Friday fish dinners don’t have to be boring. If you’re going meat-free for Lent, there are plenty of delicious and creative ways to do so that go way beyond a simple pan-fried fillet. We’ve gathered six fish and seafood recipes for everything from tacos to curry to keep your taste buds entertained over the coming weeks.
Worried about whether the seafood you’re eating is good for the planet? Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, which has state-by-state recommendations for what fish to buy and what to avoid if you’re concerned about sustainability and the environment.
1. Simplified Bouillabaisse
Provençal fisherman invented bouillabaisse, a hearty seafood stew, as a way to use up the parts of their catch they couldn’t sell to local fishmongers. While few home cooks today have access to the same variety of just-caught seafood as the recipe’s originators, you can make a reasonable facsimile of this classic dish with whatever fresh fish you can get your hands on. This simplified recipe from Epicurious also eliminates some of the fussier steps from the original recipe, like making your own broth. Serve this with a good French bread slathered with rouille, a spicy, garlicky mayonnaise.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 large pinch saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons orange juice for 10 minutes (optional)
- 1 strip orange zest
- 1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, in juice
- 6 cups seafood stock (sold at most fish markets) or clam juice
- A mix of some or all of the following seafood: halibut, cod, tilapia, or snapper (in large chunks); shell-on large shrimp or lump crabmeat; clams or mussels (enough to serve 4 to 6 people)
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
Directions: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and fennel and sauté until just brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the saffron (if using), orange zest, tomatoes, and stock or clam juice.
Bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add the fish (but not shellfish). Cook for about 2 minutes.
Add any clams, mussels, and shrimp. Simmer until the shells just begin to open, about 4 minutes more. Add any crabmeat.
Cook until all shells have opened, the shrimp is pink and curled, and the fish flakes easily, about 2 minutes.
Serve from the pot, sprinkled with the parsley and topped with crusty bread and a dollop of rouille.