Enjoy some fish at home this Saturday

Covid-19 may have forced the cancellation of Fish Day, but you can create your own celebration at dinner

    In any other year, Saturday would have been Fish Day, Port Washington’s celebration of its fishing history.
    Since its founding, the city’s location on Lake Michigan has made it a natural place for fishing. In its early days, commercial fishermen plied the waters. Today, individuals cast their lines from the breakwater and shore and groups often charter boats for fishing excursions.
    Among the most commonly caught fish are king, coho and chinook salmon and rainbow and lake trout.
    But the coronavirus forced the cancellation of Fish Day this year.
    That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t hold your own informal celebration.
    Even if you aren’t up to frying fish in the middle of summer, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy fish. It can be
pan fried, poached, grilled, smoked and so much more.
    Just take care not to overcook fish.
    When buying fish, use your nose. If it smells fishy, it’s not fresh.
    The color of fresh fish fillets varies, but it should always be bright and uniform, never yellow at the edges. The flesh should be moist, firm and cleanly cut.
    Refrigerate raw fish in the coldest part of the refrigerator. It’s best to use fresh fish within one to two days.
    Fish can be prepared in many ways. The standard rule is to bake fish 10 minutes for each inch of thickness.
    Turn the fish halfway through cooking, unless it’s 1/2 inch or thinner. To ensure fillets cook evenly, tuck thin ends under.
    And remember, fish is an important part of a balanced diet. It is one of nature’s power foods, an excellent source of protein that’s low in fat. A three-ounce cooked serving of most fish provides about 20 grams of protein, roughly one-third of the daily recommended amount.         
    Following are fish recipes from the website feastingathome.com.



Grilled Fish Tacos With Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw

1 to 2 pounds white fish such as tilapia, red snapper or mahi-mahi or 1 pound extra firm tofu
For spice rub:
1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder or cayenne and a little smoked paprika
1/2  teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
For slaw:
1 pound thinly sliced or shredded cabbage
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, packed
1/4 to 1/2 a jalapeño, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
Lime wedges, avocado slices, chipotle mayo and cilantro sprigs, for garnish

    Rinse and pat fish dry. In a small bowl, stir fish rub spices together. Sprinkle all sides of fish lightly with the spice rub. Set aside.
    Place shredded cabbage in a medium bowl. Toss with salt. Add onions, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice and olive oil, then toss well. Adjust lime, salt and jalapeño, adding more to taste.
    Place fish on a greased medium-high grill, then turn heat to medium. Grill each side a few minutes, letting grill marks develop, and using a metal spatula to flip. Cook until the desired doneness and squeeze with a little lime juice.
    Quickly grill the tortillas on the grill, brushing with olive oil if desired.
    Place fish in the tortillas, top with cabbage slaw and an avocado slice, if desired. Garnish with lime and cilantro. Drizzle with chipotle mayo, if desired.
    If using tofu, place block of tofu on paper towels and press down gently to release more liquid, patting dry. Cut into 1-inch thick,  3-inch long strips for easier grilling. Coat strips lightly with spice rub, grill on well greased grill or pan-sear the tofu, until crispy, in a little olive oil.


Fennel Crusted Halibut With Asparagus

For asparagus sauce:
1 shallot, roughly diced
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 bunch asparagus
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 white pepper, optional
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon
For halibut:
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 thick filets of  halibut, cod, black cod or sea bass
Fennel seeds
4 radishes, sliced, or 1 cup snow peas or English peas
1 lemon
Fresh tarragon leaves

    Trim the top two to three inches off the asparagus. Set aside.
    Trim off the tough ends, then slice the remaining asparagus stalks into 1/4 inch thick disks until you have about 1-1/2 cups.  Any remaining stalks should be added to the asparagus tips, cutting them to roughly the same size.
    In a small saucepan, cook shallot in olive oil over medium heat about three minutes, until fragrant and golden. Add asparagus disks and saute one to two  minutes, stirring, then add stock. Cover and simmer gently four to five minutes, until asparagus is tender.
    Cool, then pour into a blender along with salt, tarragon and a squeeze of lemon. Blend until silky smooth. Taste and adjust lemon and salt. Place in a small saucepan and set aside.
    Pat the fish dry and sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the tops with fennel seeds, gently pressing seeds into the flesh.
    In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add fish, fennel seed side-down, and sear about four minutes, until golden. Turn fish over, add asparagus tips and sliced radishes, season with salt and pepper and lightly saute them.
    When the fish is done to your liking, squeeze lemon over top. Gently warm the tarragon asparagus sauce, stirring often. Do not cover or simmer the sauce.
    Divide sauce among two plates, top with seared fish and asparagus and radishes. Top with sprouts or fresh tarragon leaves. Serve with lemon.
    The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated, then heated right before serving.


Baked Cod With Garlic and Lemon

1 to 1-1/2 pounds cod
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 large leek, white and light green parts, thinly sliced into half moons
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon or zest of a lemon
1 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth or stock
1/2 cup white wine
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
1  large bunch asparagus, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces, tough ends removed.

