I really love seafood. Even though I’ve lived two thirds of my life in the south, I grew up in Massachusetts, just outside Boston. Fish, of course, is everywhere there. I also grew up in an Irish-Catholic home so fish on Fridays was an absolute. My Mother was not a good cook. I suffered through Fish Fridays thinking I hated it. Then when I was about ten years old I went to spend the week-end with my great- (Polish) Aunt Florence and Uncle Walter. They were both wonderful cooks. (In a tribute to my uncle, Wally Burgers will appear here at some point!) I arrived there on a Friday and….. oh my gosh, Fish Friday! I knew I would have to eat whatever I was served, and I was in a panic. Then the most incredible smells started coming out of the kitchen. I began to wonder if they did Fish Fridays, but quickly I thought, well, of course they do. But what was that wonderful smell?
I sat down to these fat fried battered fish filets with creamy tartar sauce, fluffy crunchy fried potatoes, and tangy cole slaw. Everything was homemade. Who would have thought? Fish was delicious! Depending on who cooked it. My Aunt Florence inspired me to be the best cook I could be. She also I inspired me to be a nurse.
So…. since, in my opinion, fish in the south can’t hold a claw to fish in New England, and you can’t eat it fried every day (tempting though!) I wanted some recipes that could be used with lots of different kinds of fish. After a lot of trial and error, I came up with several. I’m loving my fish again! Unless I’ve just been home to New England for a visit, then all bets are off!
This is my favorite. It’s easy to make, tastes great, and you can use whatever kind of fish you have. For all you Catholics out there, it will make Fish Fridays wonderful!
Fabulous Broiled Fish!
In a small bowl, mix 3/4C shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese, 1/2C softened butter, 1/3C mayonnaise, 2 – 3 T lemon juice, a small bunch scallions, finely sliced, 1/2t each Kosher salt and black pepper, 1/4t cayenne pepper. Mix really well and set aside. Turn on your broiler to preheat. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place 2 lbs skinless fish filets in the pan in a single layer. Here is where it gets fun. You can use cod, haddock, halibut, tilapia, salmon, mahi mahi, catfish…. the possibilities are endless.
Okey dokey…. put the pan 6 inches from the broiler and cook anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filets. When the fish flakes with a fork, pull it out of the oven. Remember that stuff in the bowl? Well, now you are going to smear it all over the filets. Put it back under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes until bubbly and hot and brown and amazing. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and decorate with lemon slices or wedges.
I gotta tell ya, this is great. I also have garlic herb and lemon pepper recipes, among others, which you can also use with many different kinds of fish. So, as the Lenten Season comes upon us, we are gonna crush Fish Fridays! God bless you Aunt Florence!