Some types of seafood, such as trout, remain in plentiful supply all year long. Others experience varying availability depending on the season. Because fresh seafood offers the best taste and texture, consider one of the following seafood recipes for delightful spring dishes.
1. Pan-Fried Smelt
Image via Flickr by Andrea Pokryzywinski
Smelt, a tiny baitfish found in the Great Lakes as well as in the ocean, provides a quick and easy meal when pan-fried. Most people eat them whole, although the family cook can also remove the heads and bones prior to tossing them in the skillet. For a healthier recipe, consider baking smelt in the oven.
Their small size makes them an excellent appetizer when served with gravy, horseradish, tartar sauce, or garlic butter. If you cook them as the main dish for a full meal, make sure to order sufficient quantity to feed everyone at the table. Twelve pan-fried smelt typically serves four people.
2. Pacific Cod Tacos
Image via Flickr by jeffreyw
Spring often inspires culinary enthusiasts to experiment with altered recipes and intense flavors. To add vibrance and spice to your table, prepare Pacific cod tacos, then enjoy them on the back patio before the sun goes down. Serve the tacos with black beans, Spanish rice, or avocado slices to round out the meal.
3. Baked Blackfish with Cremini Mushroom Sauce
Image via Flickr by Sharon Mollerus
The transition from the comfort food of winter to spring’s lighter fare often involves some overlap. Fresh blackfish, available starting in the spring, pairs well with a cremini mushroom sauce to create a satisfying but not-too-heavy meal. Serve it with a fresh garden salad to add some color to the table.
Because of its fleshy white meat, blackfish also works well in soups and chowders. Its mild flavor won’t overpower other ingredients, so feel free to experiment with this delicious fish as you plan your spring recipes.
4. Lobster Pizza
Although the lobster season doesn’t peak until later in the year in many regions, it enjoys healthy availability in the latter part of spring. Dress up your favorite pizza recipe with boiled lobster and invite all your friends to partake in it. Consider a thin crust, such as one made from flour tortillas or flatbread. Add Roma tomatoes and fresh basil to bring out the flavor of the meat.
5. Steamed Stone Crab Claws
The stone crab season ends between May and June, so enjoy this beloved seafood recipe while you still can. Steam the claws over a pot of boiling water for eight minutes or so, rinse them off in cool water, and crack them open. A horseradish or mustard dip pairs well with stone crab claws. Alternatively, stuff peppers or mushrooms with the crab meat and sprinkle the tops with parmesan cheese and Italian breadcrumbs.
Spring ushers in a new wave of seafood opportunities, whether you prefer fresh filets or shallots and shellfish. Use this time of year to exercise the grill in the backyard and to experiment with the fresh fruits and vegetables that springtime produces.