1/2 pound fresh lump crabmeat or 1/2 lb raw shrimp finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay
1/4 cup minced yellow onion
2-3 tablespoons minced celery
2-3 tablespoons minced green or red bell pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
4 (6 to 8-ounce) flounder filets, skinless, pin bones removed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce or to taste
3/4 cup crushed butter crackers (Ritz)
salt and black pepper as needed
2 lemons, 1 cut into thin slices and 1 cut into wedges for serving
Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, grease a shallow baking dish and set aside.
Place the crab meat or shrimp in a large bowl and season with 1 teaspoon of the Old Bay. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a medium skillet, melt the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the parsley and the garlic and the shrimp if using, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until the shrimp looks partially cooked. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add the cooled vegetables to the crabmeat if using and toss gently to combine. Add the mayonnaise, beaten egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce and stir gently with a large wooden spoon. Add 1/2 cup of the cracker crumbs, salt, and pepper to taste, and stir gently, being careful not to break up the crabmeat.
Season each filet with 1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay and place the filets on a work surface. Divide the crabmeat filling evenly among the centers of the fish and roll the filets up to encase the filling. Secure with a toothpick, if necessary. Place the filets, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish and top with slices of lemon. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the cracker crumbs evenly over the tops of the filets. Drizzle with the melted butter. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake until lightly golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and garnish with the remaining tablespoon of parsley and serve with additional lemon wedges,
Southwestern Fried Perch
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 pound perch filets or other white fish
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Oil for frying
Place taco seasoning mix in a bag; add filets, one at a time, and shake to coat.
In a shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg. Combine cornmeal and flour in another shallow bowl.
Dip seasoned filets in egg, then coat with cornmeal mixture. Place in a layer on a plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set the coating
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry filets for 2-3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Enjoy with tartar sauce or use them for fish tacos with all the usual fixings. Enjoy!
World’s Best Bluefish Recipe This recipe recently appeared in On The Water magazine. While it is intended for Bluefish, I think Striped Bass would also work very well.
2 bluefish filets ~1 lb each
1 1/2 lbs boiling potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 – 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the potatoes thinly (1/8 inch thick) and mix with half the olive oil. parsley and garlic. Line a casserole dish, bottom and sides, with the mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place the filets on top of the potatoes. Salt and pepper the fish and place the remaining oil, parsley and garlic on top.
Return the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Baste with pan juices and bake 5 minutes more.
Garnish with additional parsley and lemon wedges.
Marinated Tuna Steaks – This is a classic example of a fish dish that pairs perfectly with red wine. Meaty tuna steaks are almost sweet with a briny, nutty edge that comes from the soy marinade. They are also very easy to prepare and you can make the entire recipe in less than 30 minutes. For a side dish, enjoy something as simple as brown rice drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. DaVince chianti with its fruity edge and fine acidity provides a perfect match.
1 1/2 lbs tuna steaks
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS freshly grated ginger
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Canola oil or whatever type you prefer
Stir together the olive oil, ginger, soy sauce and cayenne in a bowl large enough to hold the tuna. Place tuna in the marinade for 15 minutes.
Take a skillet large enough to hold the steaks and fill with canola oil to a depth about equal to half the thickness of the tuna or ~1/2 “. Heat on high until oil shimmers.
Remove tuna from marinade and blot with paper towels. Carefully add to the pan and sear for 1 minute per side for very rare or up to 2 minutes per side for medium. Sprinkle steaks with coarse salt and enjoy!
Flounder / Chicken Francaise – This is another family favorite that can be made with either fish or chicken. Since my wife does not like fish, I often start with a few chicken fillets before I cook the fish. The important part is that the fillets are thin.
2 beaten eggs
1 TBS Olive oil
1 TBS Butter
½ Cup Flour
½ TSP Salt
½ TSP Onion powder – Optional
½ TSP Garlic powder – Optional
½ TSP Paprika – Optional
¼ TSP Black pepper
4 -6 (1 1/2 to 2 lbs) Flounder fillets
In a large skillet, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Place the flour and all the seasonings in a plastic bag and shake to blend. Place the beaten eggs in a shallow dish.
When the skillet is hot, put the flounder fillets in the bag one or two at a time and then dip in the egg. Coat them completely with the egg and place in the skillet. The egg should sizzle immediately. If it doesn’t, the oil isn’t hot enough. Save 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture for the sauce.
Saute over medium heat until brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add extra butter and oil if needed. Remove from the skillet and keep warm in a 175 oven. Continue until fish has been cooked.
