Back to the Kitchen: Fruits of the Sea for Fall Cooking

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With the weather so blistering hot lately, it’s been challenging to create my fall and winter menus. Here are some fall fish dishes that are really wonderful and yet light enough to enjoy even in the warmest of Indian summers.

Cajun Salmon with Spicy Chipotle Squash and Sweet Mango Salsa is a wonderful blend of late summer/early autumn. Cioppino is a light Italian fish stew amazing with crusty bread and a green salad. Pistachio Crusted Chilean Seabass is a great recipe wonderful with halibut or Mahi Mahi as well. I do not like clams because no matter how much I scrubbed then they were always sandy, but I got a great tip. Rinse them off in cold water to get rid of the gunk. While keeping them submerged place a stainless steel spoon over them and stream water continuously for ten minutes. The combination of the water and the stainless creates an electrical current that causes the clams to spit out any sand.

Oven roasting is a quick and delicious way to prepare fish especially if it ever gets any cooler! Lastly Shrimp Scampi is a perfect way to quickly get dinner on the table after a hectic fall day! These fall inspired fish dishes are perfect to share with friends and family! Next week we will work with whole fish techniques and recipes!

Cajun Salmon with Chipotle Squash and Mango Salsa

1 large butternut squash

1 small can of chipotle

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

1/4-tsp chili powder

1/4-teaspoon salt

1/4-cup cream

Pinch Salt

4 6 oz – salmon filet

2 rablespoons butter, melted

1-teaspoon cayenne

1-teaspoon ground cumin

1-teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut sides with a little olive oil and place cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast squash in oven until easily pierced with a fork. About 30 minutes. Scoop out the cooked squash into a food processor. Add 2 chipotle pepper, 2 tablespoons of butter, chili powder, salt, and cream. Puree until a smooth consistency. Mean while rinse off each portion of salmon and pat dry. Mix all the spices together in a bowl. Brush both sides of each fillet with butter. Sprinkle a little Cajun spices onto each side and lightly press the spices against the fish. Heat a heavy skillet until it is smoking hot. Place the fillets in the skillet. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes and turn the fillets over. Cook until the salmon is firm and cooked through (about 5 minutes).  Spread a portion of the Chipotle Squash Puree onto each plate. Put the Cajun salmon fillet on top of squash and top with mango salsa.

Mango Salsa

2 mangos

Juice of 2-3 limes

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup very finely slivered fresh ginger

1 red onion, cut into thin slivers

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 to 2 small jalapeno, minced

1/2 cup coarsely cut cilantro

Pinch salt, to pop the flavors

Mix lime and lemon juices, salt, ginger and onion. Add jalapeno. Toss together mangos, onions and red pepper. Mix with lime mixture Just before serving, stir in cilantro. Best served within an hour or two of mixing.


3 cups tomato juice

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 sprig rosemary, chopped

1 sprig marjoram, chopped

1 sprig oregano, chopped

½ pound fresh fish (flounder, haddock, perch), boned and cut into 1″ pieces

½ cup red wine

6 clams in the shell, scrubbed clean

1-pound shrimp, in the shell

4- tablespoons Ptarmigan cheese, freshly grated

6 parsley sprigs, chopped

8 lemon wedges

Place tomato juice in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add onion, celery, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, garlic, and fish to the pot and simmer, covered, for an hour to thicken broth. Add the wine, shrimp, and clams and heat to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the shrimp just turn pink. Serve in heated bowls, topped with cheese, a wedge of lemon, and parsley.

Oven-Roasted Fish Stew with Pesto

3 pounds fish steaks or fillets cut in very thick pieces (cod, halibut, shark, sea bass, monkfish or snapper)

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

6 tablespoon lemon juice

2 onions, sliced

4 stalks celery, sliced

4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Pinch hot pepper flakes

1 cup dry white wine

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained

2 cups fish stock or water

Pesto for finishing (see below)

About an hour before you are ready to cook, marinate the fish in a bit of olive oil, the lemon juice and a sprinkling of salt. Refrigerate until needed. Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle the fish pieces with a bit more salt and some pepper. Arrange in an ovenproof baking dish or Dutch oven and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté for about 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, the garlic, dried thyme, dried oregano and hot pepper flakes and sauté 2 minutes longer. Add the wine and allow for it to cook off for about 2 minutes, and then stir in the tomatoes. Pour mixture over the fish. Add the fish stock and another generous drizzle of olive oil. Cover the baking dish or Dutch oven and bake the fish until cooked through when tested with the point of a knife thrust into the thickest part, about 35-40 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Serve in warm bowls with a generous spoonful of pesto over the top. Serve with warm crusty bread. I servers about 8 and like all soups and stews I like to freeze leftovers in individual containers for a variety of “freezer night” dinner options.

Little Noni’s Pesto

5 large garlic cloves

1cup pine nuts (or Walnuts work as well)

5 cups packed fresh basil

1-cup fresh parsley

1 cup fresh Parmigiano, coarsely grated

1-cup olive oil

In a blender or food processor mix garlic, nuts, basil, parsley and cheese and process until finely chopped. With motor running add oil mixing until incorporated. This will be enough sauce for the stew as well as enough to spread on sandwiches the next day!

Oven Roasted Salmon and Potatoes

1 pound potatoes, peeled, washed, and cut into wedges

4 tablespoons olive oil

5 rosemary sprigs

5 thyme sprigs

8 whole garlic cloves, peeled

Fine sea salt

Black pepper ground fresh from the mill

2-pound salmon fillet

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Place the potato wedges in the baking dish; pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over them, Strip 3 sprigs from each of rosemary and thyme. Add all the garlic cloves, and salt, and pepper. Toss thoroughly. Cook for 30 minutes and remove the dish to turn the potatoes over then push to the sides making room in the center for the fish fillet to lie flat. Lay the salmon flat in the dish, skin side down. Strip the leaves from the remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs, scatter them over the fish, add salt and pepper, and sprinkle the bread crumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the fillet. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the fish and place it on a platter. Turn the oven up to broil. Spread the potatoes back out and out and place under the broiler turning once until golden brown. Serve on the same platter as the fish.

Pistachio crusted Chilean Sea Bass

1 lb. Chilean Sea bass

1-cup ground pistachios

1 cup Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped

2 shallots chopped

1 stalk lemon grass, chopped

3-garlic clove, chopped

1 stick butter, softened

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon whole white peppercorns

2 cups white wine

1-cup cream

Brush fish with Dijon mustard and coat with herbs, Panko and Pistachios mixture. Bake at 375*F. for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile put shallots, garlic, wine, peppercorns, lemon stalk and bay leaf in a medium sauce pan. Reduce slowly to a syrupy consistency. Strain through a fine sieve.

Add cream and reduce a little more. Whisk in the butter a little at a time over low heat until all the butter is used. Sauce should be creamy.

Shrimp Scampi

1-pound Shrimp. Peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

4 Garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Juice and zest from 1 lemon

1 lb Cooked Fettuccine

Heat butter and oil in a skillet. When hot, add the shrimp and cook over high heat, turning shrimp constantly. As soon as the shrimp turn pink, add the parsley, garlic and basil. Keep tossing for no more than another minute; remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest, add salt and pepper and add the other 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice. Serve over hot fettuccine.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Jackie Houchin

    Keep the salmon recipes coming, Gwen!

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