Fish: It’s What’s For Dinner

While we were in FL over Labor Day, we went offshore fishing for the first time. It was so much fun, but it was also a lot of work (I still have some battle scars). We caught a lot of fish, but about half of it was released. We did get to keep quite a bit of snapper, some triggerfish, and some vermillion which we packed on ice and brought back home with us.  The picture above is our haul from that day.  Lucky for us, the cost of the fishing trip included the Captain cleaning and filleting them for us!

We did prepare some of the triggerfish at the beach house in FL before we left. Cooking in vacation rentals is always a bit tricky. Some rentals have wonderfully stocked kitchens, while other not so much. Since it was just the two of us, I didn’t want to buy a lot of stuff to prepare just one meal, so I punted. I grabbed some prepared, microwaveable rice, fresh chives, a lemon, a zucchini and summer squash, a mini bottle of olive oil, non-stick spray, and some salt & pepper packets from the deli. I sliced up the zucchini and summer squash in nice thick pieces and tossed them in olive oil with a little salt and pepper. My husband threw them on the grill. When they were almost ready, he grilled the fish, and I minced the chives and sliced up the lemon. After heating up the rice in the microwave, I tossed it with a little bit of olive oil, some chives, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Simple, but tasty. Once the fish was ready, we seasoned it wish salt and pepper and give each fillet a little squeeze of lemon. I know this sounds boring, but it really was so delicious. There is just something about fresh fish, straight out of the ocean. It was tender and flavorful and really didn’t need much more.  We chose two of our triggerfish fillets, since our fishing guide, Captain Kerry, raved about how good it was and how the day we went out was the first day they were allowed to catch them.  Triggerfish have a firm white flesh, and a slightly sweet flavor, reminiscent of crab.  So flavorful, that it really doesn’t need much in terms of seasoning.

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After getting back home with the fish safely packed on ice, Chip bought a vacuum sealer and sealed up the rest of the fillets and threw them in the freezer. A couple weeks ago we decided it was time to try the snapper. Again, we opted for a simple, grilled dish. This time I prepared some Oven Roasted Butternut Squash, a simple Arugula Salad, and more Chive Rice. It was easy, healthy, a really tasty. The butternut squash takes the longest time to cook (nearly an hour), so I did that first, followed by the rice (which I do in a rice steamer – total time is approximately 20 minutes). Once everything else was ready, then Chip threw the snapper on the grill – just 2-3 minutes per side and it was perfectly done. I seasoned it with salt & pepper, some capers, and a squeeze of lemon. Sometimes it’s the simple things that taste the best!

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This past weekend, I was in the mood for Southwest inspired flavors, so we prepared a grilled Lime and Cumin Spiced Triggerfish on the grill. I served this with some Green Chile Mashed Potatoes and a Cilantro Summer Squash Hash. The mashed potatoes were a nice change from all the rice we eat! I made it dairy free with So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative, and to save time, I used Ore Ida’s frozen Steam n’ Mash Cut Russet Potatoesimg_0936 They taste like real, freshly boiled potatoes, but there’s no peeling, cutting, or boiling involved. Just pop the bag in the microwave, then mash them as you normally would. HUGE time saver, especially for weeknight meals. The Summer Squash Hash was something I made on the fly. We’ve been eating a lot of zucchini and squash this summer. I think we were kind of “broccoli’d” out, if you know what I mean. I feel like we get stuck in pea or broccoli ruts, so all of the squash readily available at the farmers market this year has been a nice change.

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RECIPES:

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Trust me here, parchment paper is the way to go. Not only does it help produce a nice crispy edge on the squash pieces, it makes cleanup a dream! Peel and cube a whole butternut squash, discarding the seeds. Toss the squash cubes in a large bowl with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt, paprika, turmeric, and garlic powder. I used about a ¼ tsp of the garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Spread the squash out evenly across the cookie sheet and roast for 45 minutes to one hour, flipping the pieces after 30 minutes, and then again after 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Chive Rice

1 cup long grain white rice (or basmati or jasmine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Minced fresh chives

Prepare white long grain rice (basmati works great as well) according to package directions, or in a rice steamer. Once it is done, let it sit for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly then pour into a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with minced fresh chives, gently stir, then drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with chives again, and gently stir. Season with salt to taste.

Arugula Pecan Salad

2-3 cups fresh arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Arugula is naturally peppery, so it doesn’t need much as far as dressing goes. I drizzled mine with a little bit of olive oil, gave it a couple squeezes of a fresh lemon, then sprinkled it with chopped pecans.

Lime and Cumin Spiced Triggerfish

Lightly brush each fillet with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and cumin. I used about a ¼ teaspoon per fillet. Spritz with Pam nonstick spray and grill 2-3 minutes each side until done. Remove from grill and squeeze a lime wedge over each fillet.

DF Green Chile Mashed Potatoes

1 bag Ore Ida Steam n’ Mash Russet Potatoes (or regular, fresh russets peeled, cubed, and boiled)
1 small can of diced green chilies, drained
1 5 oz container of So Delicious Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative (get plain, not vanilla!)
1-2 Tablespoons almond milk (or coconut milk works fine)

img_0937Cook the potatoes according to package instructions (or cook fresh potatoes as you normally would for mashed potatoes). Once cooked, empty into a large bowl and mash. Add in the yogurt alternative and mash until smooth. Fold in the green chilies and season with a little salt. If the potatoes seem too dry, add almond milk and stir until you reach a desired consistency.

 

Cilantro Summer Squash Hash

2 yellow summer squash, diced
1 medium or 2 small zucchinis, diced
¼ cup sweet yellow onion, diced
½ a red pepper, diced
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
Sea salt, pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly minced cilantro

img_0973Dice all of your veggies and mix together in a large mixing bowl, seasoning with garlic, salt, and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet on high heat, careful that it doesn’t start to smoke. Add the diced veggies to the pan, tossing to coat in the oil, then sauté them over medium high heat until they start to brown and crisp up.

 

I’m not sure how we’ll prepare the next batch we take out of the freezer, but it will be something a little different! We’re thinking of doing a gluten-free coating and pan frying them. If it goes well, I’ll post the recipe!

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