Florida Fish of the Week

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Jim Stewart
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Florida Fish of the Week

#1 Post by Jim Stewart » January 5th, 2019, 4:09 pm

We are spending the winter months in Ft Myers, the city of palms and grouper sandwiches. There is a fishmonger shack/stand down the street. After talking about how we should get more fresh fish into our eating, we stopped by and came back with a thick filet of Tripletail. Unfamiliar with the fish, but looked it up: the fish is not “pretty”; it can get quite large - up to 40 inches and 40 lbs. ; the taste is described as similar to grouper or snapper.
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I prepared the fish by slightly modifying a recipe from a video that I found online that pan roasted it and served with a lemon butter sauce. I Lowry-seasoned the filet, coated both sides in Lowry-seasoned flour, pan seared one side in olive oil and butter, flipped and finished in a 350 Fahrenheit oven for about 14-15 minutes (it was a THICK filet!). I simplified the lemon butter sauce to have less butter and seasoned with salt and pepper.
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The fish was served with a spinach salad, and a side of locally made mild salsa. I pulled a white CDR Villages ‘Laudun’ from the chilled bottles that were in the refrigerator door. Not a firm fish, not like a cod or halibut, but delicious eating. It did remind me of grouper. The wine was also very nice: dry, aromatic, softly flavorful. A good companion. Simple pleasures.
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David K o l i n
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#2 Post by David K o l i n » January 5th, 2019, 5:15 pm

Thanks, Jim. I think we all have a duty to eat sustainable off-menu fish. They’re hard to find here in Chicago
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#3 Post by JesseC » January 5th, 2019, 5:20 pm

Very nice, did they have a bunch of different lesser-known fish available?
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Anton D
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#4 Post by Anton D » January 5th, 2019, 5:32 pm

That was awesome! I look forward to the rest of your winter!!!
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#5 Post by Brandon R » January 7th, 2019, 9:28 am

Very cool idea - purposefully trying new fish. I'm looking forward to following this.
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#6 Post by Paul Jaouen » January 7th, 2019, 11:18 am

The only time I've had that fish is at a restaurant in your neck of the woods. It was delicious. I would definitely buy it if I could find it.
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#7 Post by Jim Friedman » January 7th, 2019, 11:35 am

I have had that fish in Aruba a few times as a special of the day. It's very good.

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#8 Post by Mike Davila » January 7th, 2019, 3:29 pm

Triple tail is good, your preparation looks delicious.
If they have it you may want to try the lion fish.
Not only is it tasty but consuming it is a great way to help control it, as it is an invasive predator fish.

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#9 Post by George Hejna » January 7th, 2019, 3:49 pm

Please eat as much lion fish as possible...

TIA,

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#10 Post by David K o l i n » January 7th, 2019, 3:56 pm

George Hejna wrote:
January 7th, 2019, 3:49 pm
Please eat as much lion fish as possible...

TIA,

George
And Asian carp
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” T. Roosevelt

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#11 Post by Jim Stewart » January 12th, 2019, 3:56 pm

This week’s chalk board at the fish shack was headed by Florida Keys shrimp and black grouper, but we opted for the yellowtail snapper listed third. This is a fish that I have actually caught in undersized versions fishing from the shore on Sanibel, but never have eaten. There are several versions of “snappers” down here. The yellowtail can get up to about 30 inches and several pounds or so. It is described as good to excellent eating.
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The flesh of the yellowtail snapper seemed a little coarser grained than last week’s tripletail, but still nice looking filets. I chose a simple preparation, since dinner was going to compete with NFL playoff watching. I found a recipe for crumb coated red snapper online and slightly modified it with the yellowtail. The filet was coated in a mixture of bread crumbs and parmesan. I did an egg wash before coating and also put some Lawry's salt in the coating mixture. Pan fried the coated filet in a little olive oil on medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side.
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The fish was served with a baked potatoes and onions dish and peas. I chose the chilled NY Riesling from the refrigerator door. (2017 HJ Wiemer Dry Riesling which was recommended by several posters in a recent thread “Favorite Riesling from USA”.)
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I had no grated parmesan and decided to substitute some “finely shredded”. Probably not a good move, as the heavier filet stuck to the pan and lost most of the coating. The smaller filet fared well. Tasty simple fresh fish, but not up to the tripletail last week but that was prepared differently and served with a lemon butter sauce. Not the same quality preparation. (Hey, I am watching the NFL Playoffs!).
The Riesling was nice: almost a slippery mouth-feel, oily lemon and other fruit/herbs, light and dancing, dry, enjoyable to drink with the meal and alone, plus my wife’s approval = a keeper. We ate well tonight!
Last edited by Jim Stewart on January 12th, 2019, 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#12 Post by David K o l i n » January 12th, 2019, 4:09 pm

