To Fish or Not To Fish

Fish Recipe 014Recently I was thinking of taking up fishing as a new hobby.  Then thought, I could come up with some good fish/seafood recipes regardless if I went fishing or not.  If you do fish then you’re sure of the freshness and quality of what you are going to cook and serve.  On the other hand if you are buying the fish, you should know there are a few things you could look for to insure you’re getting fish or seafood that is fairly fresh.

 If it is a whole fish, you need to look for, bright, clear eyes, not dulled.  Shiny metallic and clean skin not dulled/discolored or patches.  And fresh fish will smell like clean water, the quality of nasty smelling fish does not get any better with cooking.  The gills on a fresh fish are bright red; if they look like a faded brick then you’re not getting a good deal. 

 Most of the same goes for buying fish fillets.  Smelling being the first test, there should not be any irritating odor.  The flesh should look vibrant not faded and if there is skin, it should be shiny and metallic. And if there is liquid on the flesh it needs to be clear, if it is milky then move on. 

If you are picking a live fish, crab or lobster from a water tank then look for the “happy, swimming, scampering” live fish that has life.  Same thing with shellfish, they need to be alive.  The best test for shellfish is not to eat them if they don’t open when cooked.  Dead shellfish will not open when cooked and should be discarded. Scallops are best if bought frozen, vacuum-sealed, Shrimp whole and frozen and Squid or Octopus – frozen.

 So, let’s assume you already have caught the fish/seafood of the day or you just went to the grocery store and bought it and it is ready to cook.  Here are a couple yummy recipes to try.

Spicy Pan Fried Trout

1 cup buttermilk
1 – 1 oz. packet of hot chili seasoning
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
4 trout fillets, (6 oz. each), skin on
4 tablespoons organic safflower oil
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 ¼ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Combine buttermilk, chili seasoning in a shallow bowl.  Place cornmeal and flour in a shallow bowl.  Dip each trout fillet in the buttermilk mixture, coating both sides, then dredge both sides in the cornmeal/flour.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Cook 2 fillets skin-side up until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and fillets. 
Add butter and shallot to pan; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add broth, lemon juice and Worcestershire; cook until the sauce is reduced by about one-third, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the trout and sprinkle with pine nuts.
Italian Baked Haddock

6 – 3oz. fillets haddock
3  tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2  tablespoon lemon juice
salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place all the fish in a baking dish and brush with butter.  Spoon on the lemon juice and add seasonings. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until fish flakes apart with fork.

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