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Fish/Seafood

Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

A fisherman’s tale. (by George)

Since this dish would not be possible without the fish my husband caught I decided maybe he should be the one to write his fisherman’s tale.

NOTE: My Corn Dog Shrimp recipe just got picked up by Delish.com. They linked back to my website. Hopefully that will give me more traffic.

A fisherman’s tale — by George. 

My recent fishing trip topped off a year of fishing than has run the gamut from remote wild river salmon fishing and off-shore halibut trips in Alaska to white bass fishing in Texas and now most recently going off-shore for yellow fin tuna near Venice as in Louisiana (not to be confused with Italy). Venice is about an hour or so south of New Orleans on the peninsula that forms the tip of the Louisiana boot and the mouth of the Mississippi river. It’s literally the last town at the very end of the last road that follows the western side of the river deep into the thick Louisiana marshland to the river’s end, the Mississippi River delta. It’s not a fancy resort type area like you would find along the Florida coast but it has world class fishing and it is a major staging area for off-shore drilling companies and on-shore natural gas processing (which I used to know a little about)

We were hoping to get into some yellow fin tuna as more are caught here than anywhere but after catching our live bait near  a nat gas platform and then a 40 mile  ride out to the deep blue gulf waters (around 1500 feet plus) and hours of very hard fishing we gave up and starting trolling for Mahi Mahi. The highlight was when 3 of them all hit at exactly the same time. The reels seemed to spin out of control and we learned first hand how fast and strong these fish really are.  It’s hard to describe how vibrant their colors are in the water. Unfortunately for us that was all we would land for the rest of the day. We blamed it on the weather – what else?

Most people think you only catch them in Hawaii but Mahi Mahi is a type of saltwater fish commonly found in warm coastal waters around the world, including Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and even some parts of Australia and yes – the Gulf of Mexico.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Honey Walnut Shrimp

What’s the secret ingredient?

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend. I always think of my dad on Memorial day and the letters I have read that he sent back to his mom. He was just 17 when he signed up and this one particular letter he talked about cookies his aunt was going to send him and that all the guys wanted him to go out drinking but he didn’t want to. He was just thinking of home and probably his mom’s cooking.

I thought of him yesterday when I bought a Vitamix and remember at least 25 years ago him seeing an ad in one of his magazines and telling me this machine would make ice cream and soup and how could one machine make both hot and frozen things. Well, I don’t remember the machine but it had to be the Vitamix because it has been around since 1921.

I can’t wait to try out this new appliance — like I need one more appliance. But I say, why not! Both of my kids in Austin have one and they love it.

It’s been almost three weeks since we were in Austin for the birth of our newest grandson, Thomas. We were there almost two weeks and I missed him the minute I walked out the door. I always miss all our grandsons as soon as the kisses, hugs and goodbyes are said. One of the weekends we were there before his birth we went to an Asian restaurant and had a honey walnut shrimp dish that was so good and it had a sweetness (just like my babies) that I could not figure out.

For all my surfing the internet for a recipe for Walnut Shrimp ALL results came up with the same secret ingredient. The secret is out and the secret ingredient of Walnut Shrimp has sweetened condensed milk.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with condensed milk and it seems like everyone loves the sweet gooey mixture in many desserts. But for an entree? Yes. Believe me you will go back for seconds.  The truth is there’s only about two tablespoons of it in the sauce that coats the tempura battered shrimp.

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Appetizers/ Entree/ Fish/Seafood/ HotApp

Bang Bang Shrimp

Bang Bang Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic paste
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • Egg mixture:
  • 3 egg beaten
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • Breading mixture
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Slap Your Mama seasoning or Old Bay
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • Lettuce leaves or shredded lettuce to line dish
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate.
  2. Beat the eggs in a shallow pan and set this aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine the 1/4 cup flour, cornstarch, panko, salt pepper, onion, garlic powder and Slap Your Mama.
  4. To bread the shrimp first dredge in 1/2 cup flour. Shake off excess flour.  Next dip the shrimp 5 or 6 at a time into the beaten eggs then put in bowl with the breading mixture and toss to make sure they are coated well. Arrange the breaded shrimp on a plate and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or cook immediately.
  5. Heat the oil to 350. Use about 1-2" of oil in your pan. When oil is hot fry shrimp 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Drain on rack or paper towels. When you have fried all the shrimp put them in a large bowl that contains the sauce mixture and toss the shrimp until coated. Sprinkle in the green onions and put in dish and serve.

