fish

Fish Dish: Chili-Lime Halibut

I was excited to find that my local market has started stocking Full Circle all natural, wild caught, US fish in its freezer section.  I live on the Gulf Coast and can get fresh Gulf seafood but these are not indigenous fishcicles.  So I have decided to share this culinary voyage with you.  I won’t be providing recipes per se but instructions on how I fixed each Fish Dish.

Fish Dish: chili-lime halibut with chipotle brown rice pilaf.

Chili-Lime Halibut on WannabeTVchef.comI seasoned the halibut steaks with salt, pepper and chili powder.  I seared them in an oiled medium high sauté pan for about four minutes on each side, basting with fresh squeezed lime juice after the turn.  Once done I removed them to a plate.

For the pilaf I added half a can of chipotle white corn (with some juice) to the sauté pan along with a can of green chilies making sure to scrape up the fond in the bottom of the pan.  I then added 4 ounces of pre-cooked brown rice and tossed it in the pan until heated through and well mixed.  I squeezed a little more lime juice over both the pilaf and the halibut before serving.

Fish Dish: Alaskan Hash

I was excited to find that my local market has started stocking Full Circle all natural, wild caught, US fish in its freezer section. I live on the Gulf Coast and can get fresh Gulf seafood but these are not indigenous fishcicles. So I have decided to share this culinary voyage with you. I won’t be providing recipes per se but instructions on how I fixed each Fish Dish.

Fish Dish: Alaskan Hash

Alaskan Hash

The folks in the Last Frontier have a culture and an attitude all their own.  They take traditional corned beef hash and substitute salmon for the brisket.  You can use your favorite hash brown recipe or follow mine.  This dish works for breakfast or dinner or lunch or after a midnight snack.

My first move was to season the fillet with salt and pepper.  On a small burner I placed a small sauce pan and filled it with about an inch of water.  I took a stainless steel ramekin and sprayed it with non-stick spray.  Inside the ramekin added an egg.  I then placed the ramekin into the simmering water to poach the egg.

On another burner I added a touch of olive oil to a medium-high pan and placed the salmon skin-side down.  A cooked it about 3 minutes on each side, medium-rare.  I moved the salmon to a side dish and added enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  To that I added about a 1/4 cup diced red onion.  A little salt and pepper and a toss or two and I was ready to add about 3/4 cup of shredded potatoes, enough to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/2? deep.  Season the hash with salt and pepper or seasoning salt (as well as the egg) and let cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn and let the other side brown.

Plate the hash browns and place the salmon back in the pan just to reheat, probably less than a minute, then onto the plate.  I topped the salmon with the poached egg and cracked the yolk as a sauce for the dish.

Fish Dish: Coconut Curry Ahi Over Udon

I was excited to find that my local market has started stocking Full Circle all natural, wild caught, US fish in its freezer section.  I live on the Gulf Coast and can get fresh Gulf seafood but these are not indigenous fishcicles.  So I have decided to share this culinary voyage with you.  I won’t be providing recipes per se but instructions on how I fixed each Fish Dish.

Fish Dish: Coconut Curry Ahi Tuna Over Udon

Ahi Tuna

I had my first Thai dish about 2 years ago but it has quickly become my favorite Asian cuisine.  I am in love with the sweet/hot contrast especially in the red curry coconut sauce, although I do love all of the curries.  Thai generally comes in three temperatures: hot, hotter, and holy s%@#!  I was afraid that the powerful flavor of the curry would overwhelm a more delicate fish so I chose the Ahi tuna for this recipe.

I brought 2 quarts of water to a boil and seasoned it with salt and a couple of small pieces of fresh ginger.  In the water I boiled my Udon noodles until done.  I set the Udon to the side and finely diced the ginger.  My next task was to saute onions, chilies, carrots and the ginger in a little olive oil simply seasoned with salt and pepper.  I removed the veggies and in the remaining oil I added my tuna.  I cooked the tuna just long enough to brown the side (about 2 minutes) then I turned it over.  I then added enough curry-coconut sauce to come half-way up the filet, reduced the heat and let simmer, covered, about 10 minutes.  In essence I poached the tuna in curry sauce.

The curry sauce is frighteningly easy to make.  First add a few tablespoons of canola oil to a medium-hot pan.  Next add a few tablespoons of red curry paste (available at that Asian market you’ve been wanting to go into but haven’t had a reason to yet.  You’re welcome).  Stir, heating through and then pour in a can of coconut milk.  Combine and simmer for a few minutes.  Jar and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.  NOTE: The more curry you use the hotter it will be.

Plating: Udon first, then tuna, pour the sauce over both, top with veggies and I garnished mine with almond slivers, and roughly chopped fresh basil and cilantro.  A squirt or two of freshly squeezed lime juice adds a little pop to the dish.

Fresh Fish: Pumpkinseed

The past few weeks I have taken to hiking the woods behind the house. About a half-mile deep I have found a creek roughly 15 feet across and 3 to 4 feet deep.  I have made it my halfway point.

Today I packed a light weight collapsible rod-n-reel called an ultralight into my backpack and on it was a small lure. When I got to the creek I first checked the trees for moccasins (they like to hang on limbs and drop onto their prey) and then I pulled out the ultralight. To my surprise I had several aggressive hits. The largest looked to be a descent size bream according to the brief flash I got as it shook my hook. As sometimes happens when fishing I hung the lure leaving me no choice but to cut the line.

I had no other artificial lures so I tied on a small hook, shot weight and a cork. Next to the creek was a leaf pile that had been building with each successive autumn creating a natural compost. I raked the leaves until I got to the rich soil beneath. I used my hunting knife to dig up the dirt and sure enough I spotted of few small wigglers (earthworms).  Before long one was impaled on the brass hook and the cork was drifting with the current.

It didn’t take long for the cork to submerge and start heading opposite the current.  I was treated to 10 to 15 seconds of fight before pulling my prey from the stream.

The Pumpkinseed was about three and a half inches in length with a fat belly, not quite big enough to eat, but close. As I removed the hook it pissed on me. Who could blame it, right? The memories of how I had learned to manipulate nature into food came rushing back only after the skills had done their job. Hopefully, I won’t ever need to use these talents but it is nice to know I can still put food on the table should civilization ever take a powder.

pumpkinseedThanks, dad.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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