VERMILION SNAPPER – Tips on Storing Fresh Fish

Most of the fish we eat is caught by my husband. When the freezer gets low, he goes fishing with his friends and replenishes our stock. He catches, cleans and fillets the fish. My job is to store and cook it. And Of Course we both enjoy eating it. ūüėč

On one of his fishing trips, he went way into the Gulf of Mexico and brought home a catch of Vermilion Snapper.

I was familiar with Red Snapper, but I had never heard of Vermilion Snapper before. I love the pink color of the fish. Its meat is milder and sweeter than the Red Snapper. It is very moist and melts in your mouth.

The Vermilion Snapper is smaller, and more slender than its Red cousin. Also, it has a forked tail instead of a flat tail. Another name for these fish is Beeliners, because they live in open waters, where they use their precision and speed to make a beeline to chase small fish as their prey. Unlike the Red Snapper, they are not bottom feeders.

Usually, my husband brings home a lot of fish. I cook some right away so we can have it at its freshest, and I freeze the rest for future meals. I am going to show you how to prepare the fish for proper storage in the freezer. I am also going to show you one of my Vermilion Snapper Recipes.

STORING THE FISH

Pat dry the fish fillets with a paper towel.
Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet covered with a silicone mat.
Place the fish fillets in the freezer for 10 minutes.
This will allow the fillets to freeze slightly, so that when you vacuum seal them in a bag, liquid will not leak out during the sealing process.
Portion out the fillets for future meals.
Write the date and name of the fish on a vacuum seal bag.
Place the fillets in the vacuum seal bag so that they lie flat.
Using a vacuum sealing machine on the gentle setting, seal the bags closed.

Sealing and storing the fish properly will keep the fillets fresh for up to a year. Since I am a pescatarian, I love having a freezer full of fresh fish on hand. I am so lucky to have a husband who lovingly catches fish for me.ūüėä

COOKING THE FISH

Ingredients:

  • 2 Vermilion Snapper fillets
  • 1 Tbsp grape seed oil
  • 2 pats of butter
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp Kasoori Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • wedge of lemon to squeeze on top

Prep:

  • Crush the dried Fenugreek leaves between the palms of your hand to release their oils and aroma. Place the resulting powder in a glass dish that is big enough to fit the fish fillets.
  • Add the rest of the spices, along with the salt and pepper to make a dry rub.
  • Place the fillets in the glass dish, and coat both sides with the dry rub.
  • Drizzle on the grape seed oil and rub it gently into the fish.

I usually cover the let the seasoned fish fillets with plastic wrap, and let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before pan frying them. This allows the spices to infuse into the fish.

Pan Frying:

  • Place a non-stick pan on medium heat
  • Add the butter. Let it melt and turn slightly brown. Browning the butter brings out a nutty flavor.
  • Add the fish fillets pretty, presentation side down.
  • Pan fry until a crust forms. About 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Flip the fillets. Let cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and squeeze lemon on top.

Cover with a lid and let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes. While the fish is resting plate your side dish. I decided to serve the pan fried Vermilion Snapper with Curried Cabbage-Punjabi Style. I plated the cabbage on the bottom and placed the fish on top.

I haven’t added any starch so that I can stick with my Ketogenic life style. You can serve it with whatever side dishes you like best.

I wrote this post to showcase the fresh fish my husband lovingly catches for me. Fresh caught fish is absolutely the best.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. You can use it with any white fish. If you make it, please let me know how it turns out. I always love hearing from you!!!

Bye for now ūüĖźūüíē

Kabocha Launji

This is a winter pumpkin dish my grandmother used to make.  It was one of my favorites.  She used to use a small deep orange pumpkin, I am using a Japanese pumpkin, called Kabocha squash, because that is what I have on hand.  I also like Kabocha because it has a creamy, sweet flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

Launji Ingredients

  • 1 medium Kabocha squash
  • 3 Tbsp of ghee ( if you want to keep it vegan use grape seed oil instead)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Starting at the 6 O’ Clock position, and then going counter clockwise the spices are as follows:

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 20 pods of green cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder

PREP:

Launji Prep

  • Chop the Kobocha into large pieces.¬† Keep the skin on if the squash you are using has an edible skin.¬† There are lots of nutrients and fiber in the skin.
  • Using a spice grinder, grind the 20 cardamom pods into a fine powder.¬† The cardamom powder is shown in the small bowl on the lower right.
  • Toast the cumin seeds.¬† Let them cool to room temp. and grind into a fine powder.¬† The toasted cumin powder is shown in the small bowl on the lower left.