DO NOT USE honey — Ok, the story about this honey is I was fussing at my husband one day about him using so much honey for his cereal (sometimes 3 times a day) and when I need it to make a salad dressing or some other “real” food, there’s no honey. So he goes out and buys two huge bottles of honey and writes “do not use” on the bottle”. SORRY GA, I had no honey to call my own and had to use his honey for the Bang Bang Shrimp.

Appetizers/ Fish/Seafood/ HotApp/ Side dish

Shrimp Foo Yung

Ugly duckling, but oh so good.

There are recipes that my sister and I have been making for a couple of decades maybe even three decades. Isn’t that a long time to use the same recipe. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I’ve been saying I want to make more Chinese (Asian I guess is politically correct) food and this is a recipe that’s been in our collection for so long, we don’t even know where it came from.

Not the cutest kid on the block by far, but it is so tasty you will go back for another one and then maybe even one or two more and the sauce that you pour over it is just the right touch.

While visiting my sister a while back we were iced in for several days and all we did was make tamales and cook. One night we (she) made our Shrimp Foo Yung recipe and I remembered just how good it was and scold myself for not making it more often.

Hope you like this.  It is delicious served with my Beef and Pea Pods (her recipe too) or my Chinese Fried Rice or if you have a hankering for some Asian style ribs, this would be a wonderful side dish.

My sister and I both want to try making these using egg rings so the end result will be a perfectly round circle of goodness.  When I do, I will repost picture of what they look like.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Zucchini Pasta with Pine Nuts is a pretty carb friendly dish. It only has a tiny bit of whole wheat pasta and the remaining “pasta” is made from zucchini.  Since I posted this 1/12 I’ve had almost 2000 views of the recipe.  (Someone’s looking.)

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Poached Salmon with Fennel and Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce

Simple but delicious.

I can’t believe we’re still eating Salmon from my husband’s fishing trip to Alaska last summer and will for some time to come.

Every time I take out a piece of fish I can just see that fish jumping up out of the water begging to be let go knowing all the while it doesn’t stand a chance for a reprieve from the dinner table. Maybe at least he/she will envision what type of tasteful dish it will become and how others will enjoy the life they gave up.

Whatever it’s last thoughts were, I have enjoyed coming up with new ways to prepare all this salmon and halibut.

I would like some new recipes though, especially for the halibut. So, if you have any, please pass them this way.

I’ve never tried poaching salmon before and I think just about any poaching liquid would work. I just happened to have some fennel fonds on hand and a left over bottle of white wine so I used those ingredients. Giada had done this Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce on one of her shows and it’s delicious with the fish. Wished I had thought of using some of my preserved lemons in the sauce or in the poaching liquid.

Hope you’ll give this a try.

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Fish/Seafood/ Garnish/ Side dish

Preserved Lemons

These make me pucker just thinking about them.

I had a jar of preserved lemons that I bought several years ago in a mark down basket at a gourmet kitchen store. By the time I got around to cleaning my pantry out last week (I do this at least once a month) the jar of lemons looked like a jar of something not even resembling a lemon, they were dark gray and those definitely got thrown out.

We have a Meyer Lemon tree that was potted but then put in the ground. This is the third year for it to take up residence in our yard. Last year, some critter pulled all the lemons off and we ended up with 2 in the late Fall. Something happened this year, maybe the predators went to someone else’s yard because I had 16-18 beautiful, almost baseball size, Meyer lemons. So, since one can only drink so many lemon drop martinis, I decided to try to make preserved lemons and believe me, they were the easiest things I have ever made.

You say, “what am I going to do with preserved lemons since I don’t own a tagine and I don’t make Mediterranean food”. Well, you can make my Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Preserved Lemons that I will be posting in two days (can’t give you lemons and then make you wait 6 days to post another recipe.

After a bit of research, I found quite a few things to do with preserved lemons — use them in salad dressings and sauces, in salsas and dips, pasta dishes, risotto, Tagines (there’s that word again), hummus, and just about anything that would benefit from a tart bite of a piece of lemon.

