Category Archives: Fish

Baked Fish in Foil: Sea Bass, Mushrooms and Asparagus

Chilean Sea Bass in Foil Packet

This dish is amazingly simple and memorably tasty.  It's from one of my favorite little cookbooks, Cook This, Not That: Easy and Awesome 350-calorie Meals by David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding.

It's not one of the cheapest meals in the book.  I paid $20 for about 10oz. of Chilean Sea Bass, which gave me 4 oz. and Allen 6 oz.  Plenty for both of us, since we had a salad with it.  You can save money by using halibut or any white fish, even tilapia or catfish, the authors suggest.

TIPS:  use skinny asparagus – it's more tender; to peel ginger root before grating, use the back of a spoon and scrape it off rather than use a sharp knife; after grating the ginger, it tends to stick to the grater – to release, hold the grater over the fish and bang the grater against something solid like the side of a pan or dull side of a large chef's knife, and it will spatter haphazardly over the fish, which is what you want.  

Sea Bass Fish in Foil Packet

Rather than give the recipe for 4 people, and then having to halve it or or even quarter it for one person, I'll present the recipe per packet.

250 calories, 4.5 g fat, 540 mg sodium

$5.85 per serving for sea bass (Chilean is more expensive than this), or less for other white fish 

Somewhat Interesting Family Factoid: 

Every time someone mentions Chilean Sea Bass, my better half, Allen, blurts out PATAGONIAN TOOTHFISH!

That's because he read Four Fishes: The Future of the Last Wild Food, by Paul Greenberg.  It explains that for marketing purposes, someone decided to rename the Patagonian Toothfish to Chilean Seabass. 

Sea Bass Packet
Compliments of JennaDish 


6 oz. Sea Bass fillet (or halibut or other white fish)
2-8 spears of asparagus, preferably skinny spears, ends removed and chopped in half (I used about 6)
1 oz. shitake mushrooms, stems removed (equal to about 2-3 mushrooms, sliced)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons mirin (sweetened sake) or sweet white wine
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven the 400o F.

Lay 4 large (18" x 12") piece aluminum foil for each fish packet.  Fold into thirds and open back up.  Lay fish fillet in the middle third of each piece, then scatter the asparagus, mushrooms, and ginger over each.  Drizzle with the soy sauce and mirin and season with a small pinch of salt (actually I forgot this part and didn't miss it), and black pepper.  Fold the sides over the fish, then roll up the ends to secure into a fully sealed packet.

Arrange the packets on a large baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes (if 1/2" thick or less, bake for 15 min; if closer to a full 1", bake for 20 min).  When baked, place each packet directly on a plate and serve.  Be careful of the hot steam when opening the foil packet.


Speedy Seafood Supper

Seafood Supper
Gosh, this once-frozen seafood looks scraggly.  Looks like I defrosted it in the clothes dryer.

Speedy Seafood Soup

UPDATE:  Made it a second time when I had more daylight. No more scraggly fish.

1. This dish is meant to be quick – you know – you forgot to lay anything out.  Everything's frozen or in cans. Check.

2. Has a very nice flavored broth, but I added about 6 shakes of Frank's Hot Sauce which gave it a slight zip as a personal preference.  Check.

3.  It's supposed to serve 2-4 people.  Uh, no check here.  She must be talking about 2-4 super models.  Allen ate pretty much the whole thing.  I ate exactly 1/2 cup because I wanted him to have as much as he needed since he was going out to his men's group.  Yes, I said men's group.

4.  This photo looks absolutely nothing like the one in the Nigella Kitchen cookbook.  Hate that.  Not the first time this has happened. I suspect they do some PhotoShoping. UPDATE: I made again with fire roasted tomatoes and took a better photo. Added 3 jalapeno slices to throw in Allen's bowl.  Also added a little leftover smoked ham but won't do again because it overpowered the fish.

Next time I would double everything.  Possibly double everything except the fish – could do 1.5 times the fish and add some very small pasta, like ditalini.  Also would use something other than diced tomatoes.  UPDATE: Fire-roasted tomatoes helped.

Mop up the juices with crusty bread.

