Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Orange Cacao Rub, Roasted Paiche Fish


What do I say about a prehistoric fish? I wish I could have Adam over at my local Whole Foods tell you. (He works in the fish department.) I asked him about this paiche and he spoke excitedly. "Love this fish. It's been very popular," he tells me. So pai-che was on my dinner table the other night. I even asked my neighbor to join us. Well, let me tell you with excitement, just like Adam, "This is a great fish! We loved it!"

A lot like Chilean sea bass, this is a firm and mild fish. There is not much shrinkage to speak of. I bought 1.38 pounds and I could have easily made 4 servings out of this, but we ate it in three. No skin on this fish, equals no waste. It is a fresh water fish, kosher, and lives in piranha infested waters. The scales on this fish are like armor.


Arapaima is the largest  freshwater fish in South America. It is considered a living fossil and has no lungs or gills. To breathe air it must come to the surface every 5-15 minutes and was originally hunted by spearfishing. It still is considered endangered in the wild but the Amazone project has learned how to farm these fish. Hence, Whole Foods is now selling it. And even Morimoto cooked with it on Iron chef.



I could tell you much more, but what I really want you to know is that this fish is so easy to cook with. I cut my fillet into three pieces and the middle section did have one big piece of bone. It came out in one piece and that was it. No more bones to be had. There are many ways one could prepare this, but I seared it and then finished it off in the oven. The results showed that it was still moist, full of flavor and had a great tender but rich, substantial texture. 

I used a cocoa nib, orange and clove rub. Sounds weird and I must admit that when I made it, I thought this wasn't going to work. I took the recipe from the Mast Brothers cookbook. Yeah, same one I got the Cincinnati chili from. (And guess what? They do sell their chocolate at Whole Foods. I didn't know until I went there looking for paiche. It is pricey though, so I'll have to wait until another time.) I thought the rub tasted a bit salty, but after the fish was baked, it was perfect. It was then topped with a light browned butter sauce and served over Basmati rice in which I threw some dried apricots.  My neighbor and Manservant raved about this dinner and though I'm not one to toot my own horn, well, it was a pretty, pretty good dinner!




Whole Foods also sent over some protein powder by Vega and Garden of Life. Manservant was ecstatic. He is convinced that by getting 30g of protein in the morning that it will jump start his metabolism and help him eat less and lose weight faster. He, of course, read this in a book. I, of course, will let you know his progress. And if it works I will be convinced and try it too!


Alex saw the containers in the pantry when he came home and said, "This is the good stuff!" He apparently buys something online that he drinks after he works out.  Manservant has already asked for more and said to tell Whole Foods to send it! (Consider this a request, Danielle!) It is all over their store right now and I must tell you that I'm partial to the Vega brand, but Manservant is happy with either.  Both are gluten and dairy free but Garden of Life does has some soy. They also both contain cocoa which is a great thing in my book! Check them out if you need a boost. They make you feel very healthy after you gulp them down!


And now for the piece de resistance! (My computer doesn't do accents or maybe it's me that doesn't know how to type them!) 


A few notes on cocoa nibs:  They are fermented, dried, roasted and crushed cacao beans. They resemble chocolate, but have no sugar or other flavors added. They give texture  to the rub and they kind of melt in, but not quite. I also used them in a vinaigrette! Earthy and nutty is the best way I can think to describe them. They worked perfectly in this rub. Can't wait to add some to chocolate chip cookies to see what they do!



Orange Cacao Nib Roasted Paiche
From: Mast Brothers Chocolate
Yield: 2-4 servings depending on size of fish
Total Time: About 30 minutes
Ingredients:
Browned Butter Sauce
1 stick butter
2 T white wine vinegar
2 egg yolks
Spice Rub
1/2 c cacao nibs
1 T orange zest
1 T whole cloves
2 t sea salt
2 t black pepper

1-1 1/2lb paiche fillet

1 T olive oil
Directions:
Start with the sauce:
Put butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature. While butter is browning, whisk vinegar and egg yolks together. Slowly add browned butter to the egg yolk mixture, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt if desired. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.

Spice Rub:
Put all of the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and grind to a somewhat fine paste. Or throw in a mini processor and pulse a few times!

Fish:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut paiche into desired serving sizes. Rub spice mixture on top of fish. Heat a cast iron skillet with olive oil over high heat. Sear fish on unrubbed side for two minutes. Place pan in oven for about 10 minutes or until fish reaches your desired doneness!

