Creole Red Snapper

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For years I’ve been trying to convince my children that fish is wonderful and delicious, but they’ve rejected every offering I’ve made that wasn’t heavily breaded and deep fried. That is, until I made this delectable Creole red snapper.

Creole Red Snapper

I never would have guessed that this would be the recipe to change their minds about fish, but even I was surprised how much I liked this tender, savory fish. My entire family loved it, which almost never happens (there is usually at least one dissenter).

Ingredients
1 large carrot
1 rib of celery
1 stick of butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 lb red snapper fillets, bones removed
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Lemon slices

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Chop the carrot and celery into pieces roughly 1/2-inch wide by 3-inches long and place on the bottom of a large baking dish. (Note: the veggies add flavor to the fish and also prevent the fish from sticking to the baking dish.)

Add the butter, garlic, paprika, Worcestershire, salt, black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, green onions, and parsley to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Brush both sides of the red snapper with the butter sauce, and place the snapper in the baking dish on top of the carrot and celery pieces.

Stir the panko bread crumbs and parmesan into the remaining butter sauce, and then spoon the breadcrumb mixture on top of the snapper, spreading evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of the fillets), or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook. Serve with lemon slices, and enjoy!

* adapted from Menu Musings

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Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

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Jambalaya! It’s a fun word to say, don’t you think? Say it with me! JAM-BA-LAYA!

Jambalaya is basically a thick rice stew filled with sausage, shrimp, beans, veggies, and lots of flavor. My recipe is on the mild side, so my kids will eat it, but you can make yours spicier by increasing the cayenne pepper and adding some of your favorite hot sauce.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup diced carrots
1 teaspoon paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
1 can red kidney beans, drained, but not rinsed
1 can diced Italian tomatoes, with juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups cooked brown rice

Add oil to your largest, heavy skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots to the skillet. Using a spatula, break the sausage up into bite-sized pieces. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the sausage is browned and the veggies begin to soften. Reduce the heat, if needed to prevent burning.

Add the paprika and cayenne pepper to the skillet and cook for about 1 minute.

Add the beans, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp and rice, then replace the lid and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is thoroughly cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Mediterranean Garlic Herb Cod

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I love cod, but the same old lemon and butter routine can get old after a while. In this recipe, cod is coated with a garlic-herb paste and then grilled to perfection. One taste of this moist and flavorful fish and you may never want your fish any other way. I have fresh thyme and basil growing in my garden, so that is what I used, but you can use any combination of fresh herbs that you like.

Ingredients
3/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound cod filets

Using a blender, stick blender, or food processor, blend together the basil, thyme, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper until slightly chunky.

Coat both sides of the fish with the herb mixture and let stand while preheating the grill. For a stronger flavor, let the fish marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before cooking (be sure to take the fish out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking – this will ensure the fish cooks evenly).

Preheat the grill to medium. Tear off a large sheet of aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place the foil on the grill and place the fish on top of the foil (the heat from the grill may blow the foil away, so hold it down with a spatula until you can place the fish on top).

Grill the fish until cooked through, turning once. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fish, but it’s usually around 3-5 minutes per side.

Serve hot with your favorite sides.

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Parmesan Basil Orzo with Shrimp

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This looks like something you would eat at a fancy restaurant, but it is simple to make and it tastes amazing. The mild orzo, flavored with parmesan and fresh basil, is a wonderful a compliment to the marinated shrimp which is bursting with flavor.

Ingredients
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, if you like it spicy)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
2 cups chicken broth (maybe a bit more)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic, ketchup, oregano, salt and black pepper. Add the shrimp and stir until they are well coated. Refrigerate for about 1 hour (I’ve heard that too much lemon juice can give shrimp a weird texture, so don’t let them sit in the marinade for too long).

About 25 minutes before you cook the shrimp, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, stir in the orzo and sauté until golden brown, stirring frequently.

Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the orzo is tender. Watch the skillet carefully, and add additional chicken broth if needed.

Mix in the parmesan cheese, basil, spinach, salt, and pepper. Stir until the spinach is wilted.

Heat another large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the shrimp to the skillet, along with about 1/2 cup of the marinade. Cook the shrimp, stirring frequently until pink and cooked through.

To serve, place a large spoonful of the orzo onto a plate, top with several shrimp, and drizzle some of the sauce from the skillet over the top.

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Grill-Roasted Red Snapper

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This delicious recipe produces fish that is light, tender, and full of flavor. It’s easy to prepare and lovely to look at too!

Ingredients
1 pound red snapper fillets
Salt
Black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
2 small tomatoes, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 whole fire-roasted green chili, sliced (I used canned)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 bay leaf
Olive oil

Preheat your grill to about 450 degrees. While the grill is heating, place a pizza stone on top of the grill rack and then place a wire rack, or another grill rack on top of the pizza stone (the pizza stone should be sandwiched between two wire racks).

Line a metal baking pan (I used the bottom of a broiler pan) with aluminum foil. Place the snapper fillets in the baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the remaining ingredients, except for the olive oil, over the fish. Drizzle the olive oil on top.

Place the baking pan on the grill and grill-roast until the fish is fully cooked and flakes easily with a fork (the time will depend on the temperature of your grill and the thickness of the fish).

We served our fish with tabouli (I’ll post that recipe soon) and salad for a wonderful warm-weather dinner!

