Easy Red Snapper and Tomatoes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Palatable Possibilities: Easy Red Snapper and Tomatoes! When I was a kid, I couldn’t stand the “fishy” taste of Midwestern fish fillets. The fact that I practically choked on a bone really didn’t make it enjoyable either. But fast forward to the fresh catch from the salty waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Red snapper is quite delicious, I must say. Because they thrive on mostly shrimp and crab, it intensifies their flavor, making red snapper mild and slightly sweet. The local fishermen have me spoiled, especially Dilly’s Fish Company. They catch the fish, transfer it on ice to a central location, clean it, debone it, remove the scales, fins, and head. Then they fillet the fish, package it, and identify it, since I’m usually buying more than one variety. Fish is sold by weight as caught out of the water. Once I know what I want, I simply need to decide how I’m going to cook it. As you can guess….for me that’s the best part….until I eat it.

EASY RED SNAPPER AND TOMATOES

Ingredients:

1 pound red snapper fillets, fresh

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 Roma tomatoes, quartered

Instructions:

Wash red snapper fillets and pat dry. Line a grill pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick oil. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Brush both sides of red snapper with mixture. Transfer fish to the grill pan. Arrange quartered tomatoes around fish. Drizzle remaining olive oil mixture over tomatoes. Preheat gas grill to medium-high heat, approximately 450°. Cook fish dinner for 4 minutes with the lid closed. Then carefully flip fish, close lid, and cook 4 minutes longer. Remove and serve immediately.

Drawn Butter Fish Favorite

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Palatable Possibilities: Drawn Butter Fish Favorite! Keeping it simple with a fresh catch is probably my favorite way of serving fish. Now that I’ve connected with a local fisherman, it practically feels like a luxury to plan evening meals. The marinade couldn’t get any easier; a couple of key ingredients do the trick. After all, the star attraction is the warm melted butter. You’ve heard me rave about the French sea salt butter we order once a year. It is ah-mazing. Serve dinner with fresh veggies from the produce bin and you’ll be smiling all through the meal.

DRAWN BUTTER FISH FAVORITE

Ingredients:

1 pound Almaco Jack fish fillets

1-2 tablespoons garlic wine vinegar

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sea salt butter

Juice of one Lemon

Instructions:

Rinse fish fillets and pat dry. In a shallow dish, combine garlic wine vinegar, olive oil, and minced garlic. Brush both sides of the fish fillets with marinade. Place fillets in the shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour. To cook, warm butter in an iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish fillets, cover, and cook for 4 minutes without turning. Flip and cook 4 minutes longer or until fish is crispy. Transfer fillets to a plate, drizzle with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Spoon drawn butter over all. Serve immediately.

Crunchy Crab Cakes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Palatable Possibilities: Crunchy Crab Cakes! Get ready for a celebration meal by simply serving crab cakes. You’re going to want to savor every bite, so try really hard to chew your food 20 times before taking another forkful. The outer layer is crispy crunchy, which works well for serving with a homemade jezebel sauce, creamy horseradish, or Caesar dressing. Personally, I prefer a bed of romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and green onions simply because it intensifies the sweet lump crabmeat filling that much more. Pour yourself a glass of chilled Chardonnay, bubbly Prosecco, or Pinot Blanc. Now let’s get this party started.

CRUNCHY CRAB CAKES

Ingredients:

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sriracha

1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped

16-ounce can lump crabmeat, rinsed and drained

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick oil. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together beaten egg, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, soy sauce, sriracha, and Cajun seasoning. Add chopped red pepper and green onions. Fold in crabmeat and 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs. Place remaining breadcrumbs on a sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Divide crab mixture into fourths. Shape each portion into a patty. Coats both sides in the panko bread crumbs. Place crab cake on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with the remaining mixture. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until crab cakes are crispy on the bottom. Flip over and bake 10-12 minutes longer or until golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.

Bang Bang Sauce

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Palatable Possibilities: Bang Bang Sauce! Look no further for a tasty condiment that can be smeared, dunked, or drizzled all over fried chicken, grilled shrimp, or even steamed broccoli if the mood strikes you. It’s smooth and creamy, a little bit spicy, honey sweet, and tingles your tongue. You absolutely must share with everyone else at the table. After all, garlic tastes delicious in food, but it leaves behind a slightly pungent odor that can find some people feeling offended or jealous. And we wouldn’t want that.

BANG BANG SAUCE

Ingredients:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 teaspoon natural honey

1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

Green onions, for garnish

Red pepper flakes, for garnish

Instructions:

In a mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, natural honey, rice vinegar, and minced garlic. Whisk until everything is combined. Pour into a serving dish. Garnish with green onion snips and red pepper flakes. Serve as a dipping sauce with seafood.

Autumn Spice Banana Bread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Palatable Possibilities: Autumn Spice Banana Bread! Whenever people want to give me a gift of a scented candle, I always choose bakery aromas over floral ones. Buttery Caramel Corn, Pumpkin Pecan Waffles, Vanilla Frosted Cupcake, to name a few. I confess, I could have a love affair with cinnamon, maple, ginger, or cardamom. My knees grow weak just thinking about it. Perhaps that is one reason Autumn spices make me crazy while throwing caution to the wind and willpower out the door. I scrape the bowl leaving just enough batter to taste in a teaspoon. It’s how you know the results will be amazing; at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

AUTUMN SPICE BANANA BREAD

Ingredients:

3 bananas, peeled and mashed

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup coconut, flaked

1/2 cup carrots, peeled and shredded

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside. In a bowl, combine mashed bananas, mayonnaise, and egg. Mix well. In another bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and sea salt. Stir in the banana mixture, just until moistened. Fold in flaked coconut and shredded carrots. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Rest for 10 minutes. Remove banana bread from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Ingredients for Frosting:

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

2-3 tablespoons light cream

Roasted pumpkin seeds and crushed pecans, for garnish

Instructions for Frosting:

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and unsalted butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and sea salt. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons light cream. Frosting will be thick, but spreadable. Spread the frosting over the completely cooled banana bread. Sprinkle generously with roasted pumpkin seeds and crushed pecans.

Palatable Possibilities

Many areas of the country offer walking tours to get acquainted with history as well as attractions, restaurants, and shopping. Culinary tours have become a popular thing, too. Think about it. Cities have always been multicultural. People move in and bring with them family customs, lifestyle traditions, and amazing comfort food. Before long festivals celebrating ethic heritage are long-established and popular. People share recipes, our sense of taste is enhanced, and cravings set in with mental appreciation. Perhaps this is why some of us eat to live and live to eat. Amirite? So many foods and ingredients can be substituted to appeal to each lifestyle and palate. It’s all about the possibilities, ideas, and balance. I encourage you to make substitutions in the recipes I offer without sacrificing taste. I do it all the time; you can, too.

Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures one bite at a time. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Palatable Possibilities!” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement.