7/18/09

Reviews and Recipes: Fish Suppers

A portion of our catch!

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.
Isaiah 43:2a

The recipe that inspired tonight’s entrée suggested trying red snapper. Red snapper isn’t a fish you will usually find on our freezer’s shelves. But, this summer is an exception!

When we were in Destin, we dismissed with the entertainment venues that usually gobble up our “play money" - things like bowling, water/amusement parks and movies. We put all our "fun finances" into a four-hour fishing trip, instead.

I have to tell you that I was less than excited about this little expedition. As a matter of fact, I begged them to go without me. I assured them, I’d be perfectly content to sit on the beach, read my book and hear all about their trip when they returned - if they returned. I’m not a very good swimmer, and am basically scared to death of water that reaches above my ankles! Now, I do love to look at the ocean. I do love to hear the ocean. I even like the smell of the ocean. But, I don’t want in the ocean.

Of course, they said they didn’t want to go without me! What to do?! Oh, the things we do for our kids!! I reluctantly agreed, and Jessie, a very nice lady at the fishing trip booking agency signed us up. She said to be sure to take a motion sickness pill and to bring along some drinks and food. Of course, I interpreted this to mean - “You never know what can happen out there! You’d better come prepared, just in case you’re stranded for a few days."

I also made inquiries about the captain. After all, we would be putting our very lives into the hands of someone we’d never laid eyes on! Although Jessie had assured us, we were in the best of care with Captain Tim Adams, the night before the trip, my sleep was very fitful. I'd wake-up, pray - asking God for a boat that didn't leak and a half-way decent captain, and try to go back to sleep. When we stepped on to Captain Tim's boat, the first thing I saw was a little hand-carved cross hanging from the captain's area. Isn't God good to give us a physical sign when we need it most?!

I am pretty sure we had more paraphernalia than Captain Tim had ever seen anyone bring for a four-hour fishing trip! When he questioned the number of bags and coolers, I informed him that I was a seasoned Gillian’s Island watcher. I knew what happened to the S.S. Minnow on a mere three-hour tour, and here we were about to embark on a four-hour trip! I wasn’t taking any chances! Bless his heart, as he attempted to stow our baggage, I am sure he expected a Ginger-like sequined formal to fall out at any moment!

The next words out of my mouth were that I wasn’t a good swimmer and that I wasn't very brave. I added that we had never gone deep sea fishing before, and actually, we didn’t even fish at home. About this time, I think Larry and the kids began to question their wisdom in insisting that I join them on this excursion. Poor Captain Tim! I am sure he realized he was in for a long morning, but being the well-trained Southern gentleman (he grew up outside Nashville) that he is, he simply said, “Well, good. I like it that way. I won’t have to un-teach you any bad habits.” And, off we sailed!

Very much to my surprise, it was absolutely one of the most fun things we have ever done as a family!! Larry and the kids loved it, and so did I!! Most of this was due to the skill and expertise of our captain. Captain Tim has been on, or in, the water most of his adult life. Besides being a veteran boat captain, he is a certified scuba instructor, which came as a great relief to me. I thought we stood a pretty good chance of having him retrieve one of us if we went overboard. Fortunately, the only thing he had to fish-out of the Gulf was M.C.’s Ole Miss bill cap. Now, I know some of you would not consider that a great loss, but Captain Tim went to extra lengths to bring it back on board!

The trip was also very educational! Captain Tim holds a degree in biology and told us many interesting things about the fish and dolphins we saw. He answered many questions about his life as a captain of a fishing boat and about the fishing industry, in general. We really learned a lot!

If you’re in Destin and looking for a fun, family-friendly activity, I cannot recommend Captain Tim and his fishing excursion highly enough. His boat is beautiful, clean, well-equipped and maintained. He is friendly and professional. In my prayers, I'd asked God for "crumbs." He provided a "banquet!" When will I learn?! Go to Captain Tim's website and check it out:

http://www.doubletimecharters.com/

Oh, we had great luck with the fish, too!! Larry and I had such fun watching the kids reeling in some really nice-sized fish. We caught several amberine and some beautiful red snappers. Captain Tim cleaned and dressed our catch when we got back to the dock. We enjoyed visiting with his wife, who had come to meet him, while he did the filleting. She gave me several great cooking tips for preparing the fish!! Captain Tim told us how to safely ice them and prepare them for our ride home. We have already enjoyed some nice meals from our catch!

Guess what? I'm ready to go again!!!

Fish cooking tips:

Because fish is so thin, always use ice water for rinsing. Even the temperature of cold tap water will began to cook the fish. If your fish is frozen, like ours, be sure to remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge a couple of days before you plan to use it. It will be almost fully thawed and need less rinsing. This is one of those areas where meal planning really helps. I placed our fish in the fridge on Thursday night. It was just a tiny bit icy today when I took it out to soak it.

If you prefer a milder taste in fish, try soaking it in milk for a while before cooking. I didn't do this the first time I cooked some of red snapper. I did today. We all thought there was a pronounced difference.

Have your complete meal prepared before you start cooking the fish. Again, because it is so thin, it doesn't take it long to cook. By having all the other dishes ready, you're not as likely to over-cook your fish, or have it get cold waiting for the other menu items to finish cooking.