Speedy Seafood Supper
Compliments of JennaDish


adapted from Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

pinch saffron threads
1 cup freshly boiled water
4 teaspoons garlic flavored oil (I used olive oil and sauteed a smashed clove of garlic)
6 scallions (didn't have it – sprinkled about 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes and sauteed lightly w garlic)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon (or dill or dried basil)
1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine
14-ounce diced tomatoes (fire-roasted adds more depth of flavor)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt, or to taste
1 pound frozen mixed seafood (I used 5-6 oz. each bay scallops, medium shrimp, cod fillet)
pepper, to taste
fresh herbs, to serve (optional)
Frank's Hot sauce (optional)

Put the saffron threads in a bowl and add 1 cup freshly boiled water.

Warm the garlic flavored oil in a wide, shallow, heavy-based pan over a medium heat, and fry the scallions and dried tarragon for a minute or so. (I used my old, not-so-heavy, stainless steel dutch oven – worked just fine).

Add the vermouth (or wine) and let bubble for a minute, then add the saffron in its yellow water, followed by the tomatoes, and let it all come to a boil.  Add half the amount of salt specified above.

Turn up the heat to high (or medium high like I did) add the frozen seafood, and bring the pan back to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and cook at a robust simmer till the seafood is hot and cooked through, which should be 3 or 4 minutes.

Season with pepper to taste, and add the rest of the salt if required, sprinkle with any available herbs, if you feel like it, and serve, for pleasurable mopping, with some crusty bread. (I sprinkled fresh parsley and did not like it – not necessary.)


Glazed Roasted Salmon

Chili-Glazed Salmon
The above photo is a rendition of Cook This Not That's Chili-Glazed Salmon.  I only had Asian Chili Garlic sauce which is much hotter than sweet chili sauce.  So I left out the very hot sriracha sauce.  Unless you like extremely spicy foods, the amount of chili sauce on the fish pictured is way too much unless you serve it with rice and mix it together, which is what I did.  Next time, if I used Chili Garlic sauce again, I'd just use about 1/3 less than what is called for in the recipe.  However if you use the proper ingredients, I'm sure it would be wonderful.

Chili-Glazed Salmon is 330 calories and $3.83 per serving compared to Applebee's Orange Glazed Salmon at 790 calories and $13.49.

The following are 4 different glaze options to go with the roasted salmon recipe.

Chili Glaze
1/4 cup Asian-style sweet chili sauce
2 Tblsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tblsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sriracha or other spicy chili sauce
4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz ea)

Hoisin Glaze
2 Tbsp hoisin
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp orange juice
4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz ea)

Honey Dijon Glaze
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz ea)

Chipotle Lime Glaze
2 Tbsp softened butter
1 Tbsp canned chipotle pepper
juice of 1 lime
shaved Parmesan
4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz ea)

Preheat oven to 425o.  Combine the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and sriracha in a mixing bowl.  Place the salmon fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Use a brush or a spoon to lacquer the salmon with the glaze. 

Bake the salmon until the glaze has begun to lightly caramelize and the salmon flakes with gentle pressure, about 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.


Happy New Year! 


Our family went to Prima Vista Italian Restaurant over Christmas break.  Allen loves seafood so he ordered Cioppino and loved it.  Then a few days later we went to Via Vite and he had Cioppino as an appetizer.  He liked the Prima Vista version better.

Anyway, he asked me to learn how to make it, so I looked at a few versions and came up with one that was a hit.

Cioppino (Fish Soup)
Compliments of JennaDish

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 rib celery, optional
4-6 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 cups white wine
28 oz (3 1/2 cups) crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2-3 shakes of worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 slices lemon
1 lb. sturdy fish (I used cod), cut into 1-2" pieces
1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb. black mussels, scrubbed
1 lb. clams or Dungeness crab, in pieces
chopped parsley

In a dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion and celery until soft, about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook another minute.  Add wine, tomatoes, red pepper, worcestershire sauce, and oregano.  Cover and let simmer on low for 40 minutes.

Remove lid and turn heat up to medium high, add lemon slices, fish, shrimp, crab and mussels.  Cover and let boil 5 minutes.  Remove lid and check to make sure all mussels have opened up.

Scoop into large shallow bowls and serve with sourdough bread and a nice glass of wine.

NOTE TO SELF:  This can be pricey.  Need to learn how to by fish cheaper.  Also, don't use canned clams.


Honey Mustard Salmon

Download Honey Mustard Salmon Recipe

This past weekend was quite a whirlwind of disappointment for Reds and Bengals fans, but I do like how this Honey Mustard Salmon matches the pictures of the sad tale below.

