Tag Archives: gluten-free fish

Kids In The Kitchen: Grilled Shark Steak and Dairy-Free “Creamed” Corn

Brandan’s turn in the kitchen always brings an adventure. This one not nearly as “out there” as some of the others (sea cucumber, anyone?), but still new and different. Brandan wanted to cook shark steak. When I asked what he wanted to serve with it, creamed corn was at the top of the list. Creamed corn is something I remember fondly from childhood – silky, creamy and sweet. And that was the stuff that came from a can! Making a dairy-free, non-canned version didn’t seem all that difficult. I’ll be happy to report – it wasn’t.

The shark was also very straightforward. A quick marinade, and a short time on the grill, this could easily become an adventurous meal for a weeknight. (Provided your grill isn’t covered in snow, that is. We’re in Texas, and tomorrow is our first hint at real winter weather so far this season. We grill year-round.) No grill? This could just as easily be prepared by searing in a cast-iron skillet and finished in a hot oven, much like my favorite way to prepare lamb chops.

As for the creamed corn, a simple swap of non-dairy butter and non-dairy milk for the butter and cream, and we were ready to go! I dialed back the sweetness quite a bit, relying on the natural sweetness of the corn. It was well-appreciated. I don’t often eat corn, (I don’t tolerate it well) so this was a treat for me.

A side note: One of the fun (and sometimes trying!) parts about cooking with Brandan is that he wants to taste everything. What does the Worcestershire taste like? How about the butter? Tapioca flour? How about the marinade? Can he lick the spoon? The bowl? “No, wait – don’t throw that in the sink yet – I was going to lick it!” I love that he wants to explore everything. Especially when it comes to food. This is how I was when I was a child, so it reminds me a bit of myself. But the growing mountain of “tasting spoons” in the sink, the fact that we have to sometimes prepare extra ingredients just to account for the “eaten during preparation” factor, and the way progress is slowed to a crawl, can be trying to one’s patience. (This is why I tend to lean towards simple recipes with Brandan – intricately timed recipes are difficult with any kid, and he’s no exception!) Overall, the experiences we share – not just with Brandan, but with all the kids – are immeasurable. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

And now, back to the food. The verdict on the steak? The family was split. My husband and Brandan both loved it. My husband described it as “meaty like a steak, with a nice grill, smoke flavor, but then light with the flavor of the sea at the end.” (Had to document that, because it’s not often you get such a description of flavors from him!) Matt said it was “kinda good, kinda bad.” Brittany ate it with ketchup, something I wouldn’t recommend. (She eats every protein on her plate with ketchup lately. I just wrinkle my nose at her. Yuck.) I wasn’t fond of it, truthfully. I found the marinade a bit salty, and the texture less than super-tender. I think if shark steak appears in our kitchen again, I’ll consider preparing it like we did swordfish - that recipe was very tender and flavorful. Or create a simple oil-and-citrus marinade with herbs, and cook it more gently, and top it with either a mediterreanean-style salsa (something involving tomatoes and capers), or in the summer, a fresh fruit salsa. (Okay, this is making my mouth water. Maybe this shark thing wouldn’t be so bad after all!)

If you venture to try shark steak, or if you’ve prepared it in the past, tell me: How did you prepare it? What did you think?

Grilled Shark Steak

1/2 c gluten-free soy sauce or tamari (I use San-J)

1/2 c gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten-free)

4 T onion powder

4 T garlic powder

1/2 t ground sage

1/4 t dry mustard

1 t ground black pepper

6 6-oz shark steaks

Whisk soy sauce, Worcestershire, and spices together in a small bowl. Place shark steaks in a large glass baking dish, and pour marinade over. Turn steaks to coat. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Heat grill to medium heat. Grill steaks about 5 minutes each side or until the center is just cooked through.

Serves 6.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free “Creamed” Corn

2 T non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks)

2 T tapioca flour

1 1/2 c non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut beverage)

1 T evaporated cane sugar

3 c frozen corn kernels

Pinch or two of salt, or as needed

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add non-dairy butter. Swirl and melt the butter, then add the tapioca flour, whisking constantly until blended well. Add the non-dairy milk and sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture is steaming and becomes thick, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the corn and whisk in. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the corn kernels are hot. Season to taste with salt.

Serves 6.

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Seafood, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Kids in the Kitchen: Pan-Fried Trout and Baked Potatoes

In case anyone around here is keeping track, Brandan likes seafood. It’s his first choice for many of his meals. (Squid? Swordfish? Octopus? Brandan’s done it all!) So it comes as no surprise that he chose rainbow trout for this week’s dinner. Personally, I love rainbow trout. It’s a flavorful fish, and high in Omega-3s. It’s also fast-cooking, which made dinner tonight much easier. Along with a simple but delicious, baked potato, everyone was fed well; stress-free. The hardest part was watching the fish fry.

Brandan was indeed happy to go back for seconds (so was I) on the trout – it was tender and the skin was nice and crisp. Brittany wasn’t much for the fish (not to discredit it; she hasn’t happily eaten any fish for as long as I can remember), but she was extremely happy with her baked potato.

Because honestly, who wouldn’t be?

