Treats From the Sea:Recipes

Weakfish and squid

David’s Fresh Squid With Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
    Serves three to four.

11/4 lbs. squid, cleaned, with tentacles
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste

    Prepare squid by slicing bodies into rings. If the tentacles are small, use them whole, if large, divide into two or three clusters.
    Heat olive oil over medium high heat in large skillet, then add squid and garlic. Allow squid and garlic to cook, stirring gently, for about three to four minutes. It should begin to firm up and whiten — do not overcook.
    Toss in the rosemary, a few twists of black pepper, a pinch of salt, and cook for another minute, then add the balsamic vinegar.
    Remove from heat and serve immediately.
    You could also do this for grilled squid by marinating the squid in the garlic, oil, balsamic, rosemary, and salt and pepper, then making a reduction in a pan just before grilling the squid whole.



Vietnamese-Style Squid Stir-Fry
    This recipe is adapted from James Peterson’s “Fish and Shellfish” cookbook. He invented the dish himself while reading several Vietnamese cookbooks at a time.
    Serves four as a first course or light main course.
11/2 lbs. whole squid, or 1 lb. cleaned and cut into rings
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. nuoc mam (recipe to follow)
2-inch piece lemongrass, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
2 red Thai chilies or serrano chilies, seeded and finely chopped (I use jalapeno)
2 scallions, including green, finely sliced
3 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp. finely chopped mint



Nuoc Mam Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
    Makes one cup.
1 red Thai or serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped (Again, I use jalapeno when I can’t find serranos.)
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

    Combine sauce ingredients in non-reactive bowl, stir until blended. Keeps in refrigerator for a week.
    Toss squid in mixing bowl with garlic and nuoc mam and let sit in refrigerator about 45 minutes.
    Drain squid, reserving the sauce than runs off.
    Heat the lemongrass in the oil in a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. When the lemongrass starts to sizzle — don’t let it brown — add the squid all at once. Stir the squid over high heat for about 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients except the reserved sauce and stir for about 30 seconds more. Pour on reserved sauce, heat for 30 seconds, until it comes to simmer. Spoon the squid with its sauce onto hot plates and serve immediately.



Broiled Weakfish
    This is Mrs. Condie Lamb’s recipe for Broiled Weakfish from “The East Hampton L.V.I.S. Centennial Cookbook.” You can also find it in the original 1965 “L.V.I.S. Cookbook.” This recipe sounds very gutsy to me! No measurements are given; it is a narrative recipe.
    Weakfish is so delicate in flavor that it needs to be fresh, fresh, fresh. Have fish split for broiling. Dribble white wine over it and let stand for an hour. Spread the fish with anchovy butter, freshly ground pepper, fresh grated nutmeg, and broil gently for about 12 to 15 minutes. Do not overcook.
    Put aside on a hot platter. Add more anchovy butter to pan together with thinly sliced cucumbers. Heat through until cucumbers are just limp. Pour over fish. Garnish with parsley and lemon.
Weakfish with Salsa
    This weakfish recipe could also be made with swordfish. It is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Newsday’s “Foods of Long Island.”
    Serves four.
Olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs weakfish fillets
1 lemon
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
For salsa:
3 ripe tomatoes (this time of year I use cherry tomatoes, quartered), peeled and seeded
1 small fresh hot pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. minced cilantro

    Brush bottom of oven-proof baking dish with oil. Spread onion slices on bottom of dish and sprinkle with garlic. Add weakfish and squeeze half a lemon over fish. Season with cumin and oregano and salt and pepper. Cover and cook in preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake another five minutes or until fish flakes.
    To make salsa, combine tomatoes, hot pepper, garlic, and onion in blender or food processor. Blend briefly, just until mashed. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle with cilantro. You can also add lemon juice to taste.



Simply Sautéed Blowfish
    Blowfish deserves the simplest treatment, at least your first of the season does.
    Serves four.
1 lb. blowfish, cleaned and skinned
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup flour
2 lemons
Salt and pepper

    Place olive oil in frying pan so that it is approximately one quarter inch deep. Heat to medium high.
    Season flour well with plenty of salt and pepper. Dredge blowfish in seasoned flour.
    Cook fish in hot oil, two minutes per side until nice and golden.
    Serve immediately with lemon wedges.



Red Miso Marinated Blowfish
    I found this blowfish recipe online at a site called Lighthearted Locavore. My only suggestion or correction to the recipe would be to cook the marinade before using it to baste fish; you do not want to baste with marinade that had raw fish in it!
    Serves four.
1 lb. blowfish, cleaned

Red Miso Marinade:
1/4 cup red miso
3/4 cup mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
Lemon zest (I’ll just guess 1 tsp.)

    Combine marinade ingredients. Set some aside for other uses; this looks like a lot!
    Marinate fish in one cup of marinade for 30 minutes.
    Drain blowfish briefly and set aside. Bring marinade to boil, simmer two minutes, then use as basting sauce for fish.
    Prepare grill to medium high heat. Grill blowfish, basting once or twice, and turning once or twice. Be careful, they will probably cook in about five minutes, depending on size.
    Serve immediately with a stir-fried green vegetable and steamed rice.