Traveling Dinner Party – Part 4 – Fish Course

Fish! Yea, we’ve reached the Fish Course! Now we’re talking – getting down to the real food – the larger courses. For those of you keeping track, it’s the 4th course of a ten course moveable feast. For an eight course meal, the fish course could be one of two “main” courses; for a six course meal fish could be the only “main” course of the night. Confused? Let’s back up a moment.

In a ten-course meal, there are three courses that would be what Americans would classify as the “main course”. A fish course and two “entrée” courses. Broken down for a ten course meal it would look like this:

4TH COURSE – FISH COURSE (Here we are!!)
6TH COURSE – 1ST ENTRÉE – Meat, Fish, or Foul – Larger Serving portions of the entrée courses, may be accompanied by 1 or 2 Vegetable Choices if a vegetable course does not follow
7TH COURSE – 2ND ENTRÉE – Meat, Fish, foul or Vegetable – Smaller Serving

In an eight-course meal, there is no “fish” course, although fish can be served as one of two entrée courses.

For a Six-Course meal, there is no “fish” course and only one entrée course that may utilize fish as the main entrée.

Clear as mud, right? To simplify further, if serving ten course, one course will be fish or sea food course. If serving less than ten courses, all you need to do is decide if fish or sea food is a part of the evening. If not; skip this entirely and we’ll meet up again later.

African Pan-Roasted Mahi with ChermoulaAfrican Pan-Roasted Halibut with Chermoula
Ingredients – Chermoula
1 Cup Fresh Cilantro leaves
¼ Cup Fresh Parsley leaves
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Shallot, chopped
1 Teaspoon ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Paprika
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Salt
Pinch or so of sugar to taste
2 teaspoons ginger (optional)
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled

Ingredients – Halibut
8 Halibut Fillets, skinless (6-8 oz each, about 1 ½-inches thick)*
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Limes, cut in half

For the Chermoula: Process all the ingredients (starting with cilantro leaves; ending with a pinch of saffron) in a food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds, stopping to scrape down bowl as needed. Transfer to serving bowl. Let sit until ready to use. The longer it sits, the more the flavors blend and mature.

For the Pan-Roasted Halibut:Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425-degrees. Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Pat fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Rub with lime and sprinkle sugar evenly over 1 side of the fish fillets. Heat 1-tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking.

Place half of the fillets in skilled, sugar side down, and press down lightly to ensure even contact with pan. Cook until browned, 1-1 ½ minutes. Using TWO spatulas, transfer fish to prepared baking sheet, browned side up. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and repeat with remaining fillets.

Roast fillets until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and internal temperature registers 140 degrees, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer fish to plates, spoon some Chermoula over top. Serve, passing remaining Chermoula separately.


Another wonderful fish dish, Baked/Steamed Chilean Sea Bass with Cilantro, Lime and Jalapenos comes to us courtesy  of my new-found friend and fellow blogger; Chef Ronit Penso. She was gracious enough to say yes when I asked her if we could include this beautiful Chilean Sea Bass as a selection on the fish course of our featured fish dishes. Be sure to click on the link about – Chef Penso has the most beautiful photos to help you along.  (On a personal note – this year I’m planning to serve up with colorful dish as part of our Christmas table – all dressed up in red and green).

Baked/Steamed Chilean Sea Bass Ronit PensoBaked/Steamed Chilean Sea Bass with Cilantro, Lime and Jalapenos
1 1/4 lb Chilean Sea Bass
2 large limes
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ Jalapeno
A handful of cherry tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a deep baking pan with foil and baking paper. Wash and pat dry the fish. Cut into 12 thick slices and place in one layer, side by side, in the baking dish.

Slice thin ½ lime and keep on the side. Zest and juice the remaining 1½ limes (you’ll get about 2 tablespoons zest and 4 Tablespoons lime juice) and place in a small bowl.

Add the garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper and olive oil and mix well. Slice the jalapeno and keep a few slices for garnish. Chop the rest and add to the bowl. Mix and adjust seasoning.

Keep about 2 Tablespoons of the lime mixture on the side. Spoon the rest on the sliced fish, in between the slices, at the center. Add the cherry tomatoes, lime and jalapeno slices.

Cover the pan with baking paper and foil. Press well all around the pan edges, to seal it tightly.
Bake/steam for 10 minutes.

Take out of the oven and keep it in a warm place, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

Originally posted on

Again, giving credit where credit is due; the Grilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa comes to us from Sue over at A Palatable Pastime. The mango salsa is so bright and colorful, I just had to include this pretty dish as a possible selection. While the original recipe is designed to serve 2-4 people, it can easily be adjusted according to party-goers and serving-size-portions. Remember, we have a way to go . . .
Grilled Swordfish with Mango SalsaGrilled Swordfish with Mango Salsa
Fish and Marinade Ingredients:
1 pound swordfish steaks or other firm fleshed fish steaks
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 ounces mango nectar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Habanero pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound swordfish steaks or other firm fleshed fish steaks
Mango Salas Ingredients
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped ripe tomato
1 fresh jalapeno or Habanero pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Marinate fish steaks for 1-2 hours.
Drain marinade and discard.
Mix together ingredients for salsa and set aside.
Grill steaks until flesh flakes easily with a fork.
Serve grilled fish with salsa.
Other Fish Dish Suggestions:

Dover Sole Piccata

Filetti di Salmone Pacchi with Provence Mixed Green Salad


Spicy Grilled Shrimp
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon banana ketchup
1 tablespoon Asian chile paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 wooden skewers, soaked in water

Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, parsley, hot sauce, minced garlic, ketchup, chili sauce, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Set aside about 1/3 of this marinade to use while grilling.

Place the shrimp in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pour in the remaining marinade and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.

Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes per side until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.


Pan-Seared Scallops with Herb Butter Sauce
Ingredients – Scallop
1 lb dry bay scallops
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Ingredients – Herb Butter Sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh chopped tarragon
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 lemon wedges reserved for serving

Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter. Heat until decently hot.

Pat the scallops dry once more, then add onto the pan in a single layer. Do not over-crowd. Let sear for 1 to 1 minutes.

Using tongs, turn the scallops and let sear until the other side is equally browned (another 1 to 2 minutes). Scallops should be almost firm to the touch when done.

Remove the scallops from the pan onto a plate, and set aside to keep warm.

Return the pan to the stove and lower the heat to medium. Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and the shallots. Sauté for about a minute.

Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half.

Add the herbs and lemon zest, then reduce the heat to low.

Add the remaining butter, and whisk constantly until all the butter is melted.

Return the scallops briefly to the pan, and gently roll them in the sauce.

Taste the sauce, and add more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with arugula or lettuce and lemon wedges.


Do you have a favorite Fish or Sea Food Recipe? Love to hear about it.  Happy entertaining everyone!

8 thoughts on “Traveling Dinner Party – Part 4 – Fish Course

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s