Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

swordfish recipe

Pan-fried fish: white grunt and swordfish

Two busy weeknights had me relying on some old faithfuls. If you buy local fish like I do, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper, maybe some lemon, but I like zhushing it up a bit.

First, my three-step dredge for pan-fried white grunt—that’s a fish, y’all, a mild, flaky fish with a flavor comparable to bass or snapper. Some day I’ll make grits and grunt, a traditional coastal dish.

  • One, dredge fillets in salted flour.
  • Two, dip in buttermilk mixed with a few dashes of hot sauce. Or a beaten egg instead.
  • And, three, dredge in seasoned cornmeal. This time, I added some panko breadcrumbs to the cornmeal. You could use all breadcrumbs or crushed crackers (maybe saltines) instead.

My second standby prep was for swordfish. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve seen this one before: melted butter with lemon juice, garlic salt and Aleppo pepper flakes. Simple enough that it lets the fish’s flavor shine but you still feel like you’re actually cooking.

swordfish recipe

Lentil what?

As soon as I saw the name of this recipe, lentil kielbassoulet, I was in. I love cassoulet, but who has the time for duck confit? This Bon Appetit shortcut gave me an excuse to buy really good kielbasa from Mae Farm—they’re right next door to Locals Seafood in the farmers market. The results: a hearty and tasty Sunday dinner.

A side in a can

Maybe it’s my restaurant conditioning but a meal doesn’t seem complete unless the plate includes a protein, veggie and starch, or two veggies. Three’s the magic number unless I’m making a one-bowl meal, like pasta or stew, although I’ll make a vegetable too if the bowl isn’t veggie-forward.

Sweet potatoes are a regular starch around here, but in a pinch, a can of white beans comes in handy. Throw them in a pan with some garlic, rosemary and lemon zest, and voilà.

A keeper pancake recipe

I can never remember ingredient ratios for pancakes so I’m always consulting a recipe. Cook’s Illustrated has a good one but I saw this buttermilk pancakes recipe in my stream, so that’s what I made for Sunday breakfast. It’s a keeper! I added frozen blueberries and served them with breakfast sausage from Mae Farm.

That’s it! Buy local!

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Swordfish photo via Wikimedia Commons

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