Fried Grouper Cheeks with Tartar Sauce
Key West has some of the richest fishing waters in the world. You couldn’t dream up a more perfect situation than ours – 130 miles out to sea, the warm, shallow Gulf of Mexico to our north, the surging gulfstream to our southeast and balmy tropical breezes blowing all year long. Something tasty is swimming nearby all year long! Sleek tuna and king mackerel are abundant in winter, while neon dolphin fish liven up the summer. The reef is teeming all year long with snapper, grouper, cobia and jacks. Our only problem is choosing how to cook this bonanza.
Key West Shrimp with Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
When you eat Key West pink shrimp as often as I do, you need to mix things up a bit. I am always on the lookout for creative ways to prepare shrimp without obscuring their sweet, natural flavor. Not long ago, I was staring blankly at the jumbled shelves of cookbooks in my kitchen when my focus landed on a faded, dilapidated volume called “Adventures in the Kitchen” by one Wolfgang Puck.
Octopus: A Taste of the Mediterranean
Octopus may not be one of your go-to ingredients, but once you figure it out, it’s fun, a little exotic and very tasty. I like to keep it simple so the briny creature itself really shines, such as in a grilled octopus salad with pickled shallots, some warm flatbread and a light vinaigrette.
A Dreamy Mediterranean Seafood Salad
I’m a big fan of the New York Times Dining section that comes out every Wednesday. It’s a great mix of restaurant reviews, food trends and excellent cooking ideas from a stable of talented writers. One of them is David Tanis, a cookbook veteran and Chez Panisse alumnus, who is known for his simple, rustic recipes.
The Salmon are Running! Two Ways to Prepare Wild-Caught Sockeye
For a brief shining moment each summer, fresh wild-caught sockeye salmon, plucked right out of a cold Alaskan stream, start to appear at fish counters across the country, even on our southernmost island. So every year, for a couple of weeks in early July, I briefly put aside our delicious local fish and binge for a few days on this special treat.
Amberjack with Miso Honey Glaze
If a local Key West fisherman tells you that amberjack is not good to eat, that just means he doesn’t know how to prepare it. My friend Jeff supplies me with fresh amberjack all the time, and I grill it, smoke it or roast it using this recipe. Try this miso marinade with any firm white fish. It’s delicious!