Love that fish
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” T. Roosevelt

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#13 Post by George Hejna » January 13th, 2019, 7:01 am

Caught a big beautiful yellow tail in Belize. Brought it back to the resort and the chef prepared it multiple ways. It was really great.

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#14 Post by John O' » January 13th, 2019, 9:47 am

Had blackened sheepshead fish at a joint just north of Daytona last week. Tasty, but look at those choppers.

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#15 Post by Jim Stewart » January 13th, 2019, 10:02 am

George Hejna wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 7:01 am
Caught a big beautiful yellow tail in Belize. Brought it back to the resort and the chef prepared it multiple ways. It was really great.

George
George, even the undersized yellowtail that I have caught on light tackle will take runs that make the drag scream. Catching a large one must have been very cool! -Jim

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#16 Post by Jim Stewart » January 13th, 2019, 10:07 am

John O' wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 9:47 am
Had blackened sheepshead fish at a joint just north of Daytona last week. Tasty, but look at those choppers.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ru ... ic-crisis/
John, agreed the top front teeth are eerily human-like. We caught a few last week in the backwaters and I told my fishing partner that the bottom teeth reminded me of corn on the cob. -Jim

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#17 Post by Mark Mason » January 16th, 2019, 2:18 pm

Great thread!
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#18 Post by J a y H a c k » January 17th, 2019, 1:52 pm

I don;t know if Yellow Tail is considered sustainable, but as a scuba diver I can say that I have seen zillions of them and often in large schools. I'm a little more concerned about grouper because they seem to have been much more plentiful when I started diving 30 years ago.
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#19 Post by Jim Stewart » January 19th, 2019, 4:45 pm

When I visited my neighborhood fishmonger(ess) this week, there were no other customers waiting, and I did my best “friendly” by asking her how she was doing. . . . . . Ten minutes later we got around to talking about possibilities for this week’s fish. I settled on a shellfish - Key West Pink Shrimp, aka “Pinks”. They are named such because they are already pink-ish in the raw state, unlike a lot of shrimp that start white-ish and turn pink with cooking.
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I was thinking lemon and garlic, maybe scampi, so I asked for a pound of Medium. They only had Jumbo and Xtra-Jumbo left, so Jumbo it was.
Because of the size of these shrimp, and for a couple of additional reasons, I thought of preparing baked stuffed shrimp instead. It was a dish that my wife would always order when we first started dating and I took her to the only restaurant I knew (age 21). Also, I kind of half-assed my fish of the week preparation last week while trying to watch the NFL playoffs, so I felt I owed her (and myself) a better effort this week. However, after perusing a few baked stuff shrimp recipes online, I slipped back into a “scampi state of mind”.
I pieced together a few slightly different online recipes for lemon-garlic shrimp or shrimp scampi, rolled up the sleeves of my t-shirt, and got down to preparation. I shelled and de-veined the shrimp and marinated them in a mixture of olive oil, salt and McCormack’s “Perfect Pinch” garlic and herbs seasoning and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.
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The shrimp were first par-cooked in olive oil, set aside, and then finished in a sauce made from the leftover olive oil, crushed garlic, fresh lemon juice, white wine and unsalted butter.
shrimp sauce.jpg
shrimp finished.jpg
Served over angel hair pasta with a toasted ciabatta roll on the side to soak up the sauce.
shrimp meal.jpg
I opened a Kirkland Signature 2016 Chablis that we picked up at Costco this week to keep me company while prepping and cooking and to serve with our meal. I like this wine very much; it is my style of Chardonnay, lemony crisp, flavorful, no detectable oak (to me), almost like a Chardonnay-Sancerre if that makes sense to anyone. Very enjoyable on its own and with the scampi!
The shrimp were the best shrimp I have ever had in my life and my wife agreed: fresh sweet succulence, flavored with garlic, lemon, butter and seasoning, perfectly cooked, DELICIOUS!
This was some effort for me to pull this together, but totally worth it . . . UNTIL my wife suggested strongly (and without a trace of a smile) that it wasn’t “fair” if I did not also do cleanup. Sometimes, just when you think you have done something pretty good . . . you haven’t. Such is (partnered) life sometimes!

