Hello, friends of the Beach House! This is Dawn (Patti’s daughter), and I’m “guest blogging” this week.
If you have spent any time with a SCUBA diver lately, you've probably heard about lion fish. These fish are not native to the Caribbean, but, after some were accidently released into the ocean, they have quickly invaded our waters. These fish, while beautiful, can be quite harmful to our reefs. They have no natural enemies in our waters. So, they breed like crazy and are free to devour other fish on the reef, driving down native fish populations (for a little more info, check out this site: http://www.reef.org/reef_files/Lionfish%20quickfacts.pdf).
There have been a number of efforts to control the lion fish population, but the most successful has been marketing them as a food source and encouraging divers and fishermen to kill and eat them (you can see in the picture above that I killed a tiny one on a dive). On islands where lion fish derbies occur, the invasive population drops dramatically, which is great news for the rest of the fish on our reefs!
I first had lion fish when a local dive master brought some that he had cooked on a dive. It’s a light fish (not “fishy” for those of you who aren’t huge fish fans), and it’s great served a variety of ways. Local eateries in Dominica have started serving it in ceviche, traditional fish dishes, and sandwiches. Luckily for those of us that love to eat them, the local fishermen clean them up very nicely, so you don't have to worry about getting a "stick" from one of their venemous spines.
My family will tell you that I love to cook, but I’m not a huge fan of using recipes. So, we had a friend catch us some lion fish on a dive, and I decided to try my hand at cooking some. Here is my recipe for delicious lion fish and chips.
Lion Fish and Chips
Lion fish filets (amount will depend on that day’s catch and size of fish)
1 cup of flour
Curry powder (to taste)
1 cup Sour cream
To start, clean and slice potatoes into “fries.” Toss them into a large bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Swirl to coat, and place in a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until brown and cooked all the way through.
Heat oil in a pan. Oil should be deep enough that ½ of the fish filet will be immersed when placed in the pan. Mix flour, curry powder, garlic salt, and pepper in a bowl. Dip the filet into the sour cream, making sure to coat each side. Then, dip the filet into the flour mixture, making sure to coat each side. Place filet in the oil and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown. Drain filet on a plate covered with paper towels. Do this for each filet. Lightly salt to taste.
Serve with potatoes and a wedge of lemon or lime. Enjoy!