    Cut cod into four pieces and pat dry. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, thyme and zest. Toss to coat well. Set aside.
    Heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in an oven-proof skillet, cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Add fennel and saute five to seven minutes, stirring, until just tender. Add leeks and garlic and continue cooking, stirring, until leeks are golden and tender.  
    Add preserved lemon or lemon zest, fresh thyme, broth and white wine. Stir in salt and pepper, then simmer on medium low heat about five minutes, until liquid has reduced by half and fennel is nice and tender. If fennel needs a bit longer, add another splash of broth and cover pan for a few minutes, letting it steam and get tender.
    Add asparagus, stir and cook two minutes, until it turns bright green.  If mixture seems dry, add a splash of broth — you want this slightly wet.
    Nestle in the fish in the pan, scraping any excess marinade over the fish.  Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until fish is cooked through.
    Divide among four bowls. Top with a sprig of thyme and lemon wedge.
    If you like a crispy golden crust on the fish, feel free to dredge in flour or bread crumbs and pan-sear the fish first before finishing it off in the oven.


Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Fennel Salad

For creamy dill dressing:
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
For salad:
1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn
1 Turkish cucumber, sliced
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
4 to 6 ounces smoked salmon (dry smoked rather than lox) or smoked trout
1/8 to 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons capers
1 avocado, sliced
Sunflower sprouts, optional
Dill,  optional

    Place all the dressing ingredients except dill in a bowl or jar and whisk until smooth. Mix in dill. Set aside.
    Place lettuce, fennel bulb, cucumber, smoked salmon, red onion and capers in a big bowl. Toss, then add roughly half the dressing and toss to coat.
    Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add avocado and sprouts or divide salad and use them as garnish.
    If you want a leaner version, dress the salad with olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper, tasting as you go. Be sure to add fresh dill to the salad mix.


Roasted Mustard Seed Whitefish With Potato-Brussels Sprout Hash

8 to 10 ounces potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
Pinch caraway seeds, optional
2 6-ounce fish filets
2– to 4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil

    Slice potatoes and shallots, then toss with oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes.
    Slice Brussels sprouts into the oiled potato bowl. Toss, add caraway seeds if desired and a little more salt and pepper. Set aside.
    Mix whole grain mustard and oil together in a small bowl. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Spoon mustard mixture over the fish.
    After potatoes have baked 20 minutes, add Brussels sprouts and toss. Add fish and bake 10 to 12 more minutes, until fish is cooked through.
    Divide potato Brussels sprout hash among two bowls and top with mustard glazed fish.
    To substitute chicken or tofu for the fish, place it on the same sheet pan as the potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts to potatoes, tossing. Check the chicken and remove it if it’s  done  and continue cooking the potatoes and Brussels sprouts another 10 minutes.

Moroccan Salmon

2 thick 4 to 6-ounce salmon filets
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar or brown sugar
Pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon oil
Orange zest

    In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, cumin, salt, sugar and cayenne. Sprinkle over both sides of the salmon.
    Heat oil in a oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Sear salmon for two minutes on each side, then place in a 350-degree oven for five minutes, until desired doneness.
    Garnish with orange zest.


Simple Baked Cod With Tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1-1/4 pounds cod fillets, cut into  four to six pieces 1-inch thick or more
Chili flakes
1 lemon, zest and slices
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn

    Pour olive oil in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scatter garlic cloves in pan, then add tomatoes and lemon slices and toss. Scoot to one side.
    Pat fish dry and place in the baking dish. Turn to coat each side of the fish with oil. Spread out the tomato garlic mixture and nestle in the fish with the tomatoes on the sides and lemon sliced underneath. Season generously with salt, pepper and chili flakes.
    Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. Shake the pan, scatter lemon zest over top and bake five more minutes, until fish is cooked to your liking.
    Add basil leaves, tossing them with the tomatoes with tongs so the basil wilts slightly. Garnish each piece of fish with a wilted basil leaf.

Lemony Zucchini Noodles With Halibut

8 to 10 ounces halibut
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
For noodles:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 fat shallot, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
12 to 16 ounces zucchini noodles
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley or 1/4 cup basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cherry tomatoes, chili flakes, shaved pecorino cheese, for garnish, optional

    Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and swirl to infuse oil.
    Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear both sides in oil until golden. Once both sides are seared, bake in a 375-degree oven for three to six minutes, until cooked  to your liking.
    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, then add shallots and garlic and cook about three minutes, stirring until softened and fragrant. Add zucchini noodles and season with salt and pepper. Sauté about four minutes, until noodles  soften. Toss in lemon zest, fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Add salt and pepper as needed. Divide among two bowls and top with halibut.
    Garnish with fresh halved cherry tomatoes and chili flakes and shaved pecorino cheese, if desired.


Simple Salmon Chowder

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 onion, diced or 2 leeks or shallots, sliced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
2 to 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 cup vermouth, cooking sherry or white wine
3 cups fish or chicken stock
3/4 pound baby potatoes, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 pound salmon, skinless, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
2 cups whole milk
Fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill or tarragon, optional

    Heat oil over medium heat, then saute onion, fennel and celery five to six minutes, until fragrant. Add garlic, fennel seeds and thyme and saute two more minutes, stirring. Add smoked paprika.
    Add vermouth, and cook one to two minutes. Add stock, salt, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add potatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for eight to 10 minutes, until tender, being careful to not overcook.
    Cut salmon into two-inch pieces, removing any of the brown fat and bones. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
    When potatoes are just fork-tender, add the milk and bring to a low simmer, taking care not to boil. Add the salmon, gently poaching it in the soup for about two minutes. Turn heat off and flake the fish into bite-sized pieces with a fork.
    Taste, adjust seasonings to your liking, and serve immediately garnished with fennel fronds, lemon wedges, fresh dill or tarragon.
    Soup will keep three days in the fridge.
    If using chicken stock, add one teaspoon fish sauce for depth. You can also substitute some clam juice for the stock.




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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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