Mariners Menu
Seasonal Specialties


From time to time, we’ve brought you recipes from Mariner’s Menu, one of the faster growing sites for seafood recipes on the web. Blogger and photographer Vanda Lewis has worked with North Carolina Sea Grant for more than three decades. Her posts feature recipes developed by the late Joyce Taylor, author of the popular resource book, Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas. Lewis selected these five favorites just for the holiday season.

A quick reminder: if the type of fish the recipe recommends isn’t available at the market, you can always substitute a similar fish.


• 4 trout, butterflied
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
• salt
• freshly ground black pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan. Sauté onion and celery until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, Parmesan, salt, pepper and basil.

Stuff fish loosely. Brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Lightly salt and pepper. Bake at 400˚ for about 20 minutes or until done.


• 1 pound backfin crab meat
• 3 tablespoons margarine or butter
• 1/2 cup chopped red onion
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
• 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2 tablespoons canola oil for frying
• 1 cup French bread crumbs
• 2 cups French bread crumbs for coating
• Lemon wedges

Remove any shell or cartilage from crabmeat. Place meat in medium bowl.

Melt margarine or butter in medium saucepan. Sauté onion until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, Tabasco, lemon juice, cayenne and salt.

Blend in mayonnaise, egg, and 1 cup bread crumbs. Gently blend into crabmeat, being careful not to break meat apart.

Shape into silver dollar size cakes. Dredge lightly in remaining 2 cups bread crumbs.

Fry in 3 tablespoons of hot oil until golden brown on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Drain on paper towels. Garnish with lemon wedges.


• 1 1/2 pounds triggerfish fillets, cut into serving size pieces
• 1 tablespoon melted margarine or butter
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
• 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• salt
• freshly ground white pepper

In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon melted margarine or butter and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

In another small bowl, combine softened margarine or butter, mayonnaise, mustard and Parmesan.

Lightly salt and pepper fish and place on a greased broiler pan.

Brush with butter-lemon juice mixture. Broil about 4 inches from heat for about 5 minutes.

Remove fish from oven. Spread with Parmesan mixture. Return to oven and cook until done, about 6 to 8 more minutes.


• 1 1/2 pound grouper fillet
• 3 tablespoons melted margarine or butter
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
• 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

In small bowl, combine margarine, salt, pepper, garlic and cilantro. Brush over fish.

Sprinkle pecans over fish, pressing lightly.

Place in lightly greased baking dish and bake at 425˚ until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes.


• 2 cups chopped clams
• 1/2 cup clam liquid
• 4 tablespoons margarine or butter
• 2 tablespoons minced onion
• 2 tablespoons minced green pepper
• 2 tablespoons minced celery leaves
• 1/4 cup chopped celery
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
• 3/4 cup fresh cracker crumbs
• paprika

Place clams and liquid in medium saucepan and simmer 5 minutes.

Melt margarine in small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, celery leaves, celery, black pepper, salt, and mustard.

Cook until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add to clam mixture. Stir in crumbs and mix well.

Place in shells or ramekins. Sprinkle lightly with paprika. Bake at 450˚ until nicely browned and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.

Visit the Mariner’s Menu archive of free recipes 

Order the book: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas

from the Winter 2019 issue of Coastwatch