Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

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Jim Stewart
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Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#1 Post by Jim Stewart » January 16th, 2020, 4:06 pm

During last year’s winter stay in Florida, I kept myself engaged by posting periodically in a thread that I titled “Florida Fish of the Week”, where I detailed my (not quite) weekly preparation and wine pairing of a FL fish. I recently saw Everglades frog legs offered at a local fish store and grabbed a pound. In this post, I am taking a nostalgic revisit to that thread and to other things . . .

My first taste of frog legs was as “Cuisses de Grenouilles” circa 1972 at the Du Barry restaurant on Newbury Street in Boston. Jacqueline and I had been seeing each other for a several months, and my dad invited us to meet him in Boston for lunch. I remember that the dish was a little scary, but surprisingly delicious. My dad ordered a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé to drink with the meal. My first French food and my first “serious” wine (i.e. not Ripple, Boonsfarm, Mateus, etc.). Seemed very sophisticated to me at the time, something maybe beyond my reach, but also worthwhile aspiring towards. How time flies and things change: what once was a staple on French restaurant menus seems to have almost disappeared; Pouilly-Fuissé doesn’t seem to get much attention these days; and that man-child at the French restaurant in 1972 is now an old man spending the winter in FL, thinking about how to prepare a pound of frog legs from the Everglades, and what would be a good wine to pair with it.

For a recipe, I was “fishing” around for French preparations at first, but then decided to go new world Southern USA – after all this is Florida and these legs are from Everglades frogs. Found a very simple recipe. Marinate the frog legs in milk for an hour or so, salt and pepper, coat in flour mixture, cook in clarified butter, and serve with lemon. I liked the idea of the milk soak and the buttery cooking. I also added some Old Bay to the flour for some additional seasoning. To keep the FL theme going, we served it with Meyer lemon!

For a wine, my first thought was to go with a 2018 Pépière Muscadet. Less piercingly acidic than in some other years, but my thinking was that there would still be ample acid to cut the buttery taste and meet the lemon, with some riper fruit coming along also. It was maybe a good thought, but I spotted a 2017 Drouhin Pouilly-Fuissé and that seemed a better thought.

The prep went smoothly until the coated frog legs hit the butter in the pan. Too many legs for the pan and a lot of the coating fell off in the crowd. Maybe should have used two pans? The flavor of the legs cooked this way was a bit mild, and I had second thoughts about not going “a la Provencale”. Tasty, but not ‘Wow’.
frog raw legs.jpg
frog floured.jpg
frog cooking.jpg
frog wine.jpg
frog dinner.jpg

I thought that the 2017 Drouhin Pouilly-Fuissé was a good wine. But I mentally compared it to 2017 Fevre Chablis and found it less energetic, more fruity, rounder and a little tame (like the dish). Pleasant wine, but nothing remarkable and no ‘Wow’ here either.

Well . . . life is not often ‘Wow’, and we have learned to be grateful for the pleasant and the good along the way.

Tempus fugit!

Carpe diem!

Cheers!
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A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing

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Craig G
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#2 Post by Craig G » January 16th, 2020, 5:55 pm

9AED74FA-189A-4BC7-8FC7-2B4DD30C0F7E.jpeg
“You need to look down to the bottom shelf where they keep the Fighting Cock” — Corey N.

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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#3 Post by Chuck Miller » January 16th, 2020, 9:37 pm

Craig G wrote:
January 16th, 2020, 5:55 pm
9AED74FA-189A-4BC7-8FC7-2B4DD30C0F7E.jpeg
LOL my friggin’ ass off! Better than Gary Larson’s boneless chicken ranch.
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#4 Post by julianseersmartin » January 17th, 2020, 9:21 am

Pan definitely too crowded there, I would do no more than 1/2 of that volume, maybe 1/3.

Thanks for the post though, not every day you get to read about someone cooking frog's legs!

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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#5 Post by Victor Hong » January 17th, 2020, 10:30 am

Craig G wrote:
January 16th, 2020, 5:55 pm
9AED74FA-189A-4BC7-8FC7-2B4DD30C0F7E.jpeg
Worse yet, the victims are predominantly French speaking. Talk about ethnic profiling!
WineHunter.

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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#6 Post by F.Daner » January 19th, 2020, 8:19 am

Our Florida fish this week will be Yellowtail Snapper and Gulf Shrimp made with Issac Toups Couvillion recipe. My wife does a great job with it.

https://www.starchefs.com/cook/savory/i ... couvillion
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#7 Post by Keith Ferguson » January 31st, 2020, 9:35 am

20191005_235624_1570335944390.jpeg
My six year old and I grabbed all these little guys out in the Everglades a little while ago. We did lightly fry some of them, but they definitely came out better on the grill.