COOK:

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  • Coat a large stainless steel skillet with grape seed oil or ghee.¬† Place on medium heat and get the oil hot.
  • Add fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chili flakes.¬† Toast until seeds are slightly brown and you can smell their fragrant aroma.¬† Watch the seeds closely and stir frequently so the seeds don’t burn.
  • As soon as the seeds are browned, add the Kabocha.¬† Toss together and cook until the Kabocha is browned on the edges.¬† This should take about 7 minutes.

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  • Once the Kabocha is browned add, the toasted cumin powder, cayenne powder and 1/2 of the cardamom powder.¬† Reserve the other 1/2 of the cardamom powder for later in the recipe.Launji Cook 7
  • ¬†Toss together and let the spices toast for about 2 minutes
  • Add the cinnamon powder and the remaining cardamom powder

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  • Toss together and let cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper to taste.¬† Toss together.¬† Cover with the lid.¬† Turn the flame to low.¬† Cook until squash is tender.

Traditionally, this dish is served with plain home made yogurt, lentil soup and rotis.  You can buy the yogurt or make your own using My Mom’s Yogurt recipe.  The lentil soup is called dal, I posted my Autumn Dal (split mung beans with kale)  last year.

Today I served it with spicy pan-fried Black Drum that my hubby brought home 2 days ago.Launji with Black Drum

Here is a photo of his catch and how I prepared it.

The Black Drum is the large fish on the far right.  The 4 little fish are trout.  My hubby fileted the fish and I coated the filets with my Indian Spice Mix.

I then pan fried the filets and then de-glazed the pan with our local Texas, Messina Hof Gewurztraminer. I made a pan sauce by adding a pat of butter.  Gewurztraminer pairs well with spicy Indian food.

RECIPE TIP:  Use the wine you are going to drink to make the pan sauce.  This way the dish will match your wine.Launji with Black Drum and Wine

I am so lucky to have a hubby who catches fish for me.  I rarely get a Black Drum catch, so I was so glad to have it.

Hope you like this recipe.  Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS:

Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches of green beans
  • 2 cups of fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro leaves
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 green chilies (serrano or Thai Bird)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons Sambal Oelek (Indonesian hot chili paste available in most U. S. markets)
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (this ups the umami flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon of black bean garlic sauce
  • white pepper and sea salt to taste

PREP:

Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms Prep

  • Trim the ends of each bean and cut it into thirds.¬† You will end up with 4 cups of prepped beans.
  • Mince the chilies, ginger and garlic
  • Thinly slice the onion and mushrooms
  • Tear the cilantro leaves from the stems
  • Cut the lime so that we have it ready to squeeze later in the recipe

COOK:

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  • Coat a large stainless steel skillet with 2 tablespoons of peanut oil and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Add the onions, chilies, ginger, garlic, yellow mustard seeds and half the coriander leaves.¬† Reserve the other half of the coriander leaves for garnish.
  • Turn the flame to medium and saut√© till golden brown

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  • Add the shiitake mushrooms
  • Continue saut√©ing till the mushrooms are brown and caramelized
  • Deglaze the pan with the fish sauce and the soy sauce

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  • Add the green beans along with the Sambal Oelek, the black bean/garlic sauce and the oyster sauce. ¬† Toss everything together
  • Cover with a lid.¬† Cook for 5 minutes.¬† The beans will stay green and crunchy.
  • Turn the flame off and leave the lid on till you are ready till serve
  • Just before serving adjust the salt and pepper to taste and toss in the reserved cilantro leaves for a pop of freshness.

Serve on a platter and top off with a fresh squeeze of lime juice.  Here I have served it with Asian Brown Rice Pilaf and Sesame Crusted Black Fin Tuna.

Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms Feature

HOPE YOU LIKE IT.  LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS.

 

Sesame Crusted Black Fin Tuna

I am very lucky to have a husband who catches fish for me.  He is very good at cleaning and fileting the fish.  Once he preps the fish, I cook some right away and the rest I freeze in food saver bags.  Whenever the freezer starts looking empty, he goes fishing again.  On his last fishing trip, he had his first ever catch of Black Fin Tuna.

Black Fin Tuna

He cleaned the fish and carved out four loins.¬† I used two loins for this recipe and froze the other two.¬† In retrospect, I should have made Poke from the two I froze.¬† This fish was so good, that I shouldn’t have frozen it.¬† Next time I will make Poke and post it.

