Recipes: A seafood supper to turn the tide in Louisiana
Louisiana has had a rough time over the past few years: six hurricanes, including the devastation of Katrina, and now the BP oil spill has left the region economically depressed and its famous seafood industry in a state of crisis.
More than 70 per cent of the catch from the Gulf of Mexico is typically fished in Louisiana, but rock-bottom shrimp prices and better wages for working on the oil cleanup have most shrimpers abandoning their nets. In the meantime, it will take at least two years to recover the oyster industry.
The main hurdle to recovery is public perception. While testing has shown that toxicity levels in Gulf seafood is on par with the rest of Atlantic seafood, most Americans aren’t buying it. One thing is certain: If the market does not return, this industry will disappear. Here are some recipes to inspire you.
Traditionally, these oysters are grilled, but if you don’t feel like barbecuing in the November air, heat your oven to 500F and proceed with the recipe.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Red pepper sauce:
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oysters, shucked, shells reserved
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon coarse fresh breadcrumbs
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add red peppers and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
Preheat grill to high.
Pick 12 shells that will cradle oysters with their sauce. Spoon half a teaspoon of red pepper sauce into each shell. Top with one shucked oyster and sprinkle with another half-teaspoon of sauce. Garnish each with a pinch of parmesan and fresh breadcrumbs.
Carefully place oysters on barbecue so that sauce does not run out of shells. Close lid and grill for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce is just bubbling in the oyster shell. Use tongs to remove from grill and serve immediately.
GRILLED RED SNAPPER AND SHRIMP WITH LEMON-BUTTER SAUCE
This recipe was inspired by lunch at Red Fish Grill in New Orleans. The fish of choice in Louisiana is oily, rich-flavoured redfish, which isn’t available here. But red snapper makes an excellent substitute. If you prefer to cook indoors, bake at 450F for the same amount of time.
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 red snapper fillets (about 7 ounces each), skin removed
12 large shrimp, peeled
Combine wine, lemon juice and rind, shallots and thyme in a pot over medium heat and bring to boil. Boil for 10 minutes, or until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add cream and boil for 2 minutes, or until liquid is again reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Reduce heat to low and add butter a little at a time, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep in a warm place. Stir occasionally to keep sauce from separating while preparing the fish.
Preheat grill to high and lightly oil the rack.
Combine vegetable oil, garlic, paprika, cayenne, oregano and thyme in a small bowl and brush over fish fillets and shrimp. Season fish with salt and pepper. Read more..