The Prudent Foodie is on vacation this week in gorgeous Siesta Key, Florida. Gotta say that this beats the heck out of Orlando :- ) What does this have to do with the Prudent Foodie's theme? Well, no one goes on vacation to save money, but you can spend a ton of money eating badly when you're traveling, and guide books aren't always great for finding a place you will really enjoy. We prefer to stay someplace where we can spread out and cook the odd meal when we're gone - partly for comfort, and partly to eat better for less when we travel. But, I cook all the time at home, and having to devote hours of my time off to cooking isn't exactly what vacationing means either. The solution is to cook simple meals and rely on some convenience foods.
Today I went to the Siesta Key farmers market, which is small but featured everything I needed to put together a great, easy meal or two. I picked up some fresh red snapper, some picked fresh crab meat, some gorgeous fresh pasta, and some green pea and bacon pasta sauce to go with it. Also ripe strawberries, corn on the cob and scallions. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We spent the afternoon at Caspersen beach, hunting for fossilized sharks teeth, and got back to the condo ready for an easy meal. Over a few margaritas I came up with this.
Red Snapper "Margaritaville" (serves 2)
8 oz fresh red snapper fillet
1 ear fresh corn on the cob
1/3 cup medium or hot high quality fresh tomato salsa (I used store bought)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB butter
1/2 cup leftover frozen margarita from the bottom of the blender
1/3 avocado, sliced into 6 thin slices
salt and pepper to taste
Shuck the corn and cut off the kernels, set aside. Melt half the butter in the bottom of a saute pan on medium heat, and toss in the garlic for a minute or two. Add the corn kernels, salsa and margarita to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
In another saute pan, melt the the rest of the butter on medium heat, while you salt and pepper the red snapper. Put the fish in the pan, and brown for a few minutes (3-5 depending on how thick your fillet is). Turn the fillet over and cook for a few more minutes. I had very thick fillets, so I actually poured a little more margarita into my saute pan, covered the fish with a lid and steamed it for another 3-5 minutes to finish cooking it. If you have thinner fillets, you can omit this step. Remove the fish from the pan, and serve it with the corn and salsa mixture with the slices of avocado on top. I microwave steamed fresh green beans as a side, and served this with blue corn chips, because it was less trouble than cooking rice or potatoes :-) This tasted great, and would work well with any number of mild white fish, such as tilapia, cod, whitefish, haddock, pollock, etc. You would adjust cooking time depending on the thickness and firmness of the fish used.
Even if you are not on vacation, this brings a little bit of margaritaville to your kitchen since you will just have to make and drink a marg while you cook so you will have leftovers for the recipe. Enjoy! DeeDee