Even though I didn't grow up Catholic, my father did, so during Lent we always ate fish on Fridays. My mother was a great baker and cooked amazing roasts, but fish was not her forte. She made a tasty curried shrimp - basically shrimp and chopped vegetables with some curry powder served over rice - and she sauteed sole that she breaded, which tasted yummy.
It wasn't until after I married a Burhop that she really got into cooking fish, much to the delight of my father, who was an avid fisherman. Salmon became a Friday staple at their house, any time of year, not just during Lent. Dad loved walleye, trout, whitefish, lake perch - all the catch he ate on fishing trips up in Canada, and with a Burhop son-in-law, he could get them fresh year-round.
As huge fish lovers, we are somewhat skeptical that giving up meat on Fridays to eat seafood is a penance -- especially since we eat fish at least three times a week. We're either spectacularly penitent , or we just like to eat well. But we're very grateful for the wonderful customers who come to us every Friday during Lent - many of them get into the habit and just keep coming back.
So for those of you looking for some tasty, simple recipes for your Friday fish dinner, check out our web site, www.burhopsseafood.com - just click on "recipes" or watch our cooking videos.
One of my favorites is Pecan Crusted Ruby Red Trout. This is so easy - only 4 ingredients: trout fillets (or salmon), pecans, lemon and olive oil. We take the bones out of the fillets for you, so all you have to do is cook it and enjoy. (If you don't live close enough to come to us, and your fish purveyor doesn't de-bone, be sure to check for bones yourself. You can feel them with your finger, down the center of the fillet, and remove them with a strawberry huller or a designated pair of kitchen tweezers.)
Allow 6-8 oz. of trout or salmon per person. Grind up about 1/2 cup pecans, enough for 2 to 3 fillets, in a blender until the pieces are all small. Some of it will look like pecan dust, which is perfect. Rub the fillets with a little olive oil, press the ground pecans evenly into the flesh of the fish, and either saute in a heavy frying pan with a little olive oil (trout), nut side down first, 3 minutes per side, medium high heat; or bake in the oven (trout or salmon), nut side up, at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with a lemon wedge, herb roasted potatoes and a green vegetable - delicious and heart healthy as well.
If you do this with salmon fillets, I suggest that you sear and bake the nut crusted fillet, or just bake, allowing 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 425 degrees. Salmon is thicker than trout, so it will take longer to cook.
If you're a family with two working parents, or a busy mom (aren't all moms busy?) try our prepared entrees - our gluten-free Salmon Papillotes have fresh vegetables wrapped in parchment paper in with fresh salmon, three varieties to choose from: Provencal, with fennel, cherry tomatoes, garlic, red onions and thyme; Au Jardin, with carrots, squash and herbs; Mediterranean, with olives, tomatoes and Mediterranean herbs. You just moisten the paper with water or some white wine and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. All you need to add is some potatoes or fresh crusty bread - we have both available.
Other oven ready entrees we have include our Stuffed Salmon Fillets and Salmon Cozies, all ready to just pop in the oven. These are made with fresh salmon, but we will make them with fresh trout or tilapia by special order, just call at least 24 hours before you want to pick them up.
Crumby Scrod was always a favorite for our children, another 4-ingredient recipe. All you need is fresh fillets of cod, scrod or haddock, fresh soft bread crumbs, butter and lemon juice.
Take some day-old bread and grind it up in your blender until it's uniform. Melt 3 Tbs. of butter or butter substitute in a glass ovenproof dish in the microwave. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add a healthy squeeze of lemon juice to the butter and add the raw fish to the glass pan, turning to coat both sides. Then add the bread crumbs, spooning the remaining butter over the top. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Serve with a lemon wedge and some Burhop's tartar sauce.
We have lots more recipes on our web site - but remember our caveat: we only guarantee our recipes with our fish. If the fish you buy elsewhere is previously frozen or not quite fresh enough, the greatest recipe in the world isn't going to make it taste good. We've discovered over the years that a lot of people who think they can't cook fish are just people who bought bad fish to start with. If not handled properly by a retailer, fish becomes "fishy" very quickly. Our suppliers know better than to try and sell us something inferior - but fish that we reject ends up somewhere. Don't let it be in your kitchen!
Have a favorite, simple fish recipe to share? Just reply to this blog.