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We love seafood and fish cassolettes! I should say broiled, grilled, baked and pan-seared seafood and fish. Regardless of the serving dish.
And judging by the popularity of seafood restaurants in our area there are many “passionnés” or fans of fish and seafood served in familiar and unusual recipes.
Some of our personal favorite restaurants include Crisfield® and Legal Sea Foods® downtown and the Big Fish Grill® at the beach. But for us locals, the Maine Street Wharf is the best place to buy the freshest cooked or raw seafood.
Casual Meal or Fancy Dinner
In my little corner of France, fish and seafood are freshly caught at sea – the North Sea. Calais, Etretat and Boulogne reign supreme as purveyors of the freshest in European seafood and fish.
Here is a list of the fish we can easily find in fish markets:
- Sole or flounder
I won’t even mention the mussels, clams, scallops, langoustines or la Marmite Dieppoise, an incredible seafood stew. Can you imagine a cassolette filled with lobster meat?
All this to say that cassolettes capture all the flavors of the best seafood and fish for a casual meal or the fanciest dinner. In the simplest recipes or more elaborate concoctions. No matter where you live.
We are also lucky in that we have easy access to fresh Maryland, Virginia and Delaware seafood!
Locally Sourced Seafood & Fish
The freshest fish and seafood you can buy is locally sourced! We can purchase the same fresh fish and seafood here in the United States including varieties that are not caught in North Atlantic waters.
I personally do not recommend preparing cassolettes using previously frozen seafood or fish. On the other hand, I heartily recommend using high quality canned tuna or mussels. Paying a little more for such canned goods ensures premium flavors.
Two pounds of fish fillets will make 6 servings! Cook at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes. To poach, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Market Forms of Fresh Fish
Fresh fish is marketed in various forms. It is also available whole for the budget conscious.
One really needs to know how to properly dress a fish in order to get the full value of the reduced cost.
We all love to fish but as often as I’ve dressed freshly-caught or store-bought whole fish – often times, it’s just not worth it. Buy it when it is on sale.
- Whole fish is right out of the water! A whole lot of work.
- Dressed fish is scaled with the entrails removed. Still a lot of work!
- Single Fillets – someone else did all the work but they are ready to cook 🙂
Market Forms of Crab Meat & Shellfish
Crab meat is marketed in cans or plastic containers in the following forms:
- Jumbo Lump Crab – premium grade whole lumps of white crab meat
- Lump crab – broken pieces of the jumbo lump crabmeat
- Backfin – whole pieces of the white meat from the body
- Regular – smaller pieces of white meat from the body
- Special – a mix of regular and special, this is my favorite for crabcakes.
- Claw – brownish meat removed from the crab claws
Cold and warm water shrimp are perfect for cassolette recipes because they can easily be purchased peeled and cleaned. Most, however, are previously frozen so be sure to allow them to drain well then dry on a paper towel.
Seafood and Fish Cassolette Recipes: