Thursday, March 28, 2019

Fish Creole

Firm white fish and shrimp, lightly seasoned and pan seared, and finished in a tomato based Creole sauce.
Firm white fish and shrimp, lightly seasoned and pan seared, and finished in a tomato based Creole sauce.

Fish Creole

We are very blessed here on the Gulf Coast to have access to a wide variety of fresh fish, that frankly most of us grew up practically weaned on - flounder, speckled trout, grouper, snapper, redfish, mullet, and of course, let's not forget Mississippi farmed catfish. Yep, we're pretty spoiled and fish makes a regular appearance on the menu for us here. I love it pretty much any way that you can fix it really - grilled, smoked, blackened, broiled - it's all good, though fried and baked are the two most common ways that many of us prepare it.

Lightly breaded and shallow pan fried is far less messy than deep frying, which is outstanding, but can leave that fried aroma in the atmosphere for what seems like forever. I tend to pan fry more often because of that, but when I do a fairly big fish fry, it's deep fry all the way. I just take the fryer outside!

A good sauce is another way you can totally transform a nicely seasoned and pan seared piece of fish, and a Creole sauce is a common one for a lot of different proteins here in the Deep South. From good old spaghetti, to meatballs, meatloaf, coubion and basic sauces, I use it a lot, so I tend to put some up in the freezer when summer tomatoes are in. It's perfect for fish.

Any good, firm, mild tasting fish would be great in a Fish Creole, but always use a quality, American wild-caught or responsibly farmed source of fish. Good choices would include halibut, haddock,  redfish, snapper, catfish, grouper, trout, cod or tilapia.

Here's how to make it.

Peel and devein shrimp if needed. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high. Lightly season shrimp and fish with salt, pepper, Old Bay and Creole or Cajun seasoning; set aside. Add shrimp to skillet and stir fry just until lightly pink, slightly undercooked. Remove and set aside. Add another 1/2 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet and add fish, searing on both sides until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side; remove and set aside with the shrimp. Heat remaining oil and add vegetables, cooking until tender, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Sprinkle in flour, cook and stir for 1 minute. Add stock, tomatoes, capers (if using), parsley, herb seasoning and bay leaf. Squeeze in the juice from one lemon wedge, bring to a boil. Add the fish, top with the shrimp, spoon some of the pan sauce over the top of the fish, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until fish is cooked though and opaque in the center. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings.

Add hot sauce or dried pepper flakes and serve with hot rice with lemon wedges and a side salad or green vegetable.

My plate, served with a side of skillet asparagus and some of the Creole sauce spooned over the rice.
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Posted by on March 28, 2019

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