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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#8 Post by Jim Stewart » January 31st, 2020, 1:11 pm

Keith Ferguson wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 9:35 am
20191005_235624_1570335944390.jpeg

My six year old and I grabbed all these little guys out in the Everglades a little while ago. We did lightly fry some of them, but they definitely came out better on the grill.
Wow ! That's a bunch of frogs, Keith. Do you catch them with a hand net?
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#9 Post by Andrew Demaree » January 31st, 2020, 11:06 pm

Loved the whole post, Jim, including the nostalgia. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#10 Post by Lonnie F. » February 1st, 2020, 5:40 am

F.Daner wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 8:19 am
Our Florida fish this week will be Yellowtail Snapper and Gulf Shrimp made with Issac Toups Couvillion recipe. My wife does a great job with it.

https://www.starchefs.com/cook/savory/i ... couvillion
Oh my,
The couvillion sounds awesome.
Lonnie Fuller

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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#11 Post by Keith Ferguson » February 1st, 2020, 1:51 pm

Jim Stewart wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 1:11 pm
Keith Ferguson wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 9:35 am
20191005_235624_1570335944390.jpeg

My six year old and I grabbed all these little guys out in the Everglades a little while ago. We did lightly fry some of them, but they definitely came out better on the grill.
Wow ! That's a bunch of frogs, Keith. Do you catch them with a hand net?
We got them from an airboat using a gig. At night, their eyes glow like little red diamonds similar to a gator but smaller.

We had a guide with us, and I don't know if I have ever seen my son smile and laugh so much. His accuracy was little off in the beginning, but by the end we we were getting more than we were missing.

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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#12 Post by Steve Manzi DBA » February 2nd, 2020, 7:28 am

Hope there are no alligators with tiny eyes there.
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#13 Post by Scott Brunson » February 16th, 2020, 12:10 pm

On Friday our fish monger had beautiful Pumpkin Swordfish, Mangrove Snapper, and Golden Tile (plus lots of others).
But the Pompano really stood out.
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#14 Post by Jim Stewart » February 16th, 2020, 2:49 pm

Scott Brunson wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 12:10 pm
On Friday our fish monger had beautiful Pumpkin Swordfish, Mangrove Snapper, and Golden Tile (plus lots of others).
But the Pompano really stood out.
Pompano is delicious eating. They should soon be showing up and biting here on SW Florida coastal shores. Water temperature just has to warm a tiny bit more.
[cheers.gif]
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#15 Post by Scott Brunson » February 17th, 2020, 3:12 am

Jim Stewart wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 2:49 pm
Scott Brunson wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 12:10 pm
On Friday our fish monger had beautiful Pumpkin Swordfish, Mangrove Snapper, and Golden Tile (plus lots of others).
But the Pompano really stood out.
Pompano is delicious eating. They should soon be showing up and biting here on SW Florida coastal shores. Water temperature just has to warm a tiny bit more.
[cheers.gif]
I think we are there with water temp[cheers.gif]
Mine was caught that morning.
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#16 Post by Jim Stewart » February 21st, 2020, 4:13 pm

I didn’t intend to resurrect this thread, but here I am posting again about a fish meal and wine pairing . . .
Taking a bike ride on this cool day, I passed the fish monger trailer and impulsively rearranged my planned circular route to an out and back in order to stop by on my way home. I narrowed the choice to Hogfish or our favorite Tripletail. Went with the Tripletail and will revisit soon for the Hogfish.
Prepared the fish by pan roasting after a stove top “sear” of one side served with a lemon butter sauce. Opened a 2016 Boulay Chavignol (depuis 1380!) which was just about a wonderful pairing. I also put into practice my previous observation that many better white wines are best served not right from the fridge. Not a fruity Sancerre by any means, but the soft fruit reveals itself and the wine becomes more pleasantly multidimensional to me. At very cold temperatures the acid and mineral components dominate (which is not necessarily a bad thing depending on what you are looking for).
fish sear.jpg
with carrots.jpg
For dessert we had semi-homemade Meyer lemon squares with a glass of 2017 Carmes de Rieussec. Again, a very nice pairing with the wine nicely balanced and light with fruity sweetness and a bit of acid.
dessert.jpg

Simple and delicious pleasures!

Enjoy ‘em when you get ‘em.
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#17 Post by David H. » February 23rd, 2020, 8:22 pm

Scott Brunson wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 12:10 pm
On Friday our fish monger had beautiful Pumpkin Swordfish, Mangrove Snapper, and Golden Tile (plus lots of others).
But the Pompano really stood out.
Capt. Clay?
H @ y c º c k

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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#18 Post by Scott Brunson » February 24th, 2020, 3:00 am

David H. wrote:
February 23rd, 2020, 8:22 pm
Scott Brunson wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 12:10 pm
On Friday our fish monger had beautiful Pumpkin Swordfish, Mangrove Snapper, and Golden Tile (plus lots of others).
But the Pompano really stood out.
Capt. Clay?
He's the guy!
Best fish dip in town too.
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Re: Florida “Fish” of the Week - Revisited

#19 Post by Jim Stewart » March 6th, 2020, 3:35 pm

Red Snapper Simply Prepared
Fresh fish simply prepared with a nice glass of wine is tough to beat. We wanted to try Hogfish today, but the fish monger was temporarily out of it. I opted for a slab filet of Red Snapper, which is also a new fish for us. Seasoned both sides of the filet with freshly ground salt and pepper, cooked in a thin layer of olive oil about three minutes each side at medium heat. Added a tablespoon of butter and squeezed half a lemon into the pan as the fish was finishing. Set aside the fish for a couple of minutes, plated it and then poured some of the olive oil/butter/lemon mixture on top. Served with a glass of 2018 Forge Cellars Dry Riesling. Nothing fancy here folks, but the fish was absolutely delicious. The wine was nice company for the fish and to my taste was nicely dry.

P.S. Scott, my fishmonger here in Fort Myers also sells an awesome homemade fish dip - smoked mahi-mahi !
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing

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