Basic Stuffed Stripe Bass

Strippers are running just off shore. And they seem to be plentiful when the boats pull into Babylon, the local fishmonger is running a sale on whole fish. So, one great way to cook these up for a bunch of friends is to keep that bass whole, stuff it, bake it, and bring it to the table.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 two pound whole striped bass
  • 2 cups of cubed bread for stuffing
  • ½ cup of diced tomatoes
  • ½ of a small red onion diced
  • ¼ tsp tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Sea salt

Combine the bread crumbs, tomatoes, onions, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Use this simple stuffing mix to stuff your cleaned and dressed striped bass. Use toothpicks or those fancy bamboo skewers to close the fish and place it on a baking rack. Brush butter on top of the fish and bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.

stripped_bass

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Summer Citrus Grilled Bluefish

Summer on Long Island and the blues are running wild. It’s a nice way of spending a summer day out fishing, and the bluefish are plentiful. Now many people say they don’t like bluefish as it tends to be oily and has a very ‘fishy’ taste. Well of course it has a fishy taste, it’s a fish, and what did you expect it to taste like… mutton? But, be that as it may, there are many ways to add flavor to this fish while preserving the taste of the fish. One of my favorite ways to do this is be marinating the fish to displace some of its fatty oils. And the taste of summer citrus fruits on the open grill is one of the best things about the season here on Long Island.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 pounds of fresh bluefish
  • 1 cup of fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup Duck Walk white wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Chef Bill’s secret citrus spice rub

Place the fish fillets into a large bowl. Pour in the orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil and white wine. Stir to blend and coat fish. Leave the squeezed lemon and lime halves in the bowl too. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat a grill for high heat. When the grill is hot, oil the grate. Season the fish with salt, pepper and citrus rub.

Place fish fillets on the grill, and discard the marinade. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter, and remove the dark blue part of the fish before serving and let’s finish that bottle of Duck Walk!

bluefish bikini

Chef Bill’s Secret Citrus Spice Rub

This rub is made from fresh citrus rinds. Oranges, lemons, and limes, add their oils to bring a fresh summer taste to fish, shrimp, and sometimes chicken tossed on the grill.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. Captain Morgan spiced rum

Stir together lemon, orange and lime rinds, garlic, chili powder and oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Rub mixture into meat and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

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Cod Fish Pie

An old English tradition, a fish pie is nutritious, easy and can be cheap to cook. Look for a nice seasonal sale on cod, but this recipe works well with any number of firm fleshy fish, pollock salmon, sea bass, even blue fish. You can see in this recipe fish, leeks, milk, butter and potatoes, a Fish Pie is an all-in-one supper dish. Some like to sprinkle a fish pie with grated cheese but this is optional.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • 8 ½ fl oz fish stock
  • 8 ½ fl oz milk + 2 tbsp for the potatoes
  • 12 oz of cod cut into chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 to 4 cups of mashed potatoes
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 medium sized leek, the white, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 350 °

Pour the fish stock and milk into a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the fish pieces and bay leaf and poach for 5 minutes. Remove the fish pieces with a slotted spoon and keep to one side. Reserve the liqueur. Now, melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.

Whilst still hot, add the flour gradually and stir well with a wooden spoon, making a bit of rue here. Then, pour the fish liqueur into the pan and stir again, raise the temperature and cook for 3 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn the heat off. Remove the bay leaf. Add the fish, chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Leave to one side.

Place the fish and sauce into an ovenproof dish, cover with a thick layer of mashed potatoes fluffed up with a fork.

Put the dish onto a baking sheet and cook in the center of the preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling beneath the potatoes. Serve immediately.

codfishpie

Winter Flounder with White Wine

Winter flounder, unlike summer flounder is caught in estuaries close to shore. It’s a common fish caught when ice fishing, but we’ve had no ice around here this season.  You can tell the difference at the fish store by noticing the eyes. The winter flounder has its eyes on the right side of the body, white the summer flounder has its eyes on the left side. The winter flounder is a fish of choice when you want a light ‘white meat’ fillet. The Summer flounder tends to have a darker more ‘fishy’ fillet. So cooking the winter flounder in lighter aromatics like white wine, and serving it up with winter veggies makes a healthy addition to a new year’s menu.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb flounder fillets
  • ½ cup Duck Walk white wine
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange fillets in a greased baking dish. Mix wine, onion, mushrooms, and seasonings together and pour over fish. Bake for 25 minutes or until fish is done. Serves 2. Very good served with wild rice and steamed squash.

icefishing

Bluefish with Mango Salsa

I know its January, and the winter is well set in. So why does H-Mart have a big sale on mangos and papayas? It is a mystery to me, but an inspiration also… blue fish with a Caribbean mango salsa. It’s an explosion of flavors that will convince you that winter is actually far far away.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Mango Salsa –

  • 1 papaya, peeled and diced
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 red sweet bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons captain morgan’s dark spiced rum
  • 3 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • salt, to taste

Combine all these ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so it let the flavors meld together.

