Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Fresh fish for the Lenten season

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

Fresh fish is a must in the Lenten season.
Fresh fish is a must in the Lenten season.

For Lent, this week’s blog topic is fresh fish. Your local fish seller has a variety of fresh fish available, some caught in local waters.

If cooked properly, fresh fish is delicious and as healthy as you can get. Some of the more popular local fish are speckled trout, red fish, flounder, mullet, drum, lemon fish and grouper, but there are dozens of others.

I love to quick cook fresh fish, seasoned with a blackened seasoning or a Creole season, then serve with a tomato garnish. You can serve it neat, or as a fish taco, it is delicious either way. Do not overcook the fish. Cooking time will vary with the thickness of the filet.

All the photos used this week, with the exception of today's, were taken at Vestige in Ocean Springs.

1-2 pound red drum, also known as red fish

Blackened seasoning, or Creole seasoning

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large red ripe tomato

1/2 to 1 chopped jalapeño

Olive oil

Cast iron grill pan

Optional garlic

Chop the tomato and jalapeño, then add lots of black pepper. Add a clove or two of chopped garlic if you like. Add olive oil and mix well. Wash off the filet and make sure there are no bones, then pat dry. Add olive oil to the grill pan and heat to smoking hot. Aggressively season the filet, carefully add to the pan, cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn the heat down and cook 2 minutes more. Turn the filet over, reduce heat to minimum, add a lid and cook for 3 minutes. Serve garnished with the tomato relish.

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