Posts Tagged ‘fish’

This bowl of smoky salmon goodness was inspired by a post on Taste Food, a fellow Food52 contributor (her blog is beautiful, you should look around).  I saw the flour and the cream she calls for and felt worried my tummy wouldn’t deal with it.  I had the stomach flu a few weeks ago and it took forever to recover from it.  I had a craving for cheese and went a little overboard, then paid for it.  I picked up a bottle of acidophilus probiotic, both the chewable (dormant) and a liquid (live culture) forms.  It will take time for this stuff to work but I’m going to give it a shot – anything to feel better again.

Since I’m avoiding dairy for a couple weeks and saw this recipe on Taste Food’s blog, I knew I had to try a dairy-free version.  If dairy is out, might as well replace the glutenous flour with gluten-free all purpose flour mix.  The potato does help thicken the stew (can’t really call it a chowder without cream, can I?).

It just tastes healthy!

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a fennel bulb, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 tsp GF flour
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large Russet potato, peeled, diced
  • 1/3 pound smoked salmon (not the paper-thin sheets, a hunk of fish!)
  • salt and pepper

Saute the fennel and onion in the oil over medium heat in a small soup pot.  Add the flour and let it cook, stirring the pot.  Add 2 cups of water to start with, you can add more to reach your desired consistency.  Add the potato and simmer for 20 minutes.  Turn the heat to low and crumble the smoked salmon (in bite-sized chunks) in to the pot.  Let the salmon infuse in the stew before adding salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with the fennel fronds.  Serves two.

Easy, eh?


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Instead of deep frying potato fries and heavily battered fish you can make fish and chips at home with just a few tablespoons of olive oil.

  • 1 lb firm white fish (cod)
  • Flour + salt + pepper + garlic powder
  • 1 egg + splash milk
  • panko bread crumbs
  • 2 large firm Russet potatoes or white potatoes
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder for the fries

Cut the potatoes into fries.  Fries go in a 425ºF oven on oiled foil-lined pan, turn after bottoms start to brown.

Cut the fish into fingers.  Dredge in the flour mixture, then the egg, then bread crumbs.  In a non-stick pan add little oil, lay fish strip directly on the hot oil, about a minute on each side.  Fish should be cooked through.

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Pes fish Pescado a caught fish

This was one of the first strange things I learned in Spanish from my Hubby.  Apparently you cannot make “pes” soup because that would require you to make it in the river or other body of water that fish is swimming in.  A “pes” is as free as Willy.

So, to make the soup you have to catch that fish first.

Caldo de Pescado

  • 1/2 lb firm white fish fillets (tilapia, bass, catfish) per person
  • 2-3 cups stock (any flavor)
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes (or use 3 – 4 fresh tomatoes)
  • bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen vegetable mix (lima beans, carrot, peas)
  • (optional) hot peppers, sliced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • lime wedges for serving

Sauté the onion and garlic in a soup pot.  Add stock and water, bay leaf, tomatoes, vegetables, peppers and rice.  Bring to a rapid boil.  Reduce to medium for 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning.  Add the fish fillets and cook until done, about 5 minutes.  Serve with lime wedges.

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Of all the things to run low on, salt should never be one of them. I kept thinking the box of little crystals would continue providing this essential ingredient.  To say the least, we’ve been on a low-sodium diet lately.

That is until today.  Finally remembered to pick up salt at the store, two canisters: regular salt and sea salt.  Why both?  Well I have my own OCD tendencies in the kitchen, besides being burly and over bearing on anyone else who might try to cook in it.

Regular salt is used in baking.  Since baking typically involves mixing so many different ingredients, you can’t tell me you would know that chocolate muffin was made with regular salt or sea salt.  If you can, your palate should be used on Iron Chef or something.

Sea salt is used in cooking.  If the precious rock crystals run out, thou may substitute regular salt.  Sea salts, in my opinion, are less harsh on the tongue, a softer salt flavour if that makes sense.  Sea salt is a must for caramel popcorn.

So tonite’s dinner was surf ‘n’ surf and could have been doused in sea water.  I put way too much sea salt on the poor fish fillets, I think I double salted them.  Try eating very little salt for a week and then eat salty chips, you mouth will be on fire and you’ll be looking for the nearest water fountain.  That was pretty close to the sensation after eating this plate.  I need to pay more attention when cooking fish, too much of anything will overpower a thin fillet.  Salmon stands up a bit better to my cooking style and is forgiving.  Thank you Njord!

  • 1 fillet of white fleshed fish per person
  • 1/3 lb shrimp per person
  • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp butter per pound of shrimp
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • sea salt

Sprinkle fillets with garlic powder, onion powder and sea salt on both sides, easy with the salt there cowgirl.  Heat olive oil briefly in a pan, sear both sides of the fillets.  Hold fish in a warm oven.  Melt the butter in the pan.  Add the shrimp in a single layer, add the garlic and sea salt to taste.  Flip the shrimp once, they should be “C”s and opaque when finished cooking.

Serve with rice and/or salad.

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One Pan Lunch

Normally I would think of a one-pot meal occurring in a large pot or crock-pot.  This was a one pan lunch, well two if you could the counter-top rice cooker.

We were visiting Grandma and Grandpa on the farm.  Hubby picked up a few things from one of the two grocery stores in town, including a hefty slab of Atlantic Salmon.

