Although fishing (especially redfishing) is a huge love of mine and I live in South Louisiana where there is water at every turn, I don’t get to go as often as I’d like to since my dad sold his boat a couple of years back. So when I got an invite for a quick early morning saltwater trip, I was more than thrilled.
With no sleep, we headed down the bayou and made it out to the launch just in time for daybreak. It was a lovely, although windy, morning in Pointe Aux Chene. We fished in a few known areas, areas that we saw sea gulls diving for bait, and even site fished some reds in secluded ponds mostly using live minnow under a cork.
After spending a few hours on the water, we finished up the morning with a nice haul of both redfish and speckled trout and a slight sunburn.
Of course, because I love to experiment with cooking what I catch / hunt just as much as the actual act of catching / hunting it, I couldn’t wait to cook up some of the reds. So after some brainstorming and a quick trip to the grocery store, the experimentation began. I decided to cook redfish “on the half shell” with a shrimp cream sauce with a side of grilled veggeis. I have to say, it is one of my new favorites.
What is redfish on the half shell you ask? It is what I call a filet of redfish with the skin and scales left on. Perfect for grilling!
- Redfish filets with the skin (and preferably scales) left on
- 1lb of peeled, de-headed shrimp
- 1 cup of fat free half and half
- 1 cup of part skim mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 stick of butter
- Minced garlic
- Veggies of your choice for grilling (I used squash, zuchinni, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and red onions)
- 1/3 cup White wine
- Seasonings: lemon juice, garlic powder, “blackening seasonings” ( I recommend Chef Prudhommes), Tony Chachere’s, cracked black pepper, cayenne, and salt
You will also need foil and a veggie grill basket (or do what I did and use a disposable aluminum pan and punch holes in the bottom).
Prepping the Food for the Grill:
- Place the each redfish on foil (should be about 5 inches longer than the fish) and sprinkle garlic powder, blackening seasoning, a little tonys, and a few squirts of lemon juice. Place on top, 2 to 3 thin slices of butter and fold foil over the top of the fish making a steamer bag.
- Chop the veggies of choice into large chunks and toss in about a tablespoon of melted butter, black pepper, garlic powder, and about a tsp of lemon juice.
- Grill veggies until tender (larger veggies can go directly on the grill, but i recommend the grill basket for everything else).
- Place the fish on either low or indirect heat and cook until almost done. (should be almost to the point where it is flaky) Cooking time depends on size of filet.
- For the last few minutes of cooking, open up the foil and allow it to finish cooking on a high heat to get all the flavors from the pit integrated into the meat. When done, the meat of the fish should be flaky yet moist.
Shrimp and Cream Sauce:
- Season the shrimp with minced garlic, garlic powder, blackening seasoning, Tony’s, cayenne, black pepper, and seer in a hot pan. Once a good sear is achieved, add wine and continue to simmer until shrimp are fully cooked. Once shrimp are cooked, remove pan from heat and allow to cool.
- After the pan and shrimp have cooled, return to a low heat and add the half & half and cheese then simmer on an low heat for about 15 minutes. Be sure this does not bubble because that will cause the cream to curdle. Over this 15 minute span, slowly add the shredded mozzarella. Season to taste.
- Cornstarch may be needed to thicken the sauce to the desired texture (Remember to mix it well with cold water prior to adding it to the sauce to prevent clumping)
- Pour sauce and shrimp over the finished redfish and VOILA dinner is served!