Friday, April 14, 2023

Pan Seared Barramundi with Sweet Peppers and Garlic

and The Best Roasted Ranch Cauliflower

(Crack Cauliflower)

These two recipes are two of my wife's favorites.  I'm a Catholic that really only observes "Lent", nothing else but it is my excuse to eat more seafood. :-)

The first time that I ever made the cauliflower, Julie told me to never bother making cauliflower any other way in the I don't.  Happy Wife-Happy Life.


  • 4 Barramundi fillets (approximately 6 ounces each) or any other "white fish" that you prefer.
  • Salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (cored and chopped)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (cored and chopped)
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper (cored and chopped)
  • 3 shallots (chopped)
  • 4 large garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Spice Mixture

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of Sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper 


  1. Take the fish out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking.  Sprinkle with salt on both sides and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the spices to make the spice mixture.  Set aside for now.
  3. In a medium-sized skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking.
  4. Add the bell peppers, shallots, and garlic.  Season with salt and 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture you prepared earlier.  Cook, stirring regularly until the peppers have softened.  Turn the heat to low and stir in the chopped olives.  Leave on low heat as you prepare the fish.
  5. Pat fish dry and season with the remaining spice mixture on both sides as well.
  6. In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking.  Add the fish pieces (you can reduce the heat to medium, if needed).  Push down on the middle (thickest part of the fish) for 30 seconds or so.  Cook fish on one side, undisturbed, until nicely browned, about 5 minutes or so.  Use a spatula, carefully turn the fish over and cook on the other side for approximately 4 minutes until nicely browned as well.  Look for browned edges on the fish before you turn it over.  If parts of the fish are stuck, you should be able to carefully scrape it loose with the spatula and turn it.  If the fish is entirely stuck, then it is not ready to turn over.  Leave it for a little bit, it should release when it is ready to be turned.
  7. Remove fish from heat, immediately drizzle with the lemon juice.  Serve hot with the bell pepper medley spooned on top.

Ranch Roasted Cauliflower


  • 30 ounces of cauliflower florets (approximately 2 medium sized heads)
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of "Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Seasoning".
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (to taste)


  1. Whisk together oil, ranch seasoning, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  2. Add cauliflower florets.  Toss well in mixture.
  3. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve the roasted cauliflower with freshly chopped parsley and parmesan cheese or if you prefer, enjoy it as is.


 Wine pairings: Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for this meal. It is described as aromatic and bright with a crisp, clean finish.  It features lemon and kiwi flavors accompanied by scents of green apple.  Most enjoyed in the summer, you can pair this selection with light dishes such as seafood, summer salads and grilled chicken all year long.

If you prefer a "blush", I recommend Aleatico Rose' from Imagery Estates Winery. This exclusive varietal, sourced from Serres Ranch in Sonoma County, creates the perfect Rose' bursting with notes of sweet strawberry and rose petals.  Ripe red raspberries on the palate enhance the elegance of this well-balanced wine.

Beer pairings:  Virtually every type of beer can work well with seafood due to the multitude of ways that it can be prepared.  With this meal, I would recommend a light pilsner or lager.

Cocktail pairings: I would recommend a "Moscow Mule" made with good vodka such as Tito's, Grey Goose or Ketel One or a Gin and Tonic made with Bombay Sapphire and a lemon instead of a lime.  








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