The Florida weather has been amazing lately, (sorry snowy Mid-America). The highs have been 80 degrees and lows in the 60’s. I guess technically this is 10 degrees above normal but it has been great. We’ll take it. Warm weather reminds me of seafood and it has been awhile since we’ve had fresh seafood. When you live in an area that has fresh seafood all the time, you need to go to a fish monger that you trust to have the best local fish around. For Mary Jo and me, this is Jensen Brothers, right in Dunedin on Douglas Street, next to the Dunedin Brewery. Ever since we started to dock the boat in Dunedin, we have shopped Jensen Bros. and have found they have the freshest fish and the most friendly service in town. They also supply many of the local restaurants with fish and these places have got to be very picky about their fish. We’ve always been satisfied.
Today I was going to purchase some red snapper for the pine nut recipes. John Jensen, the owner, convinced me that I should try the Triple Tail. It’s a fish which John said he doesn’t always have it but is much like grouper. It is also about $3.00 a pound less than snapper or grouper.
The triple tail are fish that hang around shallow reefs and also have a thing for crab pot buoys Seems that they can be found near the surface around crab pot buoys. All you have to do it search around the corks with your boat going on plane, and look for the silhouette of a fish hanging by the buoy. Throw out a hook with a live shrimp on for bait and catch a triple tail! I must say that I couldn’t tell the difference between triple tail or grouper. They both have firm white meat and a delicate flavor.
Here is the storefront of Jensen Bros.
The Fresh Fish price board.
The frozen fish price board.
John Jensen…the man. I caught him eating lunch by the bar…and listening to Jimmy Buffet which is always playing in the background. FINS UP!!
So pine nuts. I usually have these toasted in a salad. But I’ll show you how to use them to give a nice crust to a piece of fish. This recipe is adapted from Pinoli Pine Nuts out of New Zealand. This breading would be great on walleye, northern pike or even catfish. (For my Minnesota friends that are preparing to go ICE FISHING!).
Or use pine nuts in an agrodolce, which is an Italian sweet and sour sauce. This recipe is adapted from Chef Jennifer Jasinski of Denver. Any flaky white fish would taste great using either method. The agrodolce would be fabulous with scallops.
Both uses of the pine nuts compliment the fish really well. Mary Jo and I thought they were both excellent recipes.
Pine Nut Crusted Fish
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves , minced or pressed
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 egg
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of fish
- Olive oil
- In a blender or a food processor, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, salt & pepper and pulse until well blended.
- Add the pine nuts and blend until finely chopped, (20 seconds).
- Place the breadcrumb mixture in a shallow bowl large enough to hold one fish fillet.
- In another bowl, beat the egg.
- Dip each fillet into beaten egg and then coat thoroughly with the bread mixture.
- Heat a large fry pan on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the fillets about 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.
Pine Nut Agrodolce
- 1 tablespoon Canola oil
- 4 or 5 garlic cloves , thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 6 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon , finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- In a small skillet, heat the canola oil then add garlic and pine nuts. Cook at medium heat while stirring 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the sherry, then the vinegar and orange juice. Cook on medium high until reduced by 1/2. 5 or 6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add butter, orange zest and chopped tarragon. Whisk, add salt and pepper to season.
- Serve warm over seafood.