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Mexican Baked Fish

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We are trying to eat more fish in our house and I’m always looking for ways to spice-up our fish dinners. This recipe quite literally adds some spice and a lot of flavor to an otherwise ordinary piece of fish. This recipe doesn’t really require any measuring and is very quick and easy to prepare, so it’s perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Click here to view the original recipe.

Ingredients
1 pound cod
1 cup salsa (mild, medium, or hot – your choice!)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used the Mexican blend)
1/2 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips
Sour cream
Avocado (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a medium baking dish.

Rinse cod under cold water and use paper towels to dry the fish thoroughly.

Place the fish in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the salsa over the top of the fish and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Top with the tortilla chips.

Bake, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of avocado, if desired.

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Salmon Tacos

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I am not a big fan of leftovers. No matter how delicious dinner was the night before, I am less enthusiastic about it the next day. So, when I opened my fridge and saw the leftovers from my delicious dinner of sockeye salmon, rice and salad from the night before, I decided they needed a makeover. Since I’m always in the mood for tacos, I decided to give salmon tacos a try. I am so glad I did! The flavor is wonderful, and the tacos have a rich taste without being heavy.

Ingredients
Cooked salmon (try my Grilled Sockeye Salmon recipe)
Cooked rice
Flour tortillas, soft taco size
Sour cream
Dried dill
Salsa (Mrs. Renfro’s Habanero Salsa is one of our favorites)
Lemon wedges
Salad greens

Warm the salmon and rice in the microwave. Warm the tortillas (either in a skillet or in the microwave).

In each tortilla, add about 1 tablespoon of sour cream, about 1/8 teaspoon of dill, 1/2 teaspoon of salsa (or more if you like it spicy), 1/3 cup rice,  and some salmon (as much as you like). Top the salmon with a generous squeeze of lemon and a handful of salad greens.

That’s all there is to it! Quick, healthy, and delicious – my kind of meal!

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Cioppino

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My husband had a hankering for cioppino this week, so I found this great recipe and made a few changes to suit our taste. Cioppino is a flavorful broth overflowing with all kinds of yummy seafood. It looks somewhat intimidating to make, but it’s actually pretty simple – and the results are worth the effort! This recipe will serve 4-5 people.

Ingredients
1/3 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup white wine
3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 pound bay scallops
9 small clams
9 mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 whole cooked crab or 3/4 cup crabmeat
1 small cod fillet, cubed
Cracked black pepper
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Melt butter in a large stockpot, over medium-low heat. Add the onions and parsley and cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.

Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, basil, thyme, oregano, and wine to the pot. Mix well. Cover and simmer at least 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until clams open. Add the shrimp, scallops, crab, and cod, and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes, until the fish is cooked. Ladle soup into bowls and add fresh cracked pepper and a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Serve with warm, crusty bread!

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Grilled Sockeye Salmon

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I really want to love salmon, I really do, but the truth is: I don’t. Every time I order it at a restaurant or make it at home, I try to convince myself that I’m eating it because I love the taste, but honestly if salmon wasn’t so healthy, I probably would never eat it. However, I’m glad to say that I think I finally found the recipe that will turn me into the salmon-lover that I aspire to be!

First of all, I used a beautiful piece of wild-caught Sockeye salmon from Alaska (my birth-state, by the way). Not all salmon is created equal, I’ve found. The salmon is then soaked in a sweet and salty marinade before being grilled. I am a novice at the barbeque, so if I can grill this fish to perfection, you can too!

Ingredients
Large fillet of Sockeye salmon (about 1.5 pounds)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, halved

Cut the salmon fillet into 3 or 4 serving pieces and put the pieces in a large zip lock bag. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, oil, pepper, and the juice of 1/2 of the lemon; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into the bag with the salmon, seal the bag, and then turn to coat. Allow salmon to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat your grill to medium heat, and lightly oil the grate. Place the salmon on the grill, flesh-side down, and cook for about 5-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish). Turn the fish, skin-side down and cook another 5 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

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Fish Tacos

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Ahh, Cabo San Lucas, I can picture it now: sitting at a waterfront cantina, feeling the warm breeze as I gaze out at the blue ocean and enjoy my tasty fish taco. If a trip to Cabo didn’t make it on your to do list this summer, you can still treat your taste buds to a vacation by making these delicious fish tacos. This recipe (which I adapted from a recipe I found on allrecipes.com) is easy and rivals most restaurant versions that I’ve tried.

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup beer

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Oil for frying
1 pound cod fillets, cut into 2 to 3 ounce portions
1 package corn tortillas
1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded
fresh salsa
lime wedges

To make beer batter: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Blend egg and beer, then quickly stir into the flour mixture (don’t worry about a few lumps).

To make white sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and mayonnaise. Gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny. Season with jalapeno, oregano, cumin, dill, and cayenne.

Heat oil in a heavy frying pan (the oil should be about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch deep).

Dust fish pieces lightly with flour. Dip into beer batter, and fry until crisp and golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Heat a pan (non-stick, if you have it) over medium heat. Add a tortilla to the pan and cook them for about 30 seconds on each side. Keep warm in a tortilla warmer, if you have one, or on a plate covered with a dish towel.

Place fried fish in a tortilla and top with shredded cabbage, white sauce, and fresh salsa. Serve with lime wedges and a cold cerveza (we’re pretending to be on vacation, remember?).

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