Although my summer sojourn to the beach seems a long time ago, I have held on to some of the fish recipes I enjoyed while there.
Sure, we get plenty of top-quality seafood in the Philadelphia area, but there is something about buying fish from a market adjacent to where the boats come in that just makes it taste better.
Horseradish goes beautifully with fish. It shines in this recipe atop tilefish, which is local to the Jersey coast, but any firm, flaky white fish — such as cod, bass, haddock or halibut — would be a fine substitute.
¼ cup prepared horseradish
½ cup chopped parsley
Juice plus zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
Generous dusting fresh cracked pepper
½ cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tilefish filets
Heat your oven to 300 F.
Line a baking dish with parchment. Place the filets on the parchment and drizzle them with olive oil
Mix the horseradish, parsley, lemon juice and zest, garlic, egg, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
Top each filet with an equal amount of horseradish mixture, then an equal amount of panko. Press lightly to make sure the toppings adhere.
Roast the fish in the oven until the bread crumb crust is turning golden and the fish is cooked through, 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets. Serve immediately.
Flounder in Lemon-Caper Butter
This is a wonderful warm-weather recipe, because it involves minimal cooking — no scorching kitchen from this dinner, with the fish done in about 6 minutes. Unlike other summer recipes that rely on seasonal ingredients, however, this is timeless and will taste just as good in January. If flounder is not available, use another thin, mild fish such as sole or tilapia.
Serve this over rice or pasta, or with crusty bread to enjoy the delicious sauce.
2 flounder filets
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon capers with juice
Mix the lemon zest, capers with juice, wine and lemon juice in a small measuring cup. Set aside.
Season the filets with salt and pepper and lightly dust them with flour.
Heat a large skillet and melt the butter and oil. Add the filets, and cook 3 minutes.
Flip the fish carefully, and add the lemon mixture to the pan. Cook another 3 minutes until the fish is opaque throughout and flakes easily.
Serve immediately topped with sauce from the pan.
Pan-Fried Snapper with Pineapple Salsa
This is a really wonderful dish. It showcases pineapple in a unique way and is simple to make, but it has an air of sophistication and complexity of flavors.
Make the salsa ahead of time, so when it’s time for dinner, all you have to do is cook the fish.
If you don’t love pineapple, or don’t have any on hand, you can substitute mango, watermelon or peach. If snapper is not readily available, try fluke, tilapia, mahi mahi, grouper or striped bass.
1½ cups chopped pineapple
½ cup chopped cilantro
⅓ cup chopped red onion
⅓ cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Optional: ½ teaspoon or more finely minced hot chili pepper
4 snapper filets, skin removed
¼ cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil
Make the salsa: Mix all the ingredients and let them sit for at least 30 minutes (can be done a day ahead).
Season the filets with salt and pepper, and dust them lightly with flour.
Heat the butter and oil in a skillet. Place the filets in the hot skillet; cook about 2-3 minutes per side depending on thickness, until just cooked through. The fish should flake easily and be opaque throughout when done.
Remove the fish from the skillet, drain any excess oil on the paper towels, and serve immediately with the pineapple salsa.