Notes from the Island Fishmonger

5 Summer seafood options and their sidekicks

   Florida is famous for its citrus and rightly so, but many other fruits and vegetables grow in the summertime. Lemon, garlic, avocado, carrot, cabbage and corn on the cob are some summertime favorites. Listed below are some delicious fresh and healthy summer fish and vegetable combinations you can make at home.

SNAPPER & ASPARAGUS TOPPED WITH CITRUS SAUCE

   There are 17 types of Snapper harvested off of Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. American Red Snapper, Mangroves and Yellowtail Snappers are the most common Snappers found in Florida fish markets during the summertime. Red Snappers are best known and are easily distinguished by their rosy red skin and bright eyes. 

   Yellowtails are a local favorite from here to Key West and have a distinguishing yellow stripe running from nose to tail and are found in warm waters all summer long. 

   All of these are available at your Big Water Fish Market. 

   My Snapper is usually served with steamed asparagus and a simple citrus sauce. Lightly dust the Snapper with salt and pepper (or even better is to use Deli Dust which is salt, pepper, onion & garlic and available only at Big Water Fish Market). Cook Snapper filets in a cast iron skillet for around 3 minutes on each side. Steam or boil asparagus for 3 minutes leaving it slightly crisp. Then, in a small pot, simply combine 1 cup orange juice and 2 tablespoons low -sodium soy sauce. Cook over medium heat to reduce by half. Reduce heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Plate your fish and asparagus then pour your citrus sauce on top. Squeeze a lemon and enjoy!

GROUPER W/SPINACH & MASHED POTATOES 

Grouper (a Florida favorite) served with homemade garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach is my favorite combination. Surprisingly, mashed potatoes are not just for meat but pair extremely well with fish and sautéed spinach with butter and add Deli Dust which is the icing on the cake. Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable and contains Vitamin A, C, B6, B9, E, Iron and Calcium. Spinach combined with a high protein, low calorie fish like Grouper (of course we get our carbs from the almighty butter potatoes) and you have a nutritious and delicious plate. This is also a great combination to serve with a thick cut whitefish like Halibut or Chilean Sea Bass.

BLACKENED MAHI-MAHI WITH TOMATO, BLACKBEAN & CORN SALSA

   Swordfish and Amberjack are both bold fish that also like to be blackened. To blacken a piece of fish you simply oil and season your fish with a blackening spice (Siesta Sand blackening seasoning available only at Big Water Fish Market) and cook on high heat on a grill or cast-iron skillet. 

   Summertime is the perfect time for homemade salsas that can consist of many main summer ingredients such as pineapple, mango, or a traditional tomato Pico de Gallo. My summer favorite is a fresh cherry tomato-based salsa with corn, pickled jalapenos, onion, black beans, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, Deli Dust and then just toss in a good unfiltered olive oil. I can’t give you an exact recipe because this one comes out differently every time BUT IT’S ALWAYS GOOD! 

SCALLOPS & BACON 

   It’s like peanut butter and jelly, man.Whodoesn’t like bacon wrapped Scallops??? The key is to use large or jumbo size Scallops and par cook the bacon in the oven before youwrap the Scallop and put on the grill. Top with a spicy mayo (mayo, tabasco, Deli Dust and lemon juice) and then serve with a salad and a beer.

SALMON & BROCCOLI 

   Even though imported, itis Alaskan WildSalmon season. No fish market is complete without fresh Salmon in the case as this is one of the heathiest foods on the planet. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and combined with the nutrient star of the vibrantgreen vegetables, broccoli, this is one healthy and delicious combination. Broccoli is available all year long and is a nutrition powerhouseloaded with vitamin A, C, and Iron. This plate is one that superheroes eat.

HOGFISH WITH MARINATED CABBAGE

   Hogfish is a delicate mild white fish and only indigenous in this area. I pan cook my Hogfish in butter for approximately 3 minutes per side and plate with lemon capers and thyme. Serve with a marinated cabbage that can be done easily by purchasing a slaw mix. Marinate the slaw mix with Deli Dust, oil, white vinegar, and celery seed then chill. This can be turned into slaw by adding mayo or slaw dressing. Cold cabbage served with hot fish is a refreshing sunset dish.

Live well….Eat Fish!

Scott Dolan