, and an equal volume of celery) in oil. Add a pound of frozen chopped okra (or fresh, if you prefer). Saute and stir all these veggies for about 15 minutes or so. Add about 8 to 10 cups of chicken broth (or water with bouillon cubes). Add the roux and stir.

Season to taste (I use Zatarain’s creole seasoning, garlic, hot sauce, and some salt and pepper) after simmering for 30 minutes or so. Simmer for 2 hours or more (it will be fine after 2 hours and even better after 4-6 hours). Then add the seafood – I like about 3 pounds total catfish nuggets and shrimp, but you can add anything. Turn off the heat about 15 minutes after adding the seafood, and let it cool for a while.

Serve over white rice. This will be enough for a family of 4 for two meals if eaten as an entree. It will be amazing.

Oh man, great stuff. You can stir-fry or braise any fish, the Asian aisle in a good market can take you down a lot of paths. My favorite way to fix shrimp or catfish nuggets is classic Tempura. Mix 4 parts brown rice flour with one part cornstarch. I like a little garlic powder and cayenne in the mix, too. Cut catfish into shrimp size nuggets, shrimp should be deeply butterflied. Heat a couple inches veg oil in a 1 quart saucepan, keep it just below the smoke point, about 350-360. Mix cold light beer or sparkling water with the flour/starch mixture, you want a thin batter that’ll just coat the food. Ease 3 pieces one at a time into the hot oil, it should be exciting when you put it in if your oil is good and hot, cook to a light golden brown, it goes fast, keep your batter stirred up and keep working and get it all cooked. The catfish makes a great fish taco. I usually just eat it with a salad and dip it into a sauce of Mayo mixed with Yucateca brand Habanero sauce, the green one. This is the lightest fried food in the world, the batter is tops for sweet onion onion rings, too.

How about a Ceviche? Or for a slight change on that, a Fijian Kokonda, which is basically ceviche in coconut milk?

Scallops! Pan seared scallops are dead easy - get yerself some good scallops (buy from a dedicated seafood store or fishmonger if you can; cheaper scallops often contain a brine solution and won’t sear properly), pat dry, season with salt, heat a pan on high, add some oil, sear for a couple minutes a side. Yum.

I served mine with a risotto, but you can pair scallops with pret’ near anything and it’ll be delicious.

My go to meal when we’re having one of those ‘I’m almost as tired of eating as I am cooking’ nights is baked tilapia. I will us trout if we have some fresh, but I prefer the tilapia.

Zest a lemon and juice it. Mix with melted butter, oilive oil, honey, and minced garlic. I eyeball it, and I think the proportions will vary based on taste anyway.

I marinade in my baking dish, in the fridge, for maybe an hour. Pop it in the oven (after grinding some pepper onto it) and bake til flaky. Once again, the time will vary based on your filets’ thickness.

I serve with something green, whatever fresh is on hand. And some good bread.

Not real exciting, but we end up eating it a lot when our lemons ripen.