“If I’m not in the kitchen or with my family, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find me fishing,” says Brandon McGlamery, the head chef at Luma on Park and Prato restaurants in Winter Park, Fla., and author of the cookbook 9 Courses. His regular angling destination is the Ten Thousand Islands, outside of Chokoloskee, where he flyfishes for tarpon, snook, and redfish. The redfish he lands often end up slathered in a mix of yellow mustard and hot sauce before going into the frying pan, resulting in a deep, tangy flavor and ultralight texture. The mustard batter will enliven any kind of fish—or chicken, frog legs, shrimp, etc.—you’d think to fry.
1) Make the pickled shrimp: Place the shrimp in a heatproof bowl. Bring the vinegar, salt, sugar, and 1⁄2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Pour this mixture over the shrimp, allow it to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Strain, discarding the liquid. Chop the shrimp if desired.
2) Combine the mayonnaise, pickles, shallots, parsley, tarragon, and lime and orange juices in a medium bowl, then add the shrimp. Salt and pepper generously, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
3) Make the fish: In a small bowl, combine the mustard and Tabasco with 1⁄4 cup water. In another small bowl, mix the flour with generous doses of salt and pepper. Fill a frying pan with 2 inches of oil and heat to about 375 degrees.
4) Working one piece at a time, dip the fish in the mustard mix, then dredge through the flour, shaking gently to remove any excess. Ease the fish into the hot oil and repeat with the remaining pieces, making sure not to o
vercrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown, flipping as necessary, about 5 minutes per piece. Drain on paper towels.
5) Serve immediately, with lime wedges and the pickled shrimp remoulade on the side. Serves 8–10
Pickled Shrimp Remoulade
1⁄2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup white vinegar
4 Tbsp. salt
1⁄2 cup sugar
11⁄2 cups mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. dill pickles, sliced
1 Tbsp. shallots, diced
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. orange juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lb. redfish, skin off, pin bones removed, cut into 2-oz. portions
1 cup yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. Tabasco
2 cups flour
Oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Revenge Is Sweet
Chef McGlamery’s go-to cocktail on fishing expeditions is called a Smallwood’s Revenge, named for a historical event in Chokoloskee. It’ll go great with this dish, too.
Tear up half a dozen mint leaves and place in a rocks glass. Add about 11⁄2 tsp. each orange and lime juice, 2 oz. bourbon, and about 1⁄2 cup of ginger beer. Stir, then add crushed ice. —J.M.
Photograph by Plamen Petkov, Food Styling by Chris Lanier/Apostrophe, Prop Styling by Paige Hicks