Better Living Through Local Foods
What a fantastic week for fish! The hot weather is perfect for making meals that cook up real fast, whether you grill or use your oven or stove top. Last Friday I scored two pounds of fresh-off-the-boat flounder from the SOSEXXI CSF (Community Supported Fisheries, see www.sossexi.org for more details). A few days later my Mother treated my family to a charter fishing trip on the Beth Ann out of Provincetown where we brought home striped bass for dinner. For cooking super fresh fish, I recommend a light hand with spices and flavorings, letting the natural flavor shine through, especially with a delicate fish like flounder.
For the flounder, drizzle some olive oil (or a combination of olive oil and butter) in a large saucepan, place the fillets in the pan once the butter melts (if using butter), and squeeze lots of fresh lemon juice over them, adding salt and pepper to taste. I then chopped whatever fresh herbs my mother had on hand: parsley, basil and oregano: not too much! A splash of white wine on top helped the cause. Sauté the fish, covered so it steams, really, until it is just done, (between 12-16 minutes). Perfection! Serve with rice and a garden fresh salad.
The bass is a bolder, meatier fish, so I prepared a fruit salsa to spoon on top. The salsa should complement but not smother the fish. Combine the following chopped ingredients: fresh pineapple, cilantro, jalapeño*, red pepper, red onion, lots of lime juice and a dash or olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added avocado and would add mango as well if I had one.
The bass fillets were quite thick, (too thick for broiling) so I roasted them in a jelly roll style pan, (layer of olive oil underneath to prevent sticking), added lots of lemon juice, some more olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh garlic, pressed and spread on top. Roast in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until just done when tested with a fork in the thick part of the fish.
*When using a jalapeño pepper, I cut the green flesh around the sides, leaving all of the seeds in the middle to be discarded. That way you get the flavor without the heat. For adding the heat, allow some of the seeds to be included.
Any fruit salsa you create is great over fish kabobs or grilled shrimp as well. People can scoop as much or as little salsa as they want, to taste.
Katherine Rossmoore is a health and wellness coach, food lover, yoga teacher and writer. Find her at www.betterlivingthroughfoods.com or “like” her on Facebook Better Living Through Foods Health Coaching.