Citrus + seafood = an unbeatable combination

By Liz Scott
December 04, 2006
Jean Allsopp

When combining seafood and citrus, you're limited only by yourimagination. We've all seen the ubiquitous lemon wedge perched onthe rim of a shrimp cocktail glass. But why not go further?

Oranges, mandarins, and tangerines impart a hint of sweetness toentrées, while tart grapefruit add a sophisticated edge. Foran exotic twist, try a bright orange rangpur lime (a lemon-mandarinhybrid).

Feeling juiced? We have still more ideas. Kumquats aren'ttechnically citrus―botanists have given them their ownclassification―but their sweet orange rinds and tangy pulphave the same zesty flavor. Also, heirloom pomelos, big forerunnersto modern grapefruit, are making a comeback at farmers' markets incitrus-growing regions.

Citrus tastes good with seafood because its acid cuts throughfish oil. Use the juice and pulp in sauces to complement any ofyour favorite dishes. The strong, uncompromising taste of lemonsand limes works well with the oiliest fish―salmon, halibut,tuna, and mahimahi. More delicate oranges pair with the subtleshellfish flavors of scallops, shrimp, and mussels. But don't beafraid to create your own combinations. Even tender white fish suchas sole can stand up to grapefruit or lime sauces, and salmon isfabulous with kumquats.

One easy way to add zesty citrus flavor to a seafood dish is tosqueeze it into your pan while cooking the fish. Add a fewtablespoons of fresh lemon or lime juice to a skillet with oliveoil, butter, and a fresh fillet to create a quick, tasty dinner. Afew paper-thin fruit slices make the perfect garnish.

The winner of the 2006 GreatAmerican Seafood Cook Off featured an amazing combination ofseafood and fruit. Representing Florida, Justin Timineri wowedjudges with his Seared Snapper and Passionfruit-Coconut Milk Saucewith a zesty Citrus-Fennel Salad.

Salmon with Orange Pan Sauce

Lemon-Lime Tilapia

Wine Pairing
A Fumé Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, or crisp Chardonnay willcomplement any citrus-seafood dishes (perhaps served with a tossedgreen salad and crusty French bread) for a light, refreshingsupper.