Of course when you take these out to use them you want to rinse off all the salt and tear out the inside of the lemon and throw this away as you are only using the rind.

The good thing about this recipe is you can make just one jar or whatever amount you want.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Alaskan Salmon Cakes

Straight from my husband’s pole.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! And thank you for coming to my blog. I can’t believe this June I will have been doing this for five years and I’m still going. I guess I have to cook so why now share what I’m doing with you all. I hope everyone had a happy and safe New Year’s and ready for 2014. I have a new grandson making an appearance in April. This will be our fifth little boy and my daughter’s first baby so it’s going to be so much fun seeing her and her husband become parents. I have to say it again even if I have said it a hundred times — the best part about being a parent, I think, is watching your own kids become parents.

We have been eating salmon and halibut, at least once a week, since my husband got back from his fishing trip from Alaska last August.

Growing up we had salmon patties or croquettes (whatever you called them back them) quite often. They were always made from canned salmon and you will never believe what we like to pour over them for a sauce — canned mushroom soup.  Believe me it’s good. I’m not going to pour canned soup over Ina’s recipe but when I make salmon patties from canned salmon I STILL heat up some thick mushroom soup and my husband and I pour it all over our crispy patties.

I wanted my husband’s salmon to be the STAR of the cakes not the vegetables so I added twice the amount of salmon that Ina’s recipe called for. I tried baking some and frying some. The ones fried were a little harder to turn and the ones I baked were not as oily tasting.  Either way, they are delicious. Baking is a lot easier if you have a bunch to cook.

Seems like all the crab cake recipes I have ever tried were pretty simple — crab meat, red onion, and red pepper, maybe a little mayo and a couple of tablespoons of breadcrumbs to hold them together. This recipe could be done in stages.  For one thing, I would mince all the veggies the day before; this would save a lot of time.  In reading through some of the comments people made on her recipe a few people said they froze uncooked cakes and cooked them at a later time with great results. I did this as it make about 15 cakes and even though we love fish even we could not eat that many salmon cakes.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes

And grilled watermelon never looked so good.

Over Labor Day weekend my husband had the yearning to buy some oysters. I remember the last time we did oysters this summer and he broke two of my oyster knives and luckily the third held up to his prying the shells open. Then on our trip to Nashville we stopped into a little kitchenware shop that was piled to the ceiling with all kinds of kitchen utensils; and I think the owner must have bought out every kitchen store in the state. He did have some unusual things and we found a professional quality oyster knife so this one should hold up for a while.

Before we get to the recipe I want to tell you about that worn out tray that the crab cakes are setting on just waiting to be fried. Ok, so go down and take a look. Now does that tray have a history for both of us. They were my grandmother’s tv trays.

As kids my sister and I spent EVERY Saturday night with our grandparents, afterall, they lived next door to us. Anyway, we could not eat or sit in the family room floor without sitting or laying on a blanket and of course our snacks/food had to be put on these trays, and that’s over 50 years ago and these trays are still around.  Even over the years when my husband would be there eating something in the family room, my grandmother would get out one of these trays for him to put his food on. When we cleaned out my grandmother’s things I knew that I wanted two things for sure, a couple of her handled brown chili bowls and also these TV trays.

I use these trays all the time. For things like holding these crab cakes and my husband and I actually eat off of these old beaten up trays all the time.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Tuscan Halibut

From the cold waters of Alaska – delicious halibut. <*))))>< ° <*))))><

While my sister and I were having some R&R in Fish Creek, WI a few weeks ago (that sounds funny because all I have is R&R) my husband went fishing in Alaska with a friend. They flew in float planes out to several river fishing camps near King Salmon, AK for King and Silver Salmon and then went off shore for Halibut and Silvers at Seward, AK.; My first question was “did you see any bears”? I was so afraid the bears were going to take the fish away from them. I figured the guys could fight off the bears (maybe) but by all means save the fish by whatever means it took. Luckily no bears but plenty of bear tracks and they saw lots of moose and bald eagles. They did have bear dogs on their boats that would jump off when they hit shore to scare off any bears prowling around for “fresh catch of the day” and to protect the camp.

My husband had to promise that he would take me on his next fishing trip to Alaska. I don’t want to go off shore fishing though (I hear sounds of the Jaws theme playing in my head) but I would love fishing in the rivers and streams.