Pan-Fried Trout

½ t garlic powder

½ t onion powder

½ t paprika

¼ t chile powder

¼ t black pepper

½ t salt

1 1/2 – 2 lbs rainbow trout fillets

oil for shallow frying

Combine spices; sprinkle lightly over fish fillets. Heat a half-inch of oil in a cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add fish fillets (Brandan had to fry 1 fish at a time) and fry 2 minutes. Flip carefully and fry just until cooked through; about another minute or two. Remove and set on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining fillets.

Serves 4.

Baked Potatoes

(Not really a recipe, and not really anything ground-breaking. But sometimes, a simple baked potato can be heaven.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub cleaned Idaho potatoes with a little olive oil and kosher salt. Skewer each potato (helps them cook more quickly) and place in the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes or up to an hour – until the potato yields gently when pressed. Remove skewer, and cut into the potato. Top with butter, salt, and pepper. (Of course, you can also add sour cream, cheddar, chives, bacon, etc. I opted for simple here.)

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Seafood, Side Dishes

Blackened Catfish with Cantaloupe Salsa

blackened catfish with cantaloupe salsa 003

Last week, as I was thumbing through the grocery ads, I came across a deal I couldn’t pass up – 4/$1 cantaloupe at my local Sprouts. When I made my visit, I picked up 4 cantaloupe. I came out of the store with a smile on my face. I love cantaloupe.

But what was I going to do with 4 cantaloupe? I couldn’t eat them all for breakfast…

Enter cantaloupe salsa. In a twist of fate, Deb at Smitten Kitchen was on a cantaloupe kick. And in a stroke of genius, she created this cantaloupe salsa, a tantalizing blend of cool, sweet and spicy. I was in heaven. I immediately knew I would be making this to top some fish.

And if you have lived in Texas (or just about anywhere in the South) for any length of time, you know catfish is everywhere. Most of it is coated in cornmeal and fried, of course (not that there is anything wrong with that - I love a perfectly fried catfish!), but a spicy blackened catfish is also quite common. Blackening seasoning, a Cajun seasoning, is a mixture of spices that are typically generously sprinkled over fish or chicken and then sautéed in a pan at a relatively high heat. It’s a quick, easy, and healthy way to prepare seafood, and it sounded like the perfect companion for the cantaloupe salsa.

This turned out to be quite a success! The heat in the cayenne melded perfectly with the zippy jalapenos and sweet melon. I served this with a bit of steamed rice. With the 100-degree temperatures predicted this week, this was the perfect dish to keep dinner light, yet flavorful.

One cantaloupe down, 3 to go.

 

Cantaloupe Salsa, adapted from Smitten Kitchen:

1 medium cantaloupe, seeded and diced

1/4 c sweet yellow onion, diced

juice of 2 limes

2-3 serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and diced

2 T sweet red bell pepper, diced

1 t basil, minced

2 T cilantro, minced

salt to taste

Mix together ingredients and serve immediately, or refrigerate for several hours to allow flavors to meld.

 

Blackened Catfish, adapted from Gourmet magazine

2 t sweet paprika

1/2 t garlic powder

1/2 t dried oregano, crumbled

1/4 t cayenne

1/2 t sugar

1/2 t salt

1/4 t ground black pepper

4 catfish fillets

1 T olive oil

1 T unsalted butter

In a small bowl combine the paprika, garlic, oregano, cayenne, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pat the catfish dry thoroughly with paper towels. Sprinkle the catfish with the spices on both sides, coating them well. In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil to moderately high heat. Add butter and heat until foam subsides. Add catfish and saute for 3-4 minutes per side, or until fish is cooked through.

To serve:

Place catfish fillets on plates, and spoon 1/4 – 1/2 cup of salsa over. Serve with hot steamed rice, if desired.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Seafood

Pan-Fried Trout and Winner of Giveaway!

P1010019For the past few days, I have truly been craving fish. This is a rarity for me, not because I don’t enjoy fish. I do. But I don’t usually seek it out. In all honesty, we don’t consume as much fish as we probably should, even. So I opted to go outside of the “planned” menu for the week, and I dashed off to the store to pick up some nice fish.

Lucky for me, Sprouts had some fresh trout at a reasonable price. I picked some up, and wandered the produce area in order to determine what would be our side dish. I found some asparagus spears, which I planned to prepare with lemon zest and olive oil (inspired by Elise’s recipe over at Simply Recipes), and some fennel, tangerines, and mixed greens for a refreshing Orange Fennel Salad. This would be a wonderfully light dinner, perfect for a scorcher of a day. (The temperature on the signs at the high school and a church on the way home read 106 and 111 degrees!)

This trout is so easy, it hardly needs a recipe. You could, of course, add additional herbs or spices to the recipe, but we thoroughly enjoyed it with little adornment. Although this was our Saturday night meal, it could easily become a weeknight regular. In a matter of minutes, dinner was ready. And what a delicious dinner too, the fish was light, moist, and flavorful.

1 lb trout fillets (skin-on, preferably)

salt and pepper

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 T olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

Season the fillets with salt and pepper on skin side, and salt, pepper, and zest on other side. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat, and add olive oil. Swirl olive oil around pan to coat. Add trout fillets, skin side down, into pan. Allow to fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until the edges begin to cook through. Carefully flip fillets and cook for another minute, or until flesh becomes opaque. Remove from pan, and squeeze lemon juice over fillets. Serves 2-3.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the giveaway! Using a random number generator, the winner of the free yogurt coupons and cookbook was  ValleyWriter over at Adventures in the Pioneer Valley! Congratulations!

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Seafood