Sauce – Discard any oil left in the skillet and add the 4 TBS butter and the 1 TBS of the reserved seasoned flour. Whisk until smooth. If adding capers, do it now.
Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, stirring constantly until well blended. Bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If the sauce thickens too much, add water- just 1 tsp at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.
To serve, place the flounder over a bed of buttered rice or pasta and pour a little sauce over each fillet. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley. I often double the sauce since the rice or pasta will quickly absorb it. Enjoy!
Flounder with Lemon Caper Pan Sauce
2 8 oz flounder fillets
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon shallots minced
1 sprig thyme
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
flour seasoned with your choice of spices
salt & pepper
Dust the fillets with the seasoned flour.
Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan.
Once the butter tops foaming, add the fish and cook 3 – 4 minutes per side until golden. Remove the fillets and deglaze with the white wine.
Add capers, shallots, thyme and remaining butter.
Finish with lemon juice to help emulsify the sauce. Season with salt & pepper and pour the sauce over the fish and serve. Enjoy with a nice chilled white wine.
Maple Glazed Salmon
1 1/2-pound skin-on or skinless salmon fillet in one piece
12 fresh cilantro sprigs
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving
Remove salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Heat oven to 400. Bundle the cilantro sprigs by their stems and hold them tightly, then slice the stems crosswise until you get to the leaves. Reserve leaves for garnish. Transfer sliced stems to a small bowl and stir in the maple syrup, mustard and mayonnaise until well mixed.
Season the salmon all over with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish, skin-side down if there is skin. Slather the maple sauce all over the top. Bake until a paring knife slides into the center with only a little resistance or meat thermometer reads 130 F, 20 to 24 minutes. When you remove the knife and touch the blade to your upper lip, it should feel very warm but not hot. The salmon will continue to heat through out of the oven in the baking dish.
Top with the reserved cilantro leaves, and squeeze lemon wedges all over just before serving. Enjoy!
Mussels with Pastis (French Anise Flavored Liquor)
1/3 cup dry white wine
6 finely diced garlic cloves divided
4 bay leaves
4 finely diced shallots
2 TBS unsalted butter
4 peeled & diced tomatoes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pastis or Pernod, Ouzo or Sambuca
Ground black pepper to taste
3 TBS chopped parsley
Buttered & toasted baguette slices
Cook the mussels, wine, half the garlic & shallots and bay leaves until the mussels open about 5 minutes. Remove the mussels and simmer the broth until reduced by 1/3. Strain & set aside.
Melt the butter and cook shallots for 1 minute. Add tomatoes & garlic and cook for a minute or two to dry out the tomatoes. Add the reserved broth and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the mussels and then the pastis. Cook on high for 2 minutes until the alcohol is cooked out. Stir in the cream & black pepper and cook until combined and heated through.
Off the heat, add the parsley. Serve with the toasted bread slices and a nice chilled white wine. Enjoy!
1 lb roma tomatoes, chopped or a 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Pinch Italian seasoning
¼ cup white wine
24 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
4 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 lb flounder or any firm fish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare tomatoes if using fresh by plunging them into boiling water, immediately removing them to a bowl of ice water and peeling the skins. Or you can chop them with the skins on or use canned.
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, stirring to combine. Add tomatoes and cook until tender. Mix in wine, olives, capers, lemon juice and half of the basil. Reduce heat, blend in Parmesan cheese and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbly. If you prefer a thick sauce you can cook until the sauce has reduced, about 15 minutes.
Place fish in a shallow baking dish. Cover with the sauce mixture and bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the fish used and thickness. Fish should flake easily with a fork when done. Enjoy!
Buttery Scallops with Lemon & Herbs
2 lbs sea scallops patted dry
4 – 5 TBSP unsalted butter
4 minced garlic cloves
2 TBSP minced thyme leaves
2 TBSP lemon juice plus wedges for serving
2 TSP finely grated lemon zest
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup finely chopped herbs – basil, cilantro, or mint – for garnish
Splash of white wine – optional
Season scallops lightly on both sides with salt & pepper
Heat a large skillet and melt 3 TBS butter
Place scallops in a pan in a single layer without touching. Do this in two batches if necessary, adding an additional TBS butter for the 2nd batch. Cook 3 minutes without moving until bottoms are golden brown.
Flip the scallops and add another tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add garlic, thyme and white wine. Cook 1 – 2 minutes longer.
Add scallops from the second batch if required. Pour lemon juice and sprinkle zest over scallops. Toss gently to combine
Transfer to serving plates. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs and lemon wedges. Enjoy!