Now, grab a pair of bluefish fillets and place them in a baking dish. Spread the salsa on the fillets and bake in a 350 degree oven for about half an hour.

mango_salsa

Jim Beam Bluefish

One thing we have in abundance here on Long Island is fresh local bluefish. Another thing we have plenty of is fresh local liquor stores. And in almost all of those strip-mall shoppes is a bottle of Jim Beam. So, lets combine these two local favorites into a main course of Jim Beam Bluefish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Marinade:

  • 1 jigger Jim Beam
  • Brown Sugar, 6 tsp unpacked
  • Soy Sauce, 2 tbsp
  • Ginger, ground, 1 tbsp
  • Lime Juice, 1 fl oz
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
  • Pepper, black, 1 dash

Additionally:

  • 1 ½ pounds of bluefish fillets

Combine the marinade ingredients in a large zip lock bag & seal and keep in the fridge for 1 1/2 hours.

Now, heat a large skillet. Give it s coating of vegetable oil. Add bluefish and marinate to skillet and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Then place on plates and drizzle with sauce. I like to serve this up with oven roasted potatoes and a bottle of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat beer.

jim_beam_bluefish

Cod and Sam Adams Boston Lager

Different beer profiles lead to different flavors in beer battered fish. A pilsner will generally leave a slight flavor, while lagers, porters, and bocks will provide other flavors. So it’s important to try out a variety of brews in you beer batter.  Fish is healthy, beer is healthy, so fish AND beer should be very healthy right…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 gallon vegetable, canola, or safflower oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Smokey paprika
  • Dash Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 12oz bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager
  • 1½ pounds cod, cut into 1-ounce strips
  • Cornstarch, for dredging
  • Malt vinegar, for serving

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, and Old Bay seasoning. Whisk in the beer until the batter is completely smooth and free of any lumps. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Refrigerating the batter allows it time to thicken, and a thickened batter adheres to the fish much better. A bit of time makes a better batter. You can make the batter up to an hour ahead of time.

Now, when you’re ready to cut fish, cut the fish into one in strips, lightly dredge fish strips in cornstarch. Working in small batches, dip the fish into the batter and immerse in the hot oil. When the batter is set, turn the pieces of fish over and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain the fish on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Keep the fried fish in the warmed oven (about 200 degrees) while you cook the remaining batches. Serve with malt vinegar and chips.

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Haddock with Bulmer’s Sauce

My local fishmonger out here had a special on haddock fillets that I couldn’t, no seriously could not, pass up. Besides, I haven’t had un-smoked haddock in a while. Haddock is often found already smoked, but this recipe works best with un-smoked fillets.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 11/2 pounds of haddock fillets
  • 2 cup of Bulmer’s hard cider
  • 1 medium onion sliced thin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp light cream
  • ¼ cup cornstarch

Divide the fillet into four equal sizes. Place them into a pan add the sliced onion, bay leaf, and lemon juice. Pour in most of the cider, reserving about 2 tablespoons worth for the finishing sauce. Cover, bring to a boil, and then let simmer for about ten minutes. Now, strain about 1 ¼ cups of the liquid from the pan into a measuring cup.

Now, in a small pan mix the cornstarch with the cider, and gradually whisk in the strained liquid, bringing this to a boil. Whisk continuously till smooth and thickened, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream. Season the sauce with a little sauce and pepper and ladle over the fish.

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Stuffed Whiting wrapped in Bacon

Wrapping fish fillets in bacon is a great way to combine two wonderful flavors into a unified dish. This recipe uses a simple breadcrumb stuffing. You can pack even more flavor into this dish by making changes to the stuffing, like adding diced celery, or minced jalapeño pepper.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 fillets of whiting (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 rashers thick cut bacon
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, sauté the onion till tender. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper. This makes up our stuffing. Distribute the stuffing onto the fillets. Roll the fillets and wrap them with a rasher of bacon. You can secure these with a toothpick. Place these in a lightly buttered baking dish, cover it with foil and pop into the oven for about ten minutes. Remover the foil and let these cook uncovered for another five minutes or so. Serve them up with a bottle of Duck Walk white wine.

whiting_fillets