After becoming the 2010 Central Division Champions – the Reds' first playoff spot in 15 years – they lost against the Phillies who will go on to the World Series. 

And then there's the Bengals.  John Popovich has been delivering bad news and conducting the almost comical weekend wrap-up sports show, Sports of All Sorts, for a long, long, long-long time.


Witness the Dazed and Confused Fans


But on the other hand… the University of Cincinnati BEARCATS were awesome!  Too awesome. Seriously.
We were there.

SCORE!  Seven to Zero.  Whoo!

V.  I.  C.  T.  O.  R.  Y.  !!
Fourteen to zero.  Yahoo!



Twenty to zero.  Lordy!

UC Player to Miami:  "OK. You guys know you're supposed to try to score, right?"

Twenty-eight to zero.  Wowza!

Thirty-one to zero three!  Dang.

Thirty-eight to three.  REALLY?  SERIOUSLY?

Touchdown!  (we were really close and had a good telefoto!)

Forty-four to three?  OH MY GAWD PEOPLE ?!?!

And then it was half time.  

(2nd string came in and this became the final score.)


This recipe per serving is 370 calories 21g fat (6 saturated).  Cost: $2.77

Compared to Outback Salmon Griller 1,126 calories, 25g saturated fat.  Cost: $11.18

Honey Mustard Salmon
Compliments of JennaDish


from Cook This, Not That!: Kitchen Survival Guide

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and black peper to taste
4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)

Preheat the oven to 400oF.  Combine the butter and brown sugar in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, until the butter and sugar have melted together.  Stir in the mustard, honey, and soy sauce.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper and add to the pan flesh-side down.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until fully browned and flip.  Brush with half of the glaze and place the pan in the oven until the salmon is firm and flaky (but before the white fat begins to form on the surface), about 5 minutes.  Remove, brush the salmon with more of the honey mustard, and serve.

Crab Cakes with Avocado Sauce


Dear Jillian

You walked yesterday in the 21st Annual Walk to Stop AIDS event with friends from school.  StopAids is "dedicated to educating the community about the continuing risk of HIV infection and providing competent, compassionate service to those already impacted by HIV/AIDS."  And this walk helps them get information out to people.  I love to see you involved in your community and helping good causes.

I'm so happy we moved to the city to be closer to your school.  I'm glad for all the the school has to offer, your friends, your awesome teachers. 

I'm thrilled that MTV's Taking the Stage


is gone.  Cute little show but the camera crew and shooting during school was a pain in the arse for teachers and students.

Well, anyway, Jillian.  I'm glad you're you.  Who's hungry?

Continue reading

Easy Lemon and Chive Salmon Cakes

Salmon Patties f1IMG_9854

I have weird fond memories of helping my mom make salmon patties (we called them patties, not cakes).  Opening the can, plopping it in a bowl, poking around at the gray slimy fish skin, making a game of trying to remove a long row of soft round bones and spiny bones all at once without breaking them.  Rarely works. They're too fragile. 


Although I could certainly come up with my own recipe for this common dish, I don't mind at all using a recipe and crediting someone else.  This recipe comes from this Mary Engelbreit cookbook I received as a gift on my birthday in 2000.  I think I appreciate the artwork and beautiful photography as much as the basic, dependable recipes of good ol' American home cooking.  Makes a nice gift.  I should know!



Usually I give an overview of the recipe process, but for Pete's sake, you mix all the ingredients except the bread crumb coating, form patties, cakes, patty cakes, then coat with crumbs, fry, eat.

Here's a tip.  Pick up some horseradish sauce from IKEA.  Or make your own by adding horseradish to mayo and relish.  Tasty.

Lemon & Chive Salmon Cakes
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from Mary Engelbreit's Queen of the Kitchen Cookbook

1 (15 1/2 ounce) can red salmon, drained
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Dash of Tabasco, or to taste
1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F for keeping patties warm, once cooked.

In a medium bowl, mix salmon, fresh bread crumbs, parsley, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg, milk, mustard and Tabasco until well combined.  Shape the mixture into eight 2 1/2" rounds.  Put the dried bread crumbs on a plate and coat each salmon cake thoroughly with the crumbs.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil over medium heat.  Add half of the salmon cakes and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  Transfer to an ovenproof platter and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining salmon cakes in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil.

Top with your favorite tartar sauce or horseradish sauce.