Fish Is the New Meat

Summertime seafood recipes


Even if you can’t make it to the North Carolina beach, you can eat like you’re there. These recipes from six cookbooks will inspire you to whip up the shore thing.


Salmon With Whisky and Cream
Salmon Fish Cakes
Hard-Shell Clams or Mussels Steamed in Salsa
Oysters Roasted in Mushroom Caps With Garlic Butter and Parsley
Simple Supper Shrimp and Grits
Herbed-Cheese Grits, Shrimp and Collards Casserole
Roasted Blue-Eye Cod With Lentil Salad
Baked Coral Trout and Fennel
Oven-Fried Scallops
Poached Halibut in Warm Herb Vinaigrette
Tuna in Benne Seed Crust with Charleston Hot Pepper Gazpacho
Scallops Pianissimo

“The Salmon Cookbook”

By Jane Bamforth
Published by Lorenz Books


Salmon With Whisky and Cream

4 thin pieces salmon fillet, about 6 ounces each
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup butter
5 tablespoons Scotch whisky
2/3 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish


Season the salmon with salt, pepper and thyme. Melt half the butter in a frying pan large enough to hold two pieces of salmon side by side.

When the butter is foaming, fry the first two pieces of salmon 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they are golden on the outside and just cooked through.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the whisky and ignite it. When the flames have died down, carefully transfer the salmon to a plate and keep it hot.

Heat the remaining butter and cook the second two pieces of salmon in the same way. Keep them hot.

Pour the cream into the pan. Bring the cream to a boil, stirring constantly and scraping up the cooking juices from the base of the pan. Allow the cream to bubble until reduced and slightly thickened. Season to taste and add the last of the whisky and a squeeze of lemon.

Place the salmon pieces on individual warmed plates, pour the sauce over the fillets, and garnish with dill.


Makes 4 servings.


Salmon Fish Cakes

1 pound cooked salmon fillet
1 pound freshly cooked potatoes, mashed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon plain, all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups dried breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Arugula leaves and chives, to garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving


For the spicy mayonnaise

1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce


Flake the cooked salmon, discarding any skin and bones. Place the salmon in a bowl with the mashed potato, melted butter and wholegrain mustard. Mix well.

Stir in the dill, parsley, lemon rind and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape each into a ball, and then flatten them into thick discs.

Dip the fish cakes first in the flour, and second in the egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs, making sure the cakes are evenly coated.

Put the salmon fish cakes on a plate and place them in the refrigerator to firm.

Meanwhile, make the spicy mayonnaise by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.

Heat the oil in a frying pan until it is very hot. Fry the fish cakes in batches until golden brown and crisp all over.

Let the fried cakes drain on paper towels and keep warm in the oven while you fry the rest.

Garnish with arugula leaves and chives, and serve with the lemon wedges and spicy mayonnaise.


Makes 4 servings.

“Simply Shellfish”

By Leslie Glover Pendeleton
Published by William Morrow


Hard-Shell Clams or Mussels Steamed in Salsa


1 cup bottled salsa
3 pounds live, small, hard- shell clams or mussels, scrubbed well
1 cup chopped, fresh cilantro


In a large pot, bring the salsa and 1 cup water to a boil.

Add the clams and cilantro and cover the pot. Steam over high heat, shaking the pot occasionally, 2 to 8 minutes, or until the shells open. Discard any unopened shells.

Serve immediately.


Makes 4 servings.


Oysters Roasted in Mushroom Caps With Garlic Butter and Parsley


1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced, fresh parsley
24 mushrooms (about 2 inches wide), wiped clean and stems discarded
24 shucked oysters (about 24 ounces), drained and checked for shell fragments
1/2 lemon


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, mash together the butter, garlic and parsley with a fork.

Arrange the mushroom caps in a shallow baking pan, stemmed end up, and top with half the butter mixture (about 1/2 teaspoon in each cap). Bake 15 minutes.

Put oysters in each cap and top with the remaining butter. Bake 10 minutes more.

Sprinkle the caps with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.


Makes 24 oysters.


“Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp & Grits Cookbook”

By Nathalie Dupree with Marion Sullivan
Published by Wyrick & Co.


Simple Supper Shrimp and Grits


2 cups cooked grits
4 tablespoons butter and/or olive oil
1 pound shrimp, peeled
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon julienned fresh basil or parsley


Reheat the grits in the microwave or over low heat, add more liquid if necessary.

Melt the butter and/or olive oil in a saucepan, preferably non-stick. Add the shrimp and sauté them until just before they turn pink. Add the tomato and stir until the liquid exudes slightly, just a minute or so. Add the garlic and cook briefly.

Divide the grits between two plates, pour the shrimp and tomato mixture on top, and garnish with basil or parsley and serve.


Makes 2 servings.


Herbed-Cheese Grits, Shrimp and Collards Casserole


4 cups cooked quick grits, made with chicken stock
1 cup garlic-herb cheese, such as Boursin or herbed goat cheese
1 pound cooked shrimp
1/3 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup washed, stemmed, chopped or sliced collards, lightly steamed


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the grits and cheese until the cheese melts.

Add the shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and collard greens and spread the mixture out in a 10-inch, buttered casserole dish.

Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes, and serve.


Makes 4 servings.


