Consider preparing these healthy and delicious meals using triggerfish, crab and mahi-mahi. Joyce Taylor’s recipes from Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas include fun and inventive ways to serve these healthy choices for your friends and family.

Since 1973, representatives from home extension clubs in Carteret County, North Carolina have met each month in a Morehead City kitchen to test new ways of handling, storing and preparing fish and shellfish caught off the North Carolina coast. Their 30 years of seafood wisdom are now gathered in this comprehensive guide for cooks who want to know more than just how to bake or fry fish.

Mariner’s Menu contains more than 100 original seafood recipes developed by the dedicated testers and tasters of the Seafood Lab kitchen. Many of these recipes, such as Broiled Tuna Provencal and Steamed Clams in Wine Broth, use easily available ingredients and require little preparation. Separate sections instruct cooks on broiling, grilling, frying and steaming. Important preparation techniques such as deboning fish, deveining shrimp and cracking crab are illustrated in detailed drawings by Morehead City artist Connie Mason. Photographs by Scott D. Taylor of Beaufort reflect seafood’s vital role in coastal communities.

Packed with images, safety tips, helpful hints and mouth-watering recipes, Mariner’s Menu is more than a cookbook. It’s a complete resource for handling, storing, preparing, cooking and enjoying fresh seafood.

On page 18 of the Summer 2012 issue of Coastwatch magazine, read how researchers funded by the N.C. Fishery Resource Grant Program, administered by North Carolina Sea Grant, found that these three options have low levels of mercury. Remember, availability of particular species will vary based on regulations, season and even changing weather. Thus, if the named fish or shellfish is not in your market, ask for another local one that would be similar in texture and flavor — make it your own “catch of the day.”

For more information on what fishermen are catching now, go to: or check the Mariner’s Menu blog at: The Mariner’s Menu seafood resource book is available in bookstores. To order a copy from Sea Grant, call 919/515-9101.

— C.P.


Remove any shell or cartilage from crabmeat.

Wash, dry and hollow tomatoes. Invert and drain on paper towels. In medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, onion and lemon juice. Add salt, pepper and Tabasco and stir. Gently fold in crabmeat. Stuff tomatoes. Chill thoroughly. Garnish serving dish with parsley sprigs. Makes 25 to 30 appetizers.


Trim all dark meat from fish. Rinse fish thoroughly and gently pat dry with paper towels. Mix flour, salt and pepper in large shallow dish. Pour milk into another. Dip fillets in milk, drain, then dip in flour mixture. In large skillet, heat oil. Add 3 tablespoons butter and heat. Saute’ fillets until golden on one side, about 6 to 8 minutes, longer if pieces are thicker. Turn and repeat on other side. Drain on paper towels. Serves 6 to 8.

Lemon-Butter Sauce

Melt margarine in small pan. Add pepper and lemon juice and heat. Pour over fillets.


Beat eggs with water, salt and pepper. Dredge fish thoroughly in flour. Dip into egg mixture and let excess drain off. Coat with bread crumbs. Heat oil in large skillet. Add butter and heat to 375 F. Cook fish until golden brown on one side, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Drain on paper towels. Serves 6 to 8.

This article was published in the Summer 2012 issue of Coastwatch.

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