Just like the coast itself, recipes have a way of changing. Some remain classics. Others bring surprises through new combinations and cooking tricks.

This can easily be seen in the pages of Mariner’s Menu, North Carolina Sea Grant’s seafood resource book that offers traditional and innovative recipes.

For a modern take on seafood, look no further than seafood stuffed avocado. This recipe brings together the season’s best flavors of crab, shrimp and avocado for a refreshing bite.

If you have some fresh fruit, snapper with tropical fruit salsa makes for a juicy plate. Sauté the snapper and then add the mango, pineapple, orange and pepper salsa on top and enjoy.

Grill-masters out there, take note. Throw on some scallop kabobs with pineapple chunks, mushrooms and peppers for a guaranteed fan pleaser.

Finally, a classic Southern recipe: a Carolina shrimp boil has long been my favorite to serve family style while on vacation at the beach. Passing around the pot, each person can grab a hearty handful of shrimp, corn and potatoes. You can even add Andouille sausage, like my family does, for a kick at the end.

Enjoying seafood during the summertime is the perfect way to end a long day in the heat. Whether you’re hosting friends and family or simply enjoying a homemade meal, these recipes are sure to delight and inspire you to take your next trip to the coast.

For more ideas and recipes, order a copy of Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas here. Or check your local bookstore.

Also, visit the blog at and follow North Carolina Sea Grant on social media. Information on seasonal seafood also can be found at

Snapper with Tropical Fruit Salad

Snapper with Tropical Fruit Salsa. Photo by Scott Taylor

Prepare fruit salsa and chill. Lightly salt and pepper fish. Dredge in flour. Heat oil in large skillet. Add margarine and heat. Lightly sauté fillets, top side down, until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Drain on paper towels.

Fruit Salsa:

Combine mango, pineapple, orange, chili peppers, onion and garlic and mix well. Add vinegar, cilantro, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use.

Seafood Stuffed Avocado

Seafood Stuffed Avocado. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Fresh seafood is essential when preparing recipes from Mariner’s Menu. For this dish, the avocados are equally as important. For exceptional flavor, select ones that are dark green and slightly soft when gently squeezed.

Carefully remove any shell or cartilage from crabmeat. In medium bowl, lightly toss crabmeat and shrimp. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper. Add to crab and shrimp. Mix gently but thoroughly. Chill for several hours.

When ready to serve, peel avocados and cut in half lengthwise. Pile centers with salad. Sprinkle with paprika. Place on lettuce leaves. Serves 6.

Grilled Scallop Kabobs

Grilled Scallop Kebobs. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Place scallops, pineapple, mushrooms and red pepper in medium bowl.

In separate small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, parsley, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Reserve 1/3 cup. Pour remainder over scallop mixture and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Alternate scallops, pineapple, mushrooms and red pepper on skewers. Grill about 4 inches from moderately hot coals until one side is golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Baste with reserved sauce. Turn and cook until other side is golden and scallops are tender. Serves 6 to 8.

Carolina Shrimp Boil

Carolina Shrimp Boil. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Fresh shrimp smell like seawater. There should be no off-odors, mustiness or chemical smells. Occasionally shrimp will smell and taste like iodine. This is not related to spoilage and is not harmful, but makes them unacceptable for eating. Certain organisms on which shrimp sometimes feed can cause this iodine effect. If you buy shrimp that smell this way, return them to your market for a refund or replacement.

In large cooker, bring water to rolling boil. Add seasoning. Add potatoes and onions. Continue to boil until potatoes are almost done, about 10 minutes. Add corn and cook until done, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until done, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and serve. Serves 12 to 15.

NOTE: Many people like to shake additional Old Bay over the food after draining it. Also, you can add smoked sausage to the pot. Cut into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long and add after the potatoes. Other seafood seasonings can be used for flavor. Follow package instructions for amounts and cooking methods.

This article was published in the Summer 2018 issue of Coastwatch.