Around early to mid-March each year shad arrives in our area. These shad migrate up from Florida and enter the Delaware Bay, where they are caught in fresh waters. Unfortunately the shad population has been decreasing due to over fishing. The season lasts just about six weeks and during this time we love to eat shad. I prepare it very simply, just baked seasoned with lemon, garlic, black pepper and Hungarian paprika. Shad is part of the herring family and is considered a flavorful fish, yet it is quite mild and adapts to the seasonings used in preparing the dish. More than likely, we will have shad at least five more times prior to the end of the short and wonderful season!
The annual Shad Festival, held in Lambertville, NJ is next month. Hope to attend!
and some more tidbits on shad:
1 1/2 lbs. of shad fillets (I had three nice size pieces)
2 T of unsalted butter
4 cloves of minced garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
3 T of fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in small saucepan and add lemon juice and garlic. Place shad on parchment lined baking sheet. Baste with melted butter mixture and sprinkle generously with pepper and paprika. Bake 15 minutes.
I served this with sauteed asparagus....just sauteed fresh asparagus in EVOO with some added slivers of fresh garlic. And, we had Buttermilk Coleslaw with Cilantro and Green Onions (recipe to follow). This dinner screamed SPRING!
Shad prior to going into preheated oven:
Buttermilk Coleslaw with Green Onions and Cilantro
This recipe is from the July 2002 issue of Cooks Illustrated. I found this recipe on a food forum from a fellow foodie friend and blogger.
If you are planning to serve the coleslaw immediately, rinse the salted cabbage in a large bowl of ice water, drain it in a colander, pick out any ice cubes, then pat the cabbage dry before dressing.
1 pound cabbage (about 1/2 medium head), red or green, shredded fine (6 cups)
1 medium carrot , shredded on box grater
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 scallions , sliced thin
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Toss shredded cabbage and 1 teaspoon salt in colander or large mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Let stand until cabbage wilts, at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Rinse cabbage under cold running water. Press, but do not squeeze, to drain; pat dry with paper towels. Place wilted cabbage and carrot in large bowl.
2. Stir buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, shallot, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper together in small bowl. Pour dressing over cabbage and toss to combine; refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (Coleslaw can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
I usually use bagged cole slaw and tonight I ended up using bagged angel hair cole slaw. I planned on adding the shredded carrot only to realize that a rabbit or two must've attacked our veggie bin in the fridge, so this is made without carrots. The plate of food would have been more colorful had some orange color been added. I never add the sugar and ALWAYS add additional fresh cilantro.