Fish and Seafood · Main Courses

Blackened Fish Sandwich

A few days back, I shared a recipe for this with the bold statement that I was going to make it for dinner.   Even after putting it out there, it still took me 2 days to talk myself into it.  It is, after all, fish.

Long story short, I was in love after the first bite!

My version has just a couple of changes, to use what I had in the house, the main ones being:  subbing Red Snapper for the Bluefish (red fish, blue fish!) and adding some brown sugar to the mayo instead of marmalade.  They didn’t specify what type of paprika, so I just used regular.

I cut the recipe back, because I was only making 1 sandwich, but honestly it tasted so good I was wishing I had made all 4 servings!

I encourage you check this link to the original recipe, and watch the video on to cook the fish.  The key is a hot pan, a little pressure ,  and, most importantly, don’t move the fish until you are ready to flip it.  This will give you a nice crispy crust that you can actually hear when you take that first bite.

A nice crispy crust!

Oh, another bonus, fish cooks quickly, so the longest part of this will be toasting the buns.  From start to table in 30 minutes!

Serves 4


Blackened Fish Sandwich


2 1/4 teaspoons paprika

2 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder

2 1/4 teaspoons onion powder

2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all together and set aside.  Can be done hours or even a couple of days in advance.


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons lime jice, divided

2 avocados, pits removed & roughly mashed

1 teaspoon olive oil

salt to taste

2 Tablespoons butter

4 burger buns, or other soft roll

4  4oz red snapper filets, without skin

canola oil

4 tomato slices

4 lettuce leaves


In another small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of the lime juice, and set aside.

In one more bowl,  mash the avocado with the remaining 2 teaspoons of lime juice, olive oil and salt. Taste and adjust salt as needed.

Place a cast iron skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. As soon as the butter begins to melt, add the bun bottoms, cut-sides down, and toast until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining butter and bun tops. Wipe the skillet clean.

Season the filets with salt and coat will with the spice rub. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons of canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the fish fillets and cook, pressing down gently on fish with the back of a fish spatula, until the bottom is blackened and the sides begin to turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Flip the fillets and sear until cooked through, another 1½ to 2 minutes.

Lay 1 piece of fish on the bottom of each bun and spoon avocado on top.   Add 1 tomato slice and lettuce on top of the avocado. Add a dollop of the mayonnaise mixture and top with the bun tops.   Serve.




Fish and Seafood · Main Courses · Pasta

Mussels in White Wine with Linguine & Fresh Herbs

I spent a summer in PEI when I was (much) younger.  Our cabin overlooked the very water from which we dug the mussels for our dinner almost daily.

Even now, some 30 years later, (oh, wait, I’m sure its only been 3 years!) whenever I see a package of mussels, I am, briefly, transported back there.  Its good to have such memories.

Of course, because of Kevin’s  allergy, I rarely cook shellfish anymore.   Since I was dining alone last week, I could not pass up that package of mussels I found in Costco!

Bonus:  I put this all together in 35 minutes!  It is quick enough for a weeknight meal, yet impressive enough to serve guests.  If you do your prep work in advance, you will be able enjoy cocktails with your guests and whip this up in the time it takes to cook the spaghetti !

This will serve 2 and can easily be doubled.


Mussels in White Wine with Linguine & Fresh Herbs

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1 cup white wine (I used a Barefoot Pinot Grigio, but any white you like to drink will work here)

1 pound mussels, rinsed, scrubbed & beards removed

250 grams linguine

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I had mint, cilantro, parsley & basil on hand, but toss in whatever you happen to have)

1 small tomato, diced

Bring large pot of salted water to boil.

Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy pan over medium heat.  Once foam subsides, cook garlic, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until garlic is softened and begins to brown,  3 – 4 minutes.

Add wine and boil about 4 minutes, until liquid is reduced by half.  Add mussels, give the pan a good shake, cover and cook, shaking occasionally, until mussels open wide.  5 -8 minutes.    Turn heat off.  Remove mussels from the broth, discarding any that have not opened.

While mussels are cooking, add linguine to the pot of boiling salted water and cook until just slightly underdone.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Add 1/4 cup pasta water to the mussel broth and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium, add drained linguine, tossing with tongs until linguine is coated in sauce. About 1 minute.  Thin sauce with additional pasta water if needed.

Divide linguine and mussels between 2 plates.  Sprinkle chopped herbs and tomatoes over top and serve immediately.

Fish and Seafood

Blackened Snapper with Pineapple Salsa

Kevin and I are not fish lovers.  Period.  Sure, we know its healthy, but I have to admit to we both feel less than excited anytime fish is on our dinner menu; unless, of course, it is battered and deep fried and served with chips and copious amounts of tartar sauce.

Alas, that is not the healthiest way to get our Omega-3’s so I look for healthier yet tasty ways to prepare it.

This dish is one that we both actually liked, and look forward to eating again.  I followed the original recipe , from Canadian Living, exactly as written the first time, except that I subbed Alubia for Black beans.  With the beans, the salsa was too creamy for our tastes so I made some changes which we thought improved the texture and flavour of the dish.

I serve this with plain white rice and a mixed green salad to round out the meal.

Blackened Snapper with Pineapple Salsa

The Salsa

1 1/2 cups pineapple, diced

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, leaves & tender stems, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon lime juice

1 Tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

The Fish

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 Red Snapper fillets, about 4 ounces (110 grams) each, about 3/4″ thick

2 Tablespoons Canola oil for frying

Lime wedges for serving

Make the Salsa:  Toss all ingredients in large bowl to combine well.   Set aside.

Now, for the Fish:  Pat fillets dry with paper towel and place on work surface.  Stir together first 5 ingredients.  Rub fish all over with seasoning.   Cook fish in 2 batches – heat half the oil over medium high heat, add 2 fillets and cook, turning once until fish is “blackened” and flakes easily in the center.  About 5 minutes, depending on thickness of your fish.  Transfer to plate, tent with foil to keep warm and repeat with remaining fish.

To serve, place fillets on plates and top with pineapple salsa, add a lime wedge on the side.    Add the rice and salad and you have a complete plate.







Fish and Seafood · Main Courses

South Indian Fish Curry

Full of flavour yet mild enough for those of you who are not lovers of spicy food.

The good folks at LCBO where this recipe came from suggest a cold Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc to compliment the flavours in this dish.

South Indian Fish Curry

South Indian Fish Curry

Spice Mix

2 Tablespoons coriander seeds

1 Tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 whole star anise

1  teaspoon ground tumeric

1 teaspoon mild curry powder

4 – 5 Tablespoons water

The Fish

2 Tablespoons oil

1 large onion, diced


3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely minced

2 teaspoons grated ginger – from about 1″ fresh ginger root

1/2 cup crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)

1 lb Mahi- Mahi, Red Snapper or other firm white fish cut into bite size pieces


Cilantro leaves

lime zest

In spice grinder, mix coriander, cumin, peppercorns, mustard seeds and star anise and blend until finely ground.   Transfer to bowl and stir in tumeric and curry powder.  Add the water to make a paste & set aside.

Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat.  Add onions and a pinch of salt.  cook until onions are soft and just beginning to turn brown. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute.   Reduce heat to low, scrape onions to side of pan and  spice paste to the spot you have cleared.   Cook spice paste, stirring constantly, until most of the water has evaporated – about 5 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and coconut, increase heat to medium high and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to med low and cook until sauce is slightly thickened – about 10 minutes.

Season fish with salt and add to pan, gently stirring to coat with the sauce.  Cover skillet and cook 4 – 5 minutes, just until fish is cooked through.

Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime zest and serve with plenty of rice and Na’an bread to soak up the sauce.