“Cooking Seafood”

By Kathy Knudsen
Published by Thunder Bay Press


Roasted Blue-Eye Cod With Lentil Salad


1 cup lentils
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
4 thick blue-eye cod fillets, skinless
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons shredded basil


Put the lentils in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 5 minutes, and then reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

You may need to top the lentils with boiling water as they cook down. Drain and rinse them under warm water.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pine nuts in a frying pan and toast them over low-medium heat until golden brown, shaking occasionally. Transfer them to a plate.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the frying pan, and, when hot, add the strips of bell pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat, or until tender when tested with the point of a small knife Remove the peppers from the heat.

Put the fish in a roasting pan, brush each fillet with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and drizzle with the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the fish is just opaque inside.

While the fish is cooking, mix together the cooked lentils, bell peppers, toasted pine nuts, red onion, balsamic vinegar, basil and remaining olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve each person a piece of cod topped with lentil salad.


Makes 4 servings.


Baked Coral Trout and Fennel


2 small (about 9-1/2 ounce) fennel bulbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 (about 1 pound, 12 ounces) trout, gutted and scaled
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1 lemon, quartered
2 teaspoons chopped oregano
Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large, shallow, ovenproof dish.

Finely slice the fennel bulbs, reserving the green fronds.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the fennel, onion and garlic 12 to 15 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the fish with a heaping tablespoon of the cooked fennel mixture and a quarter of the fennel fronds. Brush the fish with extra-virgin olive oil, squeeze the lemon over, and season well.

Put the remaining fennel fronds and cooked fennel into the dish and sprinkle with half of the oregano.

Arrange the fish on top of the fennel. Sprinkle the remaining oregano over the fish and cover the dish loosely with foil. Bake 25 minutes, or until just cooked through.

Serve with lemon wedges and small boiled potatoes, and top the fish with some of the cooked fennel mixture.


Makes 2 servings.


“The Big Book of Fish & Shellfish”

By Fred Thompson
Published by Chronicle Books


Oven-Fried Scallops


12 dry-pack sea scallops (about 1 pound), side muscles removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Lemon wedges for garnish
Tartar sauce


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the scallops in a small bowl. Combine the oil and the juice and pour them over the scallops. Marinate them in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Remove the scallops from the marinade, discarding it. In a bowl, combine the egg and water and stir well.

Combine the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and paprika in a pie plate.

Dip each scallop in the egg mixture, and then dredge it in the breadcrumbs.

Place the scallops in an ungreased, 8-inch square pan. Drizzle the butter on them.
Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes, or until the scallops are golden.

If desired, serve them with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.


Makes 4 servings.


Poached Halibut in Warm Herb Vinaigrette


1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette, homemade or store-bought
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 cups clam broth
1 cup water
4 (8-ounce) halibut steaks, with skin
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives
1-1/2 teaspoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh chervil or additional parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped, fresh tarragon


Put the mustard in a medium bowl and slowly whisk in the vinaigrette. Whisk in the shallot. Put the mixture in a small saucepan and set aside.

Bring the broth and water to a boil in a 10-inch sauté pan. Season both sides of the halibut with salt and pepper.

Add the halibut to the pan and adjust the heat so the liquid just simmers. Poach 5 to 6 minutes, until a metal skewer inserted into the center of the halibut goes in easily, and the skewer, when left in the fish 5 seconds, feels barely warm when touched to your lip. The halibut will be rare.

Cook 8 to 10 minutes if you care for a more done fish. Take the steaks out of the liquid as soon as they are done.

Meanwhile, add the herbs to the vinaigrette and warm the sauce over low heat. Pull the skin off the halibut and place a steak in the center of each of 4 plates. Spoon the vinaigrette over and around the fish. Serve immediately.


Makes 4 servings.


“Charleston: People, Places and Food”

By Jane Kronsberg
Published by Wyrick & Co.


Tuna in Benne Seed Crust with Charleston Hot Pepper Gazpacho


For the tuna

2 eggs
6 (2-ounce) portions yellowfin tuna
1 cup benne (sesame) seeds
1 cup flour
Kosher salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter


For the gazpacho

3 tomatillos, diced
2 cherry tomatoes, diced
4 Charleston hot peppers (or other hot peppers), seeded
1 tablespoon yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon slices for garnish


Combine the ingredients for the gazpacho and let it marinate at least 2 hours.

Beat the eggs in a dish large enough to hold the tuna filets. Combine the flour, benne seeds, salt and pepper.

Bathe the filets in the egg wash, and then dredge them in the flour mixture.

Melt the butter and saute the filets quickly over high heat, until the crusts are browned, about 3 minutes on each side.

Serve the tuna with gazpacho relish and garnish with lemon slices.


Makes 6 servings.

Scallops Pianissimo


1 pound sea scallops
1 cup each julienned celery, carrot, tender leeks (green and white parts) or shallots
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water or clam broth
1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon or 1-1/2 tablespoons dried
Salt and pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Put julienned vegetables in a large saucepan or skillet. Add butter, wine and water or broth. Then add the tarragon, salt and pepper.

Cut out a circle of waxed paper and lay it on top of the vegetables to help them sweat.

Cover the pan and let the vegetables simmer until they are done but still al dente, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Quickly saute the scallops over high heat in 3 tablespoons butter. Remove the scallops from the pan and keep them warm. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Add the remaining butter to the pan. When the butter bubbles, add flour to make a roux. Stir the mixture 3 to 5 minutes, until the flour is cooked but not browned.

Add some cooking liquid from the vegetables, a little wine if necessary, and finish with cream, until a thin sauce is made. Season with salt and more fresh tarragon, if desired.

To assemble: Divide the vegetables among plates. Divide the sautéed scallops and put them over the vegetables. Finish with white sauce and garnish with fresh tarragon.


Makes 6 servings.