I've told the story many times, but to summarize, a woman came into one of our stores years ago, tasted a recipe we'd made, picked up the recipe. She came back a week later, complaining to our culinary person that our recipe was faulty. Our employee went through everything with her, step by step, couldn't find a problem. Finally, she asked "did you buy the fish from us?" and the woman said no, she got it cheaper at the grocery store. Our exasperated employee said "we don't guarantee our recipes with someone else's fish!"
No matter what you do to bad fish, it won't taste good. If the fish is really cheap, chances are it's either thawed out or from China. Or both.
Now, for our favorites.
GRILLED FISH: We love salmon on the grill, but we also enjoy the heck out of mahi mahi, ono, swordfish and halibut on the grill. I just rub the fillets or steaks with a little olive oil, sometimes a little salt-free spice rub, and cook 10 minutes per inch of thickness over medium high heat, starting with the flesh side down first, flipping over to the skin side down.
The fun part comes at the end, when I flip the fish for side two. That's when I add some of our fresh pesto - I spread it on with a spatula - so it heats up and melds with the fish during the last few minutes of cooking. All of our pestos taste good with any of these fish - it's just enough fresh flaovor to add to, but not mask, the taste of the fresh fish.
When I use a spice rub with kick to it, like some of the Cajun ones, I counter the spiciness with Tropical Salsa - or just slice some papaya, fan it out over the fish, and sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top - pretty and easy to do.
We also love shrimp on the grill - one of my favorite marinades is on our web site - it contains garlic and fresh basil, (hence the name, Garlic Basil Shrimp) and you just put everything into a blender and mix it up. Easy peasy. To find all of our delicious shrimp recipes, CLICK HERE. Small skewers of this shrimp can be a great appetizer, bigger skewers a great main course with some rice pilaf and a salad.
BAKED FISH. In the colder months - don't like to think about that - we still use our grill when it's not covered in snow, but most of the time I bake our fish in the oven. Most of the thicker fillets I treat the same way as for the grill - but you don't have to flip the fish, so just put it in a pan skin side down. One of my favorite salmon party recipe is as follows:
Baked Salmon with Mustard & HerbsThis is a simple recipe to do in the oven or on foil on your grill. Choose your favorite herbs – we suggest a blend of thyme, fennel greens and oregano, but any of your favorite herbs will work. Serve with our Herb Roasted New Potatoes and Garlic Green Beans.
4 servings | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced, plus 1 lemon cut into wedges for garnish
- 25-35 sprigs mixed fresh herbs (reserve 2 tsp. and chop)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound center-cut salmon fillets in 4 equal pieces, skinned (Burhop’s will skin on request)
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Lay a piece of heavy-duty foil on a Tony pan or rimmed baking sheet. Arrange lemon slices in two layers in the center of the foil. Spread herb sprigs over the lemons. Place the salmon on the herb sprigs.
- With the side of a chef’s knife or a pestle and mortar, mash garlic with salt to form a paste. Transfer to a small dish and stir in mustard and the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped herbs.
- Brush the mixture over both sides of the salmon. Cook until the salmon is opaque in the center, 10 to 14 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges (discard herb sprigs and lemon slices).
SAUTEED FISH. The two fish that I love to saute are fresh lake perch - I dredge it in seasoned flour, dip it in egg & milk mixture, and saute in olive oil for about one minute per side over medium high heat. I serve it with lemon wedges and Burhop's Tartar Sauce - just a great dinner.
My other saute favorite is Nut Crusted Ruby Red Trout - just grind up 1/4 cup of nuts in the blender - we like pecans, but almonds or pistachios are good too (and if you want to get fancy, add some chopped dill) - rub the fillets with a little olive oil, press the ground up nuts into the fillets. I use olive oil, and saute the fillets nut-side down first, then flip to the skin side. I add a little of our Lemon Dill Sauce, or a squeeze of lemon. So easy, and great for entertaining - most people have no idea how easy it is to nut crust a piece of fish!
If you try any of these preparations, let us know how you like them!