Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More longing for the beach and a great grilled fish recipe

I’m continuing to suffer from beach-deprivation…

I’ve listed the highlights (lots) and lowlights (hmmm, were there any?) of our recent trip.


Good heavens, how can I choose? And I’m not certain if I could remember them all:

  • Arriving at the beach house, that first few seconds after opening the door, smelling that unique beach house smell, knowing that there are 13 full days of wonderful times ahead. The sensation was quite dizzying. :)

  • Gorgeous weather every single day, gorgeous sunrises (practically at the foot of our bed) 13 of 14 mornings

  • Being able to run on the beach almost every, single morning

  • The 6-hour sail between, and lecture on, some of the historic lighthouses on the Delaware Bay. And the boat we sailed on! A restored 1928 oyster schooner (canvas sails which I helped to raise) with a very personable crew.

  • The visit of our friends, George and Tammy, and the myriad of fun things that we did!

  • Discovering the incredible pleasure of eating Roquefort (again, my unending appreciation to George!)

  • Watching a wild fox on the sand dune just feet from our deck. We had heard that they were around, but in the past 4 visits had never seen one.

  • Finding a horseshoe crab on the beach in need of my assistance (long story, but it made me feel good)

  • Finding silver horseshoe crab earrings (some things are better left unexplained)

  • Bicycling in Cape Henlopen State park (the views are awesome!)

  • A ferry ride to Cape May and, especially, the fried shrimp basket at Henry’s on the Beach

  • The safe trip both to and from our vacation


  • Unthinkingly nudging a sliver of Scotch bonnet chili pepper back onto a cracker then, hours later and after washing dishes, trying to insert contact lenses. Pain! Incredible pain! I had to toss that lens…

  • Walking 3.72 miles from Herring Point to the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk for the single purpose of consuming fried shrimp baskets at a particular restaurant, and the restaurant was closed when we arrived. Then we had to walk back to the car!

  • Bicycling for 6 miles, mostly through a nice trail system, but which suddenly ended on a major highway and necessitated the sharing of our lane with cars and trucks (which we have never done, and we don’t have helmets), also for the single purpose of those fried shrimp baskets at that particular restaurant. Yes, this time the restaurant was open. But they had removed the fried shrimp from the menu! Enough said.

  • Leaving! Definitely a lowlight. And 358 days until we could return!

I wonder if #2 and #3 could be considered “lowlights” since no damage was done (except emotionally) and it did make for a fairly amusing story…

We consider ourselves to be quite fortunate to have located such a great house to rent (we call it BB). Since we are there for 2 weeks, some cleaning has to be done during that time, and it’s even a pleasure to do that. Washing the windows, my dreaded chore at the lake house since they’re so huge, is actually nice when doing it to the sound of waves and seagulls. Then, the best part, the views to the bay are so much better afterward. I guess that I’m that “instant gratification” type of person!

While at the beach house, there were a minimum of 4 different kinds of rum on the counter at all times, and after a trip to the liquor store that number increased. We had bought flavored rums in the past, but had decided that, with the exception of coconut rum, the other flavors tended to get lost in the daiquiris so we had decided just to purchase plain rums and coconut-flavored rums in the future. Enter George, who made us a very simple drink one evening. Flavored rum and club soda. Vanilla rum was used that time and it is still my favorite. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Cherry rum and soda, pineapple rum and soda, mango rum and soda, etc., etc. Even the Jamaican Appletons rum and the dark Haitian rum called Barncourt, neither flavored, were delicious with soda. I believe that I’ve discovered a whole new summer food group!

One of the dinners which I prepared for George and Tammy was a local fish, rockfish, marinated in spices and grilled then served with a peppery sauce. I prepared the marinade and the caper sauce a couple of days ahead and added some of George’s searingly hot Scotch bonnet chilies before using.

* Exported from MasterCook *

French West Indian Grilled Snapper with Caper Sauce

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Servings : 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh thyme -- or 1/4 t. dried

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 large garlic cloves -- chopped

1/2 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet pepper

24 ounces snapper fillet -- or any other firm, white fish

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon capers

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large garlic clove -- chopped

1 large shallot -- chopped

Mix first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Lay the fish fillets in a single layer in a shallow glass or plastic covered container or casserole dish. Pour marinade over fish, turning to coat. Marinate for an hour, turning once or twice.

Puree remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.

Prepare grill.

Remove fish from marinade (discard marinade), spray with cooking spray, and grill until fish flakes easily with a fork (about 3 minutes per side). Serve fillets with caper sauce.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 245 Calories (kcal); 9g Total Fat; (34% calories from fat); 35g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 63mg Cholesterol; 796mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : The Scotch bonnet has a well-deserved reputation for being the world's hottest chili pepper. Substitute habanero pepper if you're not into the searing effect, or even jalapeno for a similar, though much milder, flavor.

This dish goes best with a dry white wine which has citrus undertones, such as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Well, I must slap myself back to reality. It’s time to go outside and resume painting. *whimper*

Only 347 days until we go back to BB!!!