The Grandparents cook mostly very simple meals.  I always have a hard time finding spices that are fresh, nevermind any BBQ sauce.  I’d love to cook more while we are visiting, and often I just venture out to find the ingredients.  I once found bugs in a sealed box of pasta, wondered how long that box was living in the cupboard.  The rule of thumb for spice life expectancy is one year, six months for dried herbs. If the grandparents had gone to culinary school online, they would have known that.  After this time, you might find surprises in the herbs and your cayenne tastes like sawdust with a little pepper mixed in. I threw out the cayenne.

If you are not a regular spice it up type of cook, or your dining room patrons have less tolerance for creative dishes, it’s best to buy the smallest quantity of herb or spice you need.  Bulk bins have not caught on as much in the town near Grandma’s house, but this is the way to go.  Some spices with a lot of punch (cardamom) lose their flavour quickly, I encourage fresh grinding for these.

This salmon should have been coated in my lucky fish sauce, however most of the ingredients were M.I.A at the Grandparent’s house.  A dry rub of sorts was made with white pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.  The skin is on the bottom of the fillet that will roast whole, this keeps it moist.  Arrange a bundle of fresh asparagus in the voids of the pan.  Roast uncovered at 200ºC (Grandma’s gas stove is in metric!) for 15 – 20 minutes.

We had the salmon and asparagus with brown rice.  It was light and filling for lunch, just the right feeling you want in your belly before a 5 hour car ride home.

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Hubby caught a Sheepshead on the coast and brought it home to be cooked by yours truly.

I was cleaning the fish when Little Sister stepped out on to the patio and squealed, my attention was split for a millisecond and… POKE!  Right on the top of my right index finger was a globe of crimson.  The fish has gnarly spines pointing towards its tail fin, and I ran my hand straight into them.  If the spines didn’t get me, its teeth surely would have!  You know why it’s named after sheep?  This fish has actual teeth that look like they belong on a four-footed grazer!

I’ll get my revenge on you, Mr. Fish.  I will make you delicious and smokey on the grill! Ha ha!

Fish & Chips

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • lots of garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup lemon and/or lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp thyme (fresh or ground)
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Greek seasoning mix, or just oregano

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Whole, cleaned fish, cut along the spine to allow access to the fillets keeping the fish whole; cover inside and out with salt, pepper, oil.

Grill on both sides to char the skin, get the smoke to penetrate a bit.

Put the fish on foil, pour marinade over and inside the fish, wrap up and return to grill for about 15 minutes, turning about 10 minutes in.

fish n chips

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Tuna Steak and Orange Peas

It was late and I wanted a quick meal out of the freezer.  Passing up the frozen leftover pasta and ice cream, I grabbed the chunk of yellow fin that didn’t end up as sushi and the peas.

The orange zest was nearly omitted but I’m glad the citrus note was there.  Just a slight tang in the background, it helps you forget that this meal was an iceberg a few minutes earlier.  A small pat of butter melted on the peas, because you can’t eat peas without butter, that would be wrong and the French Canadian woman in me would be very disappointed if you didn’t.

The tuna was still raw in the center, as you can see from the blurry picture.  Put a good amount of freshly cracked pepper on both sides.  Get a pan smokin’ hot and sear top and bottom of that little fish fillet.  Peppery heat and cool center will play your taste buds like a harpstring.

Need not mention… only eat raw seafood that is supposed to be eaten raw, handle with the up most care, and don’t give this to little ones or granny just to be safe.

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Baconized (adj.) the overt flavouring of another substance with bacon.

A great way to get someone in my house to eat more veggies, especially the dark green varieties, is to baconize it.  There aren’t many things that won’t accept this treatment.  Maybe mango wouldn’t be a good idea, although I’ve often had mango next to bacon and eggs for brunch on the weekends. 

This bacon was paired up with onion, tomatoes, and red swiss chard.  The fat is rendered out slowly, then the onions cook in the flavourful fat, this is the beginning of baconization.  Reserve the crisped bacon.  Layer the stems of the chard first as they need a little longer cooking time to become tender.  Season the golden onions and stems with salt and pepper.  Add the leaves of the swiss chard, a tiny pinch of salt, then the tomatoes. 

Cover the pan and let the leaves wilt.  Add crisped bacon at the last minute and stir.

The fish I picked up was at a reasonable price, at just under 5 bucks a pound, three fillets of perch were less than 6 dollars all together.

Parchment enclosed fish covered in the tomato, chile, olive, capers, onion, garlic.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350ºF.


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Fish Tacos

I’ve only recently jumped on the fish taco band wagon. When I first moved down south, and Lent came around, I was bombarded with fish tacos every where. “Yuck! Who in their right mind would eat that?” Well, I’ve matured since then and so have my taste buds. Also thanks to the Spanish influence of my hubby, I found a way to embrace this odd dish.

Basa fillets on a bed of red onion and yellow bell peppers

I start with fillets of striped pangasius, which were pretty cheap (2.49 per lb). Sprinkle the fish with garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, pepper.

Heat a large skillet, big enough for your fish with space to party in the pan. Heat some oil until nearly smoking, then gently add the fillets. Cook on each side until crisp and golden. Remove the fish and add slices of red onion and yellow bell pepper. If the pan is a little dry, you can add a little more oil. Sea salt over the hot fish fresh out of the pan gives it the best enhancement of flavour. You can spritz some lime juice over top as well.

Serve with warm tortillas, chopped cilantro, tomato slices and avocado. Enjoy 🙂

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