Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Something's Fishy! South Florida Lime White Fish

First, for all of you who are not familiar with Sea Food Watch, it is a service provided by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium which lists the best fish to eat so as to prevent overfishing. As of this writing, Sea Food Watch has apps for iPhone and Android. They also have a terrific website.

Recently, I purchased Pacific halibut from my local Whole Foods Store. It is a beautiful meaty fillet, which is absolutely perfect for this dish. According to Sea Food Watch, Atlantic halibut is to be avoided, but Pacific Halibut is a good alternative.
The Sea Food Watch website, is a great place to visit for more information.
During the summer, the heat reduces appetite... Okay, not always, and not successfully and I'm not using the "D" word in this blog, so let's not go there...But for days where you want something light, tangy, and very South Florida, this simple white fish recipe fits the bill. It is packed with lime flavor, much of it derived from the grated lime rind which is incorporated into the marinade. Together with butter, it makes for a rich, delicious, easy-to-make meal which will leave you feeling satisfied, without being stuffed.

Winslow Wants to Know What's For Lunch
South Florida Lime White Fish

1 pound of white fish - Pacific halibut, tilapia, or mahi mahi

2 Persian limes - the conventional lime you get in most grocery stores

Grated lime peel from 2 limes

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon melted butter


Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

1/3 cup of white wine (optional)

Garnish with parsley

Melt the butter in a saucepan or in a microwave oven and pour it into a baking dish. Grate two limes, careful not to add any part of the pith of the lime. The pith is the bitter white part of the skin. Squeeze the juice from the two limes into the baking dish, careful to remove any seeds. Grate a touch of nutmeg and mix the marinade. Add sea salt and pepper to the fish and place it in the baking dish. Thoroughly cover the fish in the marinade and let it stand for at least thirty minutes to absorb the flavors. If you like, you can add white wine as well, although I prefer it without. For me, the joy of this dish is the delicious, unadulterated lime/butter flavor.

Baked to Perfection
Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is. You'll know it's done when the fish flakes effortlessly with a fork.
Garnish with parsley and serve! Great side accompaniments are mashed potatoes or sauteed zucchini. Mashed potatoes are perfect for this dish because they soak up the delicious butter/lime sauce. A scrumptious, simple, and healthy (yes, I think some butter is healthy) meal to serve friends. They'll love it!
To give this dish a uniquely Keys flavor, you can substitute the 2 limes for 3 to 4 Key Limes. Key Limes tend to be a bit more acidic, intense, and aromatic than the regular Persian lime, so less packs more. Also, careful when grating the Key Lime. It has a thin rind, and you will find that you will reach the pith without too much effort when grating the skin. However, it makes for a real Key's experience. You'll feel you're on Duval Street in Key West!

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