Here are the reviews and re-posts of the recipes:

Amandine Fillets with Steamed Veggie Medley and Hush Puppies

Tonight’s meal from the - Meal Plan for July 13th - 19th Saturday - Amandine Fillets with Steamed Veggie Medley and Hush Puppies

I did use only 3 tablespoons of butter to cook the fish, and one with the almonds. I know the full amount of butter would taste wonderful, but we just didn't need that much.

Amandine Fillets


4 - 6 fish fillets
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup butter, divided
½ cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place oven-safe serving platter in oven.

Sift together flour, salt, and pepper. Dip fillets into milk. Roll fish in flour to coat completely. Melt ¼ cup butter in electric skillet. Add fillets, browning evenly on both sides. Cook until fish flakes easily. Remove cooked fillets to warm platter. (Be sure to handle warm platter carefully.) Turn oven off. Place platter with fillets back into warm oven.

Add remain ¼ cup butter to skillet. Add almonds. Allow butter and almonds to cook on medium-low heat until browned. Stir in lemon juice. Spoon butter sauce over fish fillets.


Steamed Veggie Medley

4 med. Carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch diagonal slices
3 med. zucchini OR yellow squash Or a combination, cut into ½ inch slices
1 lg. Vidalia onion, cut into 8 sections
12 oz. fresh, sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp. butter

Place prepared carrots and onions in steamer basket*. Steam about 10 minutes. Add zucchini. Salt lightly and steam 8 minutes more.

In skillet sauté mushrooms in butter 4 to 5 minutes.

Combine with other vegetables. Veggies can be cooked ahead and heated for a minute or so in the microwave to warm.

If you don’t have a steamer basket, just add a small amount of water to the bottom of your boiler and cook on low heat with lid on pan. Watch water level carefully, so it doesn’t boil dry.


Hush Puppies

I use frozen hush puppies that I get at Wal-mart. The bag just says - Hush Puppies. It does say distributed by Wal-mart on the back of the bag.



Pan-fried Fish Fillets with Creamy Mushroom and Crawfish Sauce,
Simple Mashed Potatoes and Hush Puppies

This was from the - Meal Plan for June 29th - July 5th Thursday - Pan-fried Fish Fillets with Creamy Mushroom and Crawfish Sauce, Simple Mashed Potatoes and Hush Puppies

This recipe inspired from Robert St. John and Wyatt Water’s Southern Seasons. It looks kind of long and complicated, but it’s really not. Since it takes a bit of prep work, it is a good meal to cook on a Saturday night, when you have a little more time. The key is to get everything prepped before you start cooking. You can use any mild white fish. I am going to try catfish sometimes.

Pan-fried Fish Fillets with Creamy Mushroom and Crawfish Sauce

½ cup of seasoned flour, ingredients below
4 fish fillets
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¾ cup chopped green onions
½ cup chicken broth
1 recipe Creole Cream Sauce
½ pound frozen, fully-cooked crawfish, thawed
1 tablespoon fresh pasley

Seasoned flour:

To ½ cup flour -
add 1 -2 tablespoons of Robert St. John Creole Season available at:
http://www.robertstjohn.com/store/13-robert-st-johns-creole-seasoning/

OR to make your own (this is what I did)

Mix together:

½ cup Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (Larry is big on Lawry’s Seasoned Salt! He thinks it goes on everything!)
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make Cream Sauce.

Cream Sauce

1 cup cream (I’ll probably use fat-free half-and-half)
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
½ teaspoon paprika

Combine all ingredients, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Keep warm.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in an electric skillet.
Dredge the fish fillets in seasoned flour.
Cook fillets in butter until browned on both sides. Place browned fillets on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until done.

While fish bakes, add the remaining tablespoon of butter to electric skillet. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender. Add garlic and onions, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add chicken broth and cook until broth is half reduced. Add the cream sauce (recipe below) and simmer for 1 - 2 minutes. Stir in the crawfish and cook a couple of more minutes, to heat through.

Plate fish and top with sauce.


Simple Mashed Potatoes

6 medium potatoes
water to cover
salt
1/2 of cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
salt and pepper, to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into large pieces. Cover and cook in boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain. Return potatoes to pot and set on warm stove to evaporate water. Watch carefully. Remove from heat when dry. Add milk in small amounts until desired consistency is reached. Add butter, salt and pepper.


Hush Puppies

We really like Hush Puppies from Wal-mart. The bag doesn’t have a brand name, not even Great Value. It simply says - Hush Puppies. On the back of the bag, it says they are distributed by Wal-mart.

2 comments:

  1. I loved hearing about your fishing trip. What great family memories you created. My attitude would have been like yours....just let me stay behind and read a book. But, like you, when I do venture out with my family, I never regret it!
    I am looking forward to trying some of your fish recipes. In fact I am browsing you blog right now, making my grocery list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great story! I laughed out loud when I read "I was a seasoned Gillian’s Island watcher."

    We love deep sea fishing but don't get to do it very often - thanks for the referral! We very well may end up on vacation in north Florida sometime and I've noted Captain Tim's website! (We live in Central Florida).

    Thanks for your visit and your comment! I'm going to be poking around your blog for some meal plans and recipes.

    Do you know about e-mealz.com?

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for sharing! I love comments!