Gourmet Galley for Feb. 23, 2012

Looking to Lent

Fish is a familiar entrée on Louisiana tables, but it’s even more so during the Lenten season. If you have sportsmen in the family, you go no further than your freezer for fish.

If not, the most popular choices available to those who don’t have their own catches would be catfish, tilapia and salmon fillets or steaks. The majority of the fish we have in the market is farm-raised and that’s a good thing because we can have a sustainable supply of fish protein.

Some wild-caught varieties of freshwater and marine fish are always available, but as a rule the catfish, tilapia and salmon we get is farm-raised.

These recipes are quick to prepare. The catfish is topped with a shrimp dressing. The tilapia is cooked in a light lemon-wine and paprika sauce. Those two recipes can easily be used with other mild-tasting fish. You can adjust ingredients depending on how large or small a quantity you want to cook.

The salmon is marinated for at least an hour in a citrus, soy sauce and brown sugar mixture before it’s baked. Salmon fillets generally have the skin left on the bottom side. I learned something in this recipe I did not know: the fillet is broiled for 2 minutes with the skin side up. After that, the fillet is removed from the oven and the skin is easily peeled off with a pair of tongs. It’s then basted with the marinade and returned to the oven to finish cooking.