Baking

Quick-cooking fish and slow-cooker potatoes make a great summer combo: I Eat La. | Entertainment/Life

The late summer season is winding down and the heat is taking its toll on the product and the process.

Many farmers also spend time tending to fall crops that will be here before we know it. There are still plenty of delicious ingredients to find, but I recommend getting out early and having a plan.

Recently my daughter and I rushed downtown early to get to our market. I was on a mission for something quick to cook so as not to heat up the kitchen. That meant a quick-cooking fish or shellfish was on my list.

We also found potatoes to make one of my daughters favorite dishes: mashed potatoes. There were also lots of tomatoes, cucumbers and peaches.

I bought red snapper fillets. Red snapper is a beautiful, thick, flaky white fish. It is also very versatile. You’ll find it pairs well with the warm flavors of a blackened method or a cool, light lemon sauce like this. This sauce has a nice balance of fresh lemon and warm garlic with a slightly sweet touch.

I think I found the easiest way to make mashed potatoes. This slow cooking method resulted in fluffy mashed potatoes and only one pan to clean. Because I wasn’t making gravy for this meal, I decided not to peel the potatoes. The result included a bit more color and flavor and maybe a few extra nutrients. If my parsley plant didn’t look so bad at the time, I would have tossed some in for even more color and fresh herb flavor.

I always find something to cook at the farmer’s market, but I think we all look forward to the bountiful fall harvest and a break from the humidity.

Red Snapper with Lemon Garlic Sauce

For 3-4 people. The recipe is from Teresa B. Day.

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds (3-4) red snapper fillets

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar*

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup butter, in one piece

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme

1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a baking dish with olive oil. Dry the fillets and place them on the pan, without touching them.

2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the lemon juice, vinegar and garlic to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Whip the cream into the sauce and simmer for 30 seconds.

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4. Stir butter into sauce until melted and completely incorporated.

5. Remove sauce from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in thyme.

6. Pour the sauce over the fish.

7. Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until fish is slightly firm in center.

8. Serve hot.

*Cook’s Note: I used Red Stick Spice Co’s Lemon White Balsamic.

Simple slow cooker mashed potatoes

For 6 to 8 people. The recipe is from Teresa B. Day.

3-4 pounds of red potatoes

1 cup low-salt chicken or vegetable broth

½ cup (1 stick) butter

¼ cup of milk

¼ cup sour cream

1½ tsp salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Peel potatoes if desired, but not necessary. Cut the potatoes into cubes.

2. Place potatoes in slow cooker. Cover with broth, then place the butter on top.

3. Cook over high heat for four hours or until larger potato pieces are tender.

4. When done, mash with a potato masher or immersion blender.

5. Stir in milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

6. Serve hot on its own or with sauce, sauce or other toppings of your choice.