Seared Rare Maguro with Pineapple Tōgarashi and Pan-Roasted Edamame

Pole-and-line-caught maguro (yellowfin, ahi tuna) from the pristine waters of Hawaii is seasoned simply with sea salt and cracked pepper, then seared over high heat for two minutes per side.

Served with a sweet and sour puree of pineapple and mango seasoned with tōgarashi (dried Japanese chili peppers) and a splash of fresh lime juice.

Pan-Roasted organic edamame completes the dish..

While yellowfin tuna is found throughout most of the world’s oceans, troll/pole-caught from U.S. waters are contain less mercury than the larger longline and purse seine-caught fish found in international waters.  Hawaii enforces strict bycatch regulations, helping this fish to earn a “best choice” rating from Seafood Watch.

Blue Crab Créole

A bounty of fresh garden vegetables including green bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and celery, with loads of herbs and fresh spices like thyme, oregano, bay and cayenne.

Toss in a pound of Gulf blue crab and serve over steamed rice topped with garlic chives.  Don’t forget the hot sauce!

I eat Créole whenever I have the chance, which is a lot.  If you need it, here’s an easily adaptable recipe for the base.

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The Gulf of Mexico (Spanish: Golfo de México) is an ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba.  In Texas and Louisiana it is often called the “Third Coast,” in comparison with the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts.  –Wikipedia

Buffalo-Roasted Cauliflower, Buttermilk Bleu Cheese Dressing

Fresh cauliflower is cut into florets, misted with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.  Slow-roasted until tender-crisp and brown, then dressed with Buffalo sauce (equal proportions of Frank’s Hot Sauce and melted butter, with a dash of vinegar) and returned to the oven for a few more minutes to glaze.

Served hot with a cooling combination of crumbled bleu cheese, buttermilk, shaved celery, sour cream, chives, parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice..

“Cauliflower is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese.”  –NutritionData

Pan-Seared Halibut with Spiced Lemon Confit, English Peas

Wild Alaskan halibut seared in clarified butter and topped with spiced lemon confit, English peas and fresh parsley, cracked pepper and crunchy sea salt..

For the Lemon Confit (Saveur Magazine)

2 lemons
1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cracked fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
2 bay leaves

Halve lemons crosswise and squeeze their juice into a bowl; set juice aside.

Thinly slice juiced lemons crosswise and transfer lemons, reserved juice, and remaining ingredients to a 1-qt. saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from heat; let cool. Transfer lemon confit to a glass jar, cover, and refrigerate. Confit will keep, refrigerated, for 3 weeks.

For the Halibut and Peas

2 wild Alaskan halibut filets, skinned, about 5-6 ounces each
2 tablespoons clarified butter
1 cup English peas, shelled
fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
coarse sea salt for finishing

Gently rinse the halibut in cold water, pat dry and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until shimmering.

Carefully slide the halibut filets into the hot pan and sear without moving for 3 minutes.

Use a fish spatula to carefully turn the filets over and cook another 3 minutes (depending on thickness), basting all the while with the butter from the pan (the fish is done when it becomes opaque and easily separates into large flakes).  Transfer fish to warm dinner plates.

Quickly sauté the peas in the fish pan until just done, about 2-3 minutes.

Spoon some lemon confit over the fish, then spoon the peas on top of that.

Finish with coarse sea salt and parsley and serve immediately.

Pacific halibut is a bottom-dwelling groundfish that nestles into the sandy seafloor, often seen with only its eyes and mouth uncovered. Primarily found in the coastal North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, it migrates hundreds of miles from shallow coastal waters to the deep, open ocean to spawn in winter. Most return, year after year, to the same coastal feeding grounds.

Most Pacific halibut are caught in Alaska where fishing for Pacific halibut is strictly limited to the bottom longlining method, which causes little habitat damage or bycatch. Pacific halibut is also caught using troll lines and bottom trawl nets.  —Seafood Watch

Jalapeno Cheese Grits with Charred Onions and Smoked Sausage

Organic, stone-ground grits with fresh jalapeños, charred onions and sharp cheddar, topped with a smoked sausage link and red enchilada sauce..

For the Grits

1/2 cup organic, stone-ground grits
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 medium jalapeños, optionally seeded, chopped
1-1/2 cups stock or filtered water
1/2 cup fresh, whole milk
1-1/2 cups sharp, raw cheddar, grated
1 tablespoon butter
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Dry-roast the onion and peppers in a cast iron skillet until partially charred, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Bring the stock or water to a low boil and slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring continuously until nearly done, about 20 minutes.

Add the butter and milk and stir to combine. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

Remove from heat and add cheese.  Stir until melted.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.