Lemon zest, rosemary, and garlic ready to be minced.
Lemon zest, rosemary, and garlic along with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper ready to be pressed onto the tuna steaks.
I really like tuna but not simply out of a can, although canned tuna has its merits. When I say I like tuna, I’m referring to tuna steaks: pan seared, broiled, or grilled. They are so easy and quick to cook. A quick four to six minutes per side is all it takes. Yes, they will be pink in the middle but over cooked tuna is mortal sin.
Here’s what I did tonight:
2 fresh tuna steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and approximately 1-inch thick
1 lemon, zested
fresh rosemary, about 2 large sprigs with leaves stripped from stem
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Coarse salt and black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Rinse and pat tuna steaks dry. Zest lemon on top of cutting board into a small mound. Place rosemary leaves on top of zest. Slightly crush garlic and place on top of rosemary. Finely chop the garlic, rosemary and lemon zest. About half-way through, season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle just enough olive oil over the tuna steaks to coat each side. Rub herb and garlic mixture into fish, while lightly pressing the mixture into the flesh and coating pieces evenly on each side. Let stand 10 minutes.
Grill tuna steaks no more than six minutes on each side over medium high heat on grill.
What I really like about salmon is the infinite ways it can be cooked and the wide range of seasonings you can use. Tonight I cooked our salmon on a cedar plank, one of my favorite ways by the way, and topped it with an avocado salsa. Not only was this dish very tasty, it was a double source of omega-3. Win-win!
Here’s what I did:
1 to 1 ½ lb salmon filet
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
1 large jalapeño peppers, diced or sliced (red if available)
Juice from 2 limes
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Prior to grilling, soak a cedar plank in water for at least two hours.
In a glass bowl, mix the salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper together. Rub the salmon with the seasoning mix and let the fish rest for at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the grill to medium heat: 350° to 375°.
Meanwhile combine the avocado, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and salt in a glass bowl and mix well, chill until ready to use.
Place the seasoned salmon on the soaked cedar plank and grill the salmon for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the salmon from the grill and allow to rest 5 to 10 additional minutes. Top with the avocado salsa and serve.
Red snapper is a firm, mildly flavored, white-fleshed fish that can be prepared in a wide variety of dishes; from a very simple dish to a gourmet meal. My favorite way to prepare red snapper is grilled with a spicy Dijon mustard sauce. Here’s what I do:
1/3 Cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 Red Snapper filets (6 to 8 ounces each)
Heat grill to medium-high for direct grilling.
Meanwhile combine mustard, vinegar and red pepper in small glass bowl and whisk well. Coat both sides of fish thoroughly with mustard mixture.
Grill fish over direct heat on a covered grill over medium-high heat. Grill approximately 5 minutes and one side and then turn and grill an additional 4 to 5 minutes on the other side or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.
Susan and I are really quite fortunate that John will eat most anything we serve him. He is far from a picky eater. I still like to keep him in mind while planning meals and try to make one of his favorites each week. One of his favorite meals is fish sticks. I, on the other hand, have bad memories of the cardboard boxed Mrs. Paul’s and Van de Kamp’s fish sticks of my youth and would rather forgo them.
Here is how I satisfy the palate of a six year-old and make a fish stick that an adult will also find tasty.
1 large egg
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cups panko
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds cod fillets (or similar firm white fish), cut into wide strips
Preheat oven to 475° F. Line 9 x 17 baking sheet with aluminum foil, spritz lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
Lightly beat the egg in a wide, shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another wide, shallow bowl, combine panko, Old Bay, and olive oil. (Mixing the olive oil with the panko will help the panko to brown.) First dip the fish in egg and then shake off the excess. Next, dredge in panko mixture pressing the fish into the panko to help it adhere then place on baking sheet.
Bake until lightly browned, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Serve fish sticks with sauce and lemon wedges on the side.
½ cup light mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 teaspoons prepared white horseradish
Whisk together mayonnaise, parsley, mustard, lemon juice, and horseradish in a small glass bowl.
Fish lends itself to grilling. Grilling fish over direct heat not only cooks it quickly but also prevents it from drying out.
There are two main problems with grilling fish but with a little practice, you can overcome them quite easily. The first is keeping it from sticking. A clean grill oiled right before you put the fish on and brushing the fish with olive oil helps prevent the fish from sticking. Some people like to use a fish basket when grilling fish. They do help considerably.
The second difficulty is knowing when the fish is done. Fish will appear a little translucent before it is cooked. You will know when a fish is cooked as it becomes opaque all the way through and will flake quite easily. If any part of the fish is glossy, it still has a little longer to cook.
One of my favorite fish to cook is halibut. It is firmer than most other fish and stands up to grilling very well. It is also a good fish to start with when first grilling fish. Here is what I did tonight:
2 5 ounce Halibut filets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from one lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Fresh ground pepper
Heat grill to medium heat. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and rosemary together. Liberally brush one side of halibut filet with mixture. Salt and pepper. Flip and repeat on other side. Place on grill. Cook for three to five minutes on one side. Flip and grill on other side for two to three minutes or until the fish turns opaque throughout and flakes easily.
I like to serve this over a brown rice and serve with a vegetable like asparagus.
Shrimp is great when you need a relatively quick weeknight meal. Not only does it cook quickly, it is very versatile in how it can be cooked and the sauces it can be cooked with from a simple browned butter garlic sauce to a tomato based sauce like the one I made tonight. Here’s what I did:
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (26/30 count)
4 – 6 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
15 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
Cayenne pepper to taste
8 ounces Farfalle pasta
Freshly shredded Parmesan for serving
Cook pasta according to directions to al dente.
While pasta is cooking, melt butter on medium heat in large skillet and sauté garlic. Add shrimp and cayenne and cook 2 to 3 minutes on one side. Turn shrimp and cook 2 minutes longer on other side. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Add tomatoes to pan and cook until liquid is reduced by about half. Add cream and cook 4 to 6 minutes longer. Reintroduce shrimp to sauce and remove from heat.
Divide farfalle in pasta bowl, top with shrimp and sauce, and shred Parmesan on top.
I picked up some Louisiana Oysters today. I made a very quick and simple migonette sauce for them and Susan and I were in heaven. I wanted us to have at least three a piece so I picked up eight oysters just in case there was a bad one. We got lucky and all eight looked bright and smelled like the briny sea so we each got four.
Here’s the simple migonette sauce:
1 small shallot finely minced
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons dry, acid white wine
1 Tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
Grind or two of fresh ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate an hour or two to allow the flavors to meld. Spoon over oysters and serve.