Plenty of Fish in the Sea
I have to admit, when faced with the task of writing recipes for “trash fish”—slang for generally discarded and lesser-known catches—I was a bit intimidated. But as I learned how underutilized species are swimming toward popularity among holistic chefs and local-food-loving consumers, I was motivated to experiment with a few unfamiliar fish myself.
So, equipped with a list of local trash fish possibilities, I headed to Walt’s Fish Market to see what I could hook. My fishmonger, Sebastian, was more than happy to help me check three catches off my list: a whole sheepshead and fillets of mangrove snapper and hogfish.
I returned home with my new fishy friends (one of which was looking back at me), thinking of the pioneers who waded deep into our Florida waters, discovering culinary delights without favor. Pulling inspiration from these settlers who prepared fresh sea foods with simple ingredients and Deep South tastes, I created three recipes to celebrate the union of new-to-me fish and Old Florida style. The results just might hook you on trash fish!