The tradition of eating fish on Fridays during the season of Lent goes back for many years in some Christian religions. The tradition has been relaxed somewhat in recent times, but is still common for many and you will find fish served on Fridays during Lent in many households. Of course, this is a good tradition to continue year-round for everyone, since we are encouraged to enjoy seafood twice a week as part of a healthy diet. If you are bored with your usual fish dishes, here are some new ones for you to try, including a variety of seafood choices and cooking methods.
Big basil shrimp chowder
Clam chowder is frequently served for Lent, but let's change it up with this easy-to-make shrimp chowder that is rich in flavor. Mascarpone cheese is used in place of cream, which is somewhat of a change.
Servings: 6 to 8
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup chopped red onion
¾ cup finely chopped green sweet pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
2 (8-oz.) bottles clam juice
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1½ pounds large shrimp, peeled, with tails on
1 (12 oz.) package frozen whole kernel corn
2 tablespoons capers
1 (8 oz.) container mascarpone cheese
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add celery, onion and sweet pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour until coated. Add the water, clam juice, Old Bay seasoning and dried basil. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Stir in shrimp, corn and capers. Cook 2 to 5 minutes or until shrimp are bright pink. Remove from heat. Stir in mascarpone cheese until melted. If desired, serve with fresh basil. Source: Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications, “Soups & Stews”, 2016.
Recently I tried baking a salmon fillet with a crust of chopped nuts and bread crumbs, and I found it gives a nice crunch to the fish. The mustard and honey serves as a base for the nuts and breadcrumbs and adds a special sweet and tangy flavor.
¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
4 teaspoons flat-leafed parsley, minced
4 (6-oz.) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons mustard
1½ tablespoons honey
¼ cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Stir together breadcrumbs, pecans and parsley. Lightly season salmon with salt and pepper and set pieces on baking sheet. Mix honey, mustard and butter together and brush salmon generously with mixture; sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. Bake salmon until just baked through (it will still be opaque) 10–15 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets. Transfer to individual plates, with a lemon wedge on the side. Serve immediately. Source: “Flavors of Harvey Cedars,” Harvey Cedars Activity Committee.
Do you have someone in your family that says they don’t like fish? Try serving them this dish, which will most likely get them to change their mind.
2 pounds halibut steaks, 1-inch thick
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced onion
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Rinse halibut and pat dry. Arrange steaks side by side in greased 8- x 12-inch baking pan. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream and flour, stirring until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, onion and cayenne. Spoon mixture evenly over fish to cover completely. Bake uncovered in preheated 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until fish is opaque in center of thickest part. Sprinkle cheese over fish and continue to bake until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Lift steaks onto warmed platter and serve at once. Source: “Crème de Colorado Cookbook,” Junior League of Denver Incorporated.
You can use canned salmon to make this salmon pie that is similar to a quiche. It makes a great evening meal served with a salad. The recipe is one that was used for a special fundraiser luncheon I was part of.
Partially pre-baked pie crust in square Pyrex dish or round deep-dish pan
1 can cream of mushroom soup
¾ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1½ cups salmon, flaked
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon dill weed
1½ cups medium Cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In sauce pan, melt butter and sauté green onions. Add soup, sour cream and dill weed. Reheat to soft boil. In pre-baked pie shell, put 1 cup of cheese on bottom of shell. Mix the flour into the flaked salmon and put into pie shell over cheese. Remove soup and sour cream mixture from stove, cool slightly and add beaten eggs, stirring quickly. Reheat for a few minutes. Pour mixture over salmon. Sprinkle with remainder of cheese. Bake for 40 minutes, or until knife comes out clean when inserted in middle. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
The microwave can be used to prepare many dishes, and is not just for reheating foods. It is useful when cooking fish. Just be sure to check it frequently so the fish does not overcook, and remember the food will continue to cook once it is removed from the microwave. Cod is an inexpensive fish and makes for a nutritious and budget-friendly dinner.
1 pound cod fillets (Orange roughy can be substituted)
¼ cup mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup celery, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 medium tomato, diced
Combine mushrooms, onion, celery, lemon juice, oil, thyme and pepper in microwave-proof bowl. Microwave on high 2 to 3 minutes or until tender crisp. Lay cod fillets in microwave-proof dish. Spoon vegetable mixture over fish; add tomatoes. Cover dish with plastic wrap; turn back one corner. Microwave on high 3 to 5 minutes or until fish just flakes when tested with a fork. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes to complete cooking. Garnish with parsley. Source: “Seafood Twice a Week,” Evie Hansen and Cindy Snyder, MPH, RD.