The Matagorda Seafood Platter is something I have been perfecting for a number of years. It is actually a compilation of scratch recipes that add up to create a delicious meal. There are a couple of important pieces of this compilation missing, namely the Mexican Rice and Borracho Beans. My wife has refused to divulge this information, and who can blame her? It has taken her years to perfect these two recipes, and I can honestly say they cannot be improved upon. It is her well-earned right, and I have to respect that. So, you will have to fill-in-the-blanks and be content to see the pictures. Maybe someday she will come around, but I wouldn't hold my breath. She is as stubborn as a burro, and twice as tough!
While growing up, one of my favorite special meals was the traditional seafood platter. You know what I am talking about... It is usually made up of fried catfish, fried oysters, fried shrimp, fried stuffed shrimp, fried crawfish, fried crab claws, and fried stuffed crab. Oh, and did I mention French fries? While absolutely delicious, I am positive that over the years it has been a major contributor to the expansion of my waste-line. And my wife will no longer allow me to order it, even on my birthday. Well, I don't know about you, but I think that a seafood platter is one of the joys of living. So, in order to keep this passion of mine from slipping away, I set out to create a more healthy alternative. And I have to tell you, that I think I have it. This is not necessarily a Cajun recipe, you see I married a Latina woman. So it has some influences of Mexico as well as Louisiana, but mostly it is a coastal Texas flavor. Specifically, it is through and through Matagorda. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Bon Appetit! Or, more appropriately, Buen Provecho!
- 1 fresh squeezed lime
- 1 ounce orange liquor (Paula's Texas Orange)
- 2 ounces 100% agave tequila (Sauza Blanco)
- 4 ounces sweet-and-sour (Tavern)
- Course ground salt
- chilled glass
This is absolutely the first and most important thing you should do, before even starting on the rest of the recipe. It helps to have some good Latin music. You have to get in the mood to make the recipe work.
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime
- 1 cup fresh Orange Juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp Camino powder (cumin)
- 1 tsp fresh coarse ground black pepper
- 1 oz 100% agave tequila (Sauza Blanco)
- 2 fresh redfish fillets
- 1 cup buttermilk ranch dressing
- 1 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbs. pickled jalapeño, chopped
- 1 tsp Camino powder (cumin)
Pico de Gallo:
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- Juice 1 lime
- 2 fresh jalapeños, chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp Camino powder
- 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, flesh only, chopped
- Sea-salt to taste
Mexican (Spanish) rice:
- 1 large fresh avocado
- corn tortillas
- 3 or 4 large live blue crabs, rinsed well.
- 2 quarts water
- 1 Tbs liquid crab boil
- 1 Tbs white vinegar
- 2 tsp bay seasoning
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
Clean the crabs, extracting the lump crab meat from all but the largest crab. Crack the largest crab in half, keeping two clusters with legs attached.
Lightly sprinkle the lump crab meat with bay seasoning. Saute the lump crab meat and clusters in butter and lime wedges for about 5 minutes.
Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large non-stick pan over a medium flame until oil is hot. Cook redfish fillets about 6 minutes per side, carefully turning once with a large spatula. If your kitchen doesn't smell wonderful at this point, something went terribly wrong.
Serve hot with Mexican Rice, Borracho Beans, and warm corn tortillas. Drizzle some of the ranch sauce over the fish. Halve and slice an avocado. Lay onto a lettuce leaf. Top avocado with lump crab meat. Add a large spoonful of fresh Pico de Gallo to the center of the plate. Add a couple wedges of lime. Place crab cluster on the plate with the legs facing out.
Its a good idea to have some extra napkins handy. Another round of margaritas would do well at this point.
Eat well, and enjoy!