Looking for a great idea for a “Special” dining experience? Gulf Fish Imperial will make a meal fit for “royalty.”

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Gulf Fish Imperial is basically a lovely piece of roasted fish filet topped with a breadcrumb free crab- cake topping.    To serve, it is drizzled with an aromatic lemon, butter and garlic sauce.  This dish is really very easy to make and is a wonderful choice when entertaining.

There are two basic rules to follow when making this recipe:  1.  Fish, Crabmeat, and lemon juice must be IMPECKABLY fresh!   Absolutely NO IMATATION OR BOTTLED LEMON JUICE!  Open up the crabmeat and smell it to make sure it is fresh and does not have a strong ammonia or fishy smell.  Same goes for the fish…NO FISHY smells……the fish should smell like the sea…fresh and lovely!

2.  Forget about low fat/no fat ingredients; use only real unsalted butter and full fat mayonnaise (either use Hellman’s or homemade mayonnaise)  You can get away with low fat/no fat products when it is just for you and your family, but when entertaining, always use the real thing!

Gulf Fish Imperial

Chiqui Collier

6-8 6 oz. Portions of Fresh Redfish  or Drum fish fillets

Seafood Magic or Creole Seasoning

Flour for dusting

Olive oil

Butter

Crab Imperial

1 pound regular lump crabmeat, picked over for shells

Juice of one half fresh lemon

4 tablespoons finely minced celery heart

2 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper

2 tablespoons finely diced green bell pepper

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

½-1 teaspoon Seafood Magic or Creole Seasoning

1 clove finely minced fresh garlic

4 tablespoons Hellman’s Mayonnaise or homemade (recipe follows)

Combine all ingredients for crab imperial except the crabmeat & the mayonnaise. Saute all the chopped veggies and seasoning in 2 tbsp. butter until tender. Cool Completely. Fold in the Crabmeat and mayo until gently blended. Chill.

Season redfish fillets with Seafood Magic or Creole Seasoning. Very lightly dust with all-purpose flour. Heat a nonstick sauté pan. Melt 3 tabsp. olive oil and 3 tabsp. Butter. Place fish in warm pan and saute on one side for 2 min. then on the other side for 2 minutes more. (DO NOT OVERCOOK).

Remove from pan and place fish on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cool completely. When ready to serve, top each filet of fish with equal portions of chilled Crab Imperial mixture. ( I use an ice cream scoop to do this.) Bake in a 375* pre-heated oven for about 12-15 minutes until fish is fully cooked. Run under a broiler if necessary until top has lightly browned.

While fish is roasting in oven, add 6 tablespoons butter to pan drippings that fish was sautéed in. Add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, a pinch of each of the following: Salt, lemon-pepper, Seafood Magic, a teaspoon or two of Lea & Perrins and 2 tablespoons of water. Heat for 3 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of finely chopped garlic. Place a baked Fish Imperial on each plate and drizzle a tablespoon of sauce over each portion of fish and garnish with fresh, chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

Garlic Smashed Potatoes recipe can be found on the Fried Chicken Post.

Include some pan roasted Fresh asparagus if desired.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Place in the bowl of a food processor or blender jar in the order listed:

1 large egg yolk, room temperature

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon Dijon or Creole mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or vinegar (I prefer the lemon juice)

1/2 teaspoon finely minced FRESH garlic (optional)

Turn the motor on and blend all ingredients.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil in a steady stream.  Continue to blend for an additional minute.  Taste and correct seasoning to your taste.  Place in a glass bowl or jar and cover tightly.  Use within 3 days.

Chef’s Note:For variations you can add your favorite fresh herbs such as finely chopped Rosemary leaves (1/2-1 teaspoon), fresh thyme leaves, etc.  I also like to add some well drained tiny capers.

Until next time…..Bon Appetit

Chiqui

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