Seafood offers some of the most healthful and delicious main courses, even on busy weeknights. Supper from the sea’s bounty can be far more delicious than another bag of fried fast food. Fortunately, ideas abound for easy seafood suppers.
Baked or broiled fish provides a simple basis for many dishes. The classic way to know how long to bake or broil fish of any kind is to measure it depth at the thickest part. Then cook the fish for eight to 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Be careful not to overcook, because few entrees are more disappointing than dry, overcooked fish.
One of the easiest seafood suppers is baked or broiled salmon. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Next, line a shallow baking pan with aluminum and place the fish skin side down. Brush the top lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper or a combination of favorite herbs. To test for doneness, insert a fork into the thickest part of the fish and twist. If the fish flakes away easily, it’s done. To remove fish from the baking pan, carefully slide a long spatula between the fish and the skin. Gently lift the fish away from the skin. Serve with side dishes such as rice and broccoli or roasted vegetables.
Here’s a recipe for broiled salmon:
1 uncut whole salmon fillet about 2-3 pounds OR
6 salmon fillets or steaks
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions: Rinse salmon and pat dry with a paper towel. Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice from one half. Mix the herbs, salt and pper into the juice. Spread this mixture evenly on the salmon. Broil on high for not more than 10 minutes. Test for doneness. If the fish at the thickest part flakes, it’s done. If not, return to the oven for not more than 5 minutes. Do not overcook! Whole salmon fillets tend to be thick in the middle and thinner on the ends. If overcooking is a concern, cut the fillet into three pieces and remove the thinner ends from cooking first. Makes 6 servings.
For those who prefer white fish, grilled fish tacos have become another popular and healthy seafood supper. Farm-raised fish such as tilapia or catfish often provide an economical option for those who don’t live near a seacoast. Frozen fish should be thawed before cooking.
¾ pound firm white fish fillets (such as tilapia or catfish)
1 tablespoon fresh, not bottled, lime juice
1 tablespoon favorite seasoning, such as Mexican, Cajun or blackening combinations
½ cup fat-free or low-fat sour cream
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 ounces sharp light Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
4 fat-free flour tortillas
Finely shredded red or green cabbage or lettuce
Chopped green onion or cilantro
Directions: Clean grill thoroughly and preheat. Combine sour cream, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl and set aside. Sprinkle preferred seasoning over fish. Grill over medium-high heat until fish turns opaque in the center, somewhere around 2 to 5 minutes depending on thickness (see note above). Do not overcook! When cooked, remove the fish to a bowl or plate and flake into cubes about 1 to 2 inches thick. Next, grill tortillas about 20 seconds per side; don’t char to blackness. Distribute fish evenly among tortillas and top with sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with desired toppings. If the cook isn’t up to grilling, bake the fish at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, then proceed as directed. Makes 2 to 4 servings,
Finally, a bag of frozen, cooked shrimp can be the start of many amazing easy seafood suppers. Thaw the shrimp as directed on the package. Next, remove the tails from the thawed shrimp. Now let your imagination run wild.
If the weather is warm, make a shrimp salad to spoon over lettuce or use as the filling for New Orleans-style “po’ boy” sandwiches on rolls. Simply combine shelled, cooked shrimp with mayonnaise or sour cream and favorite seasonings.
When cooler weather calls for heartier fare, make Shrimp Diabolo. Add shelled, cooked shrimp to traditional tomato sauce, season with cayenne pepper to taste and add to the family’s favorite pasta, be it spaghetti, rotini (twists), penne (long tubes) or shells. Use a heartier cheese such as Romano or Asiago instead of the familiar Parmesan to give the meal added interest. Serve with a salad of chopped Romaine lettuce and black olives in balsamic vinaigrette dressing to balance the tomato sauce.
Easy seafood supper ideas offer cooks the opportunity to exercise a little kitchen creativity with some bounty from the sea.