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INGREDIENTS:  serves four

Sesame Crusted Black Fin Tuna Ingredients

  • four, 6oz to 8oz pieces, of tuna (if you don’t have Black Fin Tuna, then you can substitute Ahi Tuna which is more readily available.)
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut oil to coat the pan and 1 tablespoon to coat the fish
  • 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds
  • lime to squeeze on top
  • I made an Asian Spice Mix by combining the following:
    • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
    • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
    • 1 teaspoon crushed Szechuan peppercorns
    • 1 teaspoon crushed white peppercorns
    • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

PREPPING THE TUNA:

Sesame Crusted Black Fin Tuna Prep

  • Coat the tuna with 1 tablespoon of peanut oil
  • Sprinkle all sides with an even coating of the Asian Spice Mix
  • Combine the black and white sesame seeds
  • Roll the oiled and spiced fish pieces in the sesame seeds to coat evenly

Sesame Crusted Black Fin Tuna Feature

COOKING THE FISH:

Sesame Crusted Black Fin Tuna Cook

  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons of peanut oil and 1/2 a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • Turn the flame to medium-high and get the oil hot.¬† Not smoking hot, just hot.
  • Add the fish and toast the sesame seeds 30 seconds on the large sides and 15 seconds each on the thinner sides.¬† The seeds will toast and the fish will remain rare in the center.

Squeeze some lime on top just before serving.  The lime brightens up the flavor.

This can be served with a veggie, a grain or a salad.  I have served it here on a bed of Asian Brown Rice Pilaf and a side of Green Beans and Shiitake Mushrooms.

Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms Feature

I will post the Asian Brown Rice Pilaf in the future.  For now please go to my Buckwheat Pilaf recipe.  Use Brown rice instead of buckwheat.  The cooking time will be longer, about 45 minutes on low heat.  Use peanut oil instead of grapeseed oil.  Use yellow mustard seeds instead of the black ones.  Leave out the cumin seeds and peas.  Instead of black pepper use white pepper.  This changes the Indian flavor profile to an Asian flavor profile.

ENJOY AND PLEASE LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENT SECTION.  I love to hear your feedback.

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Stuffed Dover Sole

Dover sole stuffed with artichoke and onion.  Served on a bed of Buckwheat Pilaf surrounded by Blistered Tomatoes.

Ingredients: Serves 3

 

 

  • 3 large fillets of Dover Sole (any flat, thin fish can be used)
  • 2 table spoons of my¬†Italian Spice Mix¬† (I make it with equal parts, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, red chili flakes)
  • 5 table spoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion (in the photo you will see 3 tiny ones grown by my neighbor, Billy)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 ounces frozen artichoke hearts ¬†(you can also use canned, jarred or fresh)
  • 1 table spoon each of fresh oregano and fresh thyme (you can use any herbs you like)
  • 1 table spoon capers
  • 1 tea spoon tomato paste (optional)
  • 2 large sun-dried tomatoes (yields 2 table spoons when minced)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I prefer course sea salt and whole pepper corns in a grinder)

Prep: the fillets (see photo above)

  1. Rinse the fillets with cold water and pat dry between paper towels.
  2. Place dried fillets in a glass baking dish.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with Italian Spice Mix , and drizzle 1 table spoon of olive oil.  Rub the mixture into the fillets and flip them.  Repeat the process on the second side.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator  while preparing the filling.

Prep:  for the filling20160515_162911

  1. Mince the onion, garlic, and capers
  2. Dice the artichoke hearts (center bowl)
  3. Separate the oregano and thyme leaves from the stems and tear into small pieces
  4. Mix  2 table spoons of olive oil, with the minced sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste.  (bowl with reddish liquid)

Cook:  the filling

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in 1 table spoon of olive oil till lightly browned (add a little black pepper to taste.  DO NOT add salt at this point.)20160515_170450
  2. Add the herbs, stir them in for 30 seconds (for an extra kick you can add a sprinkle of red chili flakes.)20160515_170632
  3. Add in the capers and the tomato/olive oil mixture. ¬†Stir and cook for another minute. 

  4. Add the artichoke hearts. ¬†Saute to caramelize them until they are lightly browned. At this point, adjust the salt to your taste. ¬†You may not need additional salt because the capers are salty. 

  5. Set aside in a glass bowl.  Cool to room temperature before filling the fish fillets.

Prep: Filling the fish fillets

 

 

  1. Set out a piece of parchment or foil paper (I have used “Martha Wrap”. ¬†This is foil on the outside and parchment on the inside.)
  2. Place filling on the fillet (see photo above) and make a roll
  3. Place seam side down and wrap closed (see photo above)

Bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes20160516_201621

When you open the packet the fish will be flaky, moist and sitting in a deeply flavored savory sauce. Don’t throw the sauce away. ¬† I have plated it (sauce and all) ¬†on a bed of Buckwheat Pilaf. ¬†You can plate it on many things, such as; rice, Polenta, noodles–the endless possibilities are up to your imagination.

Hope you enjoy this.  Let me know what you think.