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#20 Post by AlexS » January 19th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Oh man, love this thread...I usually spend a decent amount of time fishing in FL during my annual trip on the gulf side and love all the seafood options -- Jim, those shrimp look delicious, as does everything else!

(btw, nice last name! :) )
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#21 Post by David K o l i n » January 19th, 2019, 6:34 pm

LOVE Key West pinks
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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#22 Post by Jim Stewart » January 20th, 2019, 1:55 pm

AlexS wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 4:58 pm
Oh man, love this thread...I usually spend a decent amount of time fishing in FL during my annual trip on the gulf side and love all the seafood options -- Jim, those shrimp look delicious, as does everything else!

(btw, nice last name! :) )
Glad you enjoy the thread, Alex. "Alexander" is a recurring first name in my own Stewart family tree. My grandad "Pop" Donald Stewart was one of several brothers who left home in PEI in the 1920's and 30's to look for work and adventure in New England, the Midwest, and western Canada! [cheers.gif] to the Stewarts!

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Re: Florida Fish of the Week

#23 Post by Jim Stewart » February 1st, 2019, 4:45 pm

This week I finally gave in. Every week, the fishmonger’s chalkboard has been headed by Black Grouper. It is very popular and is almost the “destination” fish to eat in this area. Although I am generally an independent thinker and fish chooser and have been deliberately avoiding this obvious choice, I brought home some Black Grouper.
The Black Grouper is one of the two types of grouper often on offer here in SW FL, the other being the Red Grouper. From what I read, the black may be more a fish of the deep cold waters while the red is found in shallower waters. There is some debate about which is the better tasting, but both are considered very tasty with firm flesh and relatively mild, almost sweet, flavor.
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Thinking about how to prepare it, “blackened” was the first idea to surface. Maybe suggested by the name of the fish itself, or perhaps by memories of having had a “blackened” grouper sandwich or seen it offered in that form. Blackened it will be - Blackened Black Grouper. I checked out a few online preparations and decided to go with the pan roasting method that I used for the Tripletail when I kicked this adventure off several weeks back. The Cajun (or Creole) blend of spices is the key component in the blackening process; rather than mix my own, I picked up some McCormick’s “Perfect Pinch” Cajun seasoning which has all the requisite ingredients.
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The pan roasting method involves a quick stove top searing in the pan, followed by finishing the cooking in the oven. Started with a real pretty thickish filet of just under one pound for the two of us. Coated “judiciously” on both sides of the filet with the Perfect Pinch Cajun, rubbing it into the flesh. My wife is a fan of the spice and upfront heat, while I am a bit more restrained when it comes to spicy hot. I made an uneducated guess of a compromise amount of seasoning that I hoped would please the both of us. Got the pan hot, put in some olive oil and when it was just starting to smoke, gently dropped in the filet and got a nice sear in a minute or two. Flipped it, waited for a sear to start on the other side, then put the pan in a pre-heated 375 F oven for finishing. Took about 10 to 12 minutes to cook in the oven.
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The wine choice was made unnecessarily complicated by a last minute OCD flare up. I had decided on a slighty sweet Oregon Riesling, thinking the slight sweetness might play off the spicy blackenedness and the acid and fruit would play nicely with the mild sweetness of the fish itself. BUT, I had second thoughts, did a little research possible pairing, got torn between three types of whites and a couple of reds, before returning to a welcome calm place and opening the 2017 A to Z Riesling.
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We served the fish with two types of lemon: the usual and a Meyer lemon from one of our neighbors. (“I’m taking it up a notch, Emil!”)
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The fish itself was delicious with surprising large flakes which reminded me of haddock as did the taste. (FYI That’s a compliment!)
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My wife and I agreed that the Meyer lemon was the better choice on the fish. Not as sharply citric, and with some other pleasant flavors that complemented the blackened grouper. The wine was good but only an OK match for this dish(a little too sweet, the Riesling flavors worked well though). Next time I would like to try a different wine, perhaps a Gruner. I am also thinking that Goodfellow Whistling Ridge Blanc might be a very nice companion.
We are getting used to this!

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