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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Few different ways to serve redfish

Today, I want to share some recipes for a fish that almost went extinct because of a singular preparation. Blackened redfish is a good dish, just not one that should cause the overfishing of the species. Fortunately, some measures were put in place before Chef Paul Prudhomme’s most popular dish became unservable.

Since redfish is versatile, I have a few new ways to serve it. The first dish is based on something I discovered while on a vacation, Bayou Cioppino. The second one is a dish you are likely to find on some of the finer restaurants in New Orleans, Seared Redfish with Crawfish Cream Sauce. So grab you fish off of your line and Let’s head to the kitchen!

Bayou Cioppino

This is my take on a San Francisco classic. This seafood stew is found all around the City by the Bay. Here is my take with a New Orleans twist.

1/4 cup butter

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon saffron threads

3 cups seafood stock

1 (28-ounce) can crushed plum tomatoes

8 ounces clam juice

1 cup dry white wine

2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 pound squid, cleaned, bodies sliced into 1/2-inch rings and tentacles halved lengthwise, if desired

1/2 pound peeled and deveined medium fresh shrimp (tails left on)

1/2 pound crawfish tails

1/2 pound skinless redfish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 pound crab claws

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat, add bell pepper, onion and saffron threads; cook until onion begins to become tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, clam juice, wine, bay leaves, parsley, oregano, thyme, Creole seasoning, lemon zest, and red pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, and let cool for 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, purée mixture.

Bring mixture back to a simmer over medium heat. Add squid and shrimp; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in crawfish, and bring to a simmer. Add fish and crab claws; cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve.

Seared Redfish with Crawfish Cream Sauce

Here is a dish that is a little more refined than Cioppino. I love to serve fish topped with a seafood sauce. I think this is a better way to enjoy redfish than having it blackened.

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 cup sliced almonds

8 (6-ounce) redfish fillets

2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces crawfish tails

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

2 teaspoons dry sherry

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add almonds; cook, stirring frequently, until butter is melted and almonds are browned. Remove from skillet.

Sprinkle fish with Creole seasoning. Dust fish with flour. In a large skillet, heat oil and 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add 4 fish fillets; cook until fish is browned and flakes easily with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place on a serving platter.Repeat with remaining fish. Top with almond mixture.

Increase heat to medium-high, and add garlic and remaining 1/4 cup butter to skillet. Add cream; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Stir in crawfish tails; cook until heated through. Stir in thyme, oregano and sherry. Spoon crawfish mixture over fish. Serve.

You know that redfish must be good eating if we almost ate it into extinction. Most redfish in stores today are farm raised. In most cases, you won’t be able to tell the difference. Using them in these recipes will make your taste buds sing!

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