salmon
Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

We have all heard the slogan "Eat fish, live longer." Well, living longer is the point of heart healthy food. Today's food feature will offer some ideas for using fish to turn up your taste buds and lower your heart numbers. All fish have high amounts of protein, have lower saturated fats and contain vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Fish can be low in calories, depending on how it's prepared. Breading, the type of oil and dressing used determine, to a large extent, how healthy fish on any dish will be. Portions are a greater determining factor in caloric count and weight control than some of the other factors often stated.

The fish are in and begging for your attention. The catch of the day includes southern cornmeal-crusted catfish, catfish sandwiches with cajun remoulade, halibut with balsamic glaze, and grilled salmon with key lime butter.

This column is brought to you by the Cumberland County Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab Alumni Inc. Their motto is, "Helping hearts one beat at a time, and helping lungs one breath at a time."

Grilled Salmon with Key Lime Butter

5 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 tbsp. key lime juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

Cooked pasta or rice

Prepare grill by lightly oiling grill grate over medium-high heat.

In a small saucepan, melt butter add lime juice. Salt and pepper the salmon fillets modestly on both sides. Place fillets onto grill, brush half of lime butter over salmon. Grill salmon for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Drizzle remaining lime butter over salmon before serving. Serve with pasta or rice.

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Southern Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish

4 (4 to 6-ounce) U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets

1/4 cup buttermilk or plain, nonfat yogurt

1/2 tsp. hot sauce

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

Stir together buttermilk or yogurt and hot sauce; brush on catfish and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Coat catfish lightly with cornmeal and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.

Melt butter and olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When skillet is hot, saute catfish about 3 minutes on each side, turning only once, until golden and crisp. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges and with tartar sauce as accompaniment.

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Catfish Sandwiches with Cajun Remoulade

Catfish

1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets, rinsed and patted dry

1 box (8.5-ounce) corn muffin mix

2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning

1 egg

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Canola oil, for frying

Remoulade

1 scallion, finely chopped

1 1/4 cups mayonnaise

1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Sandwiches

1 loaf store-bought garlic bread, baked per package directions

Butter lettuce

Sliced tomatoes

Sliced red onions

Catfish:

Cut catfish fillets in half; set aside.

In a pie dish or plate, combine corn muffin mix and Cajun seasoning; set aside. In a pie dish lightly beat egg with 1 tablespoon water to make egg wash; set aside.

Dredge each catfish fillet in the flour; dip into egg wash and coat with corn muffin mixture. Set aside on a plate.

In a deep-fryer or large pot heat oil over medium to medium-high heat to 375°. Fry catfish until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove to plate lined with paper towels.

Cajun Remoulade

In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients. Set aside.

Sandwiches:

Spread warm garlic bread with remoulade sauce. Build sandwiches with fried catfish and remaining ingredients.

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Halibut with Balsamic Glaze

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 to 3 tbsp. honey, depending how sweet you want it

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets

Nonstick cooking spray

Whisk the vinegar, honey, oil, and garlic in a bowl. Arrange halibuts in an 8-inch square baking dish. Pour marinade over the fish, coating it completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Preheat the broiler. Line the bottom and sides of a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Remove fish from marinade, reserving marinade, and arrange the fillets atop the baking sheet. Pour the marinade into a heavy small saucepan. Broil the fillets until they are just cooked through and caramelized on top, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile bring the marinade to a boil and simmer until it thickens slightly and becomes syrupy, whisking often, about 15 minutes. Spoon off any excess oil from the sauce, if desired.

Transfer the fillets to plates. Spoon the sauce over and around the fillets, and serve.

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