Although they didn’t set any records, they packed a bunch of big boxes of frozen filets for the airplane back home and we ended up with three shelves of our deep freeze full of king salmon, silver salmon and halibut. When I went searching for halibut recipes I came upon an Alaskan fish company’s site (Coal Point Seafood Company) and my first thought, who better to tell me how to cook halibut than from an Alaskan fisherman.

See pictures below of the Old Man and the Sea.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Salmon with Bread Crumb Crust and Dill Sauce

I absolutely love any type of fish, cooked any way.

We were in Austin a few weeks ago and I was out shopping with my daughter. She accused me of being a shopaholic. (She was kidding, of course.) That is so not right; I hate shopping. I won’t buy anything unless I know exactly how I’m going to use it or where I’m going to put it. But when we were at Crate and Barrel I saw these cute little glass pitchers that kind of looked like gravy boats and I knew EXACTLY how I was going to use them. Now, I wished I had bought 6 instead of just two.

I’ve had this salmon recipe I wanted to try for quite some time and this time it did not involve my husband cranking up either the gas grill or the Kamoto Joe smoker. I could do it myself and I have to say, it turned out delicious.  I had the salmon in the freezer that I had purchased on sale and all the other ingredients just waiting to turn a plain piece of salmon into some special.

Some day I would like to catch my own salmon, reel it in, not clean it, and cook it the same day it’s cooked. I know it would be wonderful. But, until then, I will have to just buy my fish at the local market. We always have a great variety of salmon to choose from and this piece just happened to be on sale so I bought a bunch, portioned it off and vacuumed packed it for the freezer.

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Redfish Imperial

Trout, Tilapia, snapper or even grouper can become imperial.

I love taking cooking classes and the time we spent at the New Orleans Cooking Experience in New Orleans was the highlight of the trip for me and my daughter; and Chiqui Collier was our instructor for the day.

This trip was a couple of years ag0 but I never forget cooking classes no matter when they are.  I was recently searching for the Bananas Foster Napoleon recipe that my daughter and I had made while there and came across another recipe we prepared the same day that was delicious — this Redfish Imperial; and another recipe that we made that day was the best Bar-B-Q Shrimp I have ever eaten.

I’m on the search for a cooking class somewhere in the US. If you know of a good one, let me know (please leave comment below). I’ve read about a couple of B&B’s in Napa that have weekend classes. I think it would be great to just get on a plane some weekend and go off to a cooking class. It would be even greater if I could come back home and teach that class in my own kitchen. Now that’s an idea; I could fly someplace, US, France, Italy, any country, take a class, and then return home and teach those recipes to people in my own kitchen until I fly off for another weekend and cook again. What the life that would be. I have even a better idea. Wouldn’t it be really cool to find a class someplace that readers of this blog could get together and go for a weekend class; a blog weekend. I would vote for Napa.

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Fish/Seafood

Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Horseradish Sauce

I can just see those little crabs crawling around.

When I was laying around one day recuperating the knee I was thinking of what I could make for a quick, easy and summery dinner; crab was the first thing I thought of. The second thing that came to mind were my BOYS and the pet hermit crabs they had when we lived in Iowa.  We had 100 days of snow cover one year and that was when the poor little crabs met an untimely death and they froze in our basement. When we moved to Iowa, I remember someone telling us that that part of Iowa was considered the “Florida of Iowa” — no way I believed that after that year with 100 days of snow cover staring us in the face morning after morning.

We had woods behind our house where the boys sometimes would go to explore. One particular day the doorbell rang and when I opened the door there stood my two little boys, smiles beaming from ear to ear holding a five gallon bucket screaming “look mom, what we found”‘ and there staring up at me was the biggest nastiest bullfrog I have ever seen in my life.  That frog did not make it through the doorway.

For some reason these crab cakes took me back to those times in Iowa with the boys and their soon to be sister, lots of snowy winter nights, good friends from church, dinner club, welcome wagon, summer and fall festivals, and lots of other memories of our time spent in Ft. Madison. I love those memories and I hope to hold on to mine forever.

So, hermit crabs, bull frogs to delicious crab cakes. What a jump.  I’ve said before, my mind tends to wander.  Hope you like the cakes.

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