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Other Good Fish and Seafood Recipes:
Teriyaki Shrimp
Mexican Garlic Lime Shrimp
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Moroccan Fish with Saffron Lime Aioli
White Fish with Mushrooms and Browned Butter
Brazilian Coconut Lime Shrimp Stew
15 Minute Greek Baked Shrimp with Feta
Shrimp and Grits
Crispy Chipotle Shrimp with Corn
New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp



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128 comments:

  1. I like grilled tilapia topped with a tropical fruit and avocado salsa.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  2. My favorite fish recipe is battered and coconut dipped chunks of white fish and sauteed in coconut oi - this Paiche sounds like a great fish to try it!

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  3. I'm already subscribed!!!! (with a different email - let me know if you need it) Luv!!!

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  4. thank you so much for the giveaway! I subscribe!

    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

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  5. Hi Abbe,

    I love Chilean Sea Bass. I have not heard of the fish you posted about until you posted today- I will have to check it out at Whole Foods and see what I can do.
    As for how I make the sea bass, I usually make it very simple and use lemon juice, salt, and pepper. I don't experiment too much with fish, but I am going to start doing so.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Georgette
    gigicoan at yahoo dot com

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  6. Abbe,
    I do follow you on Facebook: Georgette Coan

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  7. I also follow you on Pinterest.
    http://pinterest.com/ladygduran is my user profile.

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  8. I like grilled salmon

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  9. I subscribe to your emails

    #1

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  10. I subscribe to your emails

    #2

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  11. Follow you on Pinterest
    pinterest.com/elena8

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  12. I like Honey Ginger Grilled Salmon

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  13. Follow on Pinterest
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  14. I'm a subscriber
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com
    1

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  15. I'm a subscriber
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com
    2

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  16. I like any fish, as long as it's really fresh! But Alaskan salmon? Yes, please. Either grilled or poached (and covered with a nice sauce). I haven't heard eaten paiche -- I'll have to seek it out. At Whole Foods, of course! ;-)

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  17. Wow, I love the sound and the look of this rub...cacao and orange zest...yum! And yes, brown butter sauce...delicious paired with the fish.
    Nice giveaway Abbe...hope you are having a great week :D

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  18. My favorite fish is crappie, which you pretty much have to catch to eat. I don't think it's commercially available, but it's so good!

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  19. My favorite fish recipe is to take a nice piece of wild caught salmon, spread it with seedless raspberry jelly, then drizzle with a little bourbon. Bake it in the oven at about 400-425 until fish is done. You end up with a sweet, carmelized glaze on top. So tasty!

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  20. I follow you on facebook, username april scott.
    (amkj2002 at hotmail dot com)

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  21. Paiche...this is new to me. They look almost like salmon to me. Love the cacao rub.

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  22. I subscribe to your emails with amkj2002 at hotmail dot com.

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  23. My favorite fish is grilled salmon. And of course there's the classic tuna sandwich :).

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  24. I love this fantastic looking paiche, prepared in a very creative way!
    We do get quite a lot of paiche here in Peru, which comes from the Amazonas region but I must confess I've never prepared one myself.
    With your yummy looking recipe, now I will:)

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  25. Abbe - I love a good piece of salmon with a soy based sauce :)

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  26. We don't eat fish often, other than pan-frying trout we've caught when camping.

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  27. I like either grilled salmon or halibut.

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  28. Following on Pinterest
    http://www.pinterest.com/clc408/

    My email is in my profile.

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  29. My favorite is grilled Salmon
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  30. I Follow you on pinterest(kelly Saver)
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  31. Im simple- I love broiled Salmon with lemon pepper! cassandra@aubut.net

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  32. I really like my husbands tilapia with dill recipe!

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  33. I don't have a favorite fish recipe, but my boyfriend loves grilled salmon and I love shopping at Whole Foods.

    Tracy from CA
    cardprincess(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  34. Grilled Halibut with Peach and Pepper Salsa

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  35. Lovely cacao rub, it is like a jaffa flavouring :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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  36. I love salmon, or Crappy... lol my family catches them and then my Grandma makes a fish fry.

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  37. I love salmon that has been steamed with Cajun seasonings.

    Valencia

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  38. My favorite is the Brazilian Coconut Lime Shrimp Stew!

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  39. Yum! This sounds like a seafood dish oozing with the flavours of cacao nibs and all things good! Salmon is my favourite too!

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  40. I love fresh Red Snapper caught off of the coast of Southeast Georgia -- so sweet!

    I bake it with lemons, rosemary, and thyme. So simple and so delicious!

    Terri P
    pr4gatheringroses AT gmail DOT com

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  41. I am subscribed via email and Google Friend Connect!

    Terri P
    pr4gatheringroses AT gmail DOT com

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  42. I love parmesan crusted tilapia! yarbr012@gmail.com Natalie from MN

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  43. i'm a vegetarian so no favorite fish recipes

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  44. just joined via email to get 2 more entries

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  45. I love grilled Salmon w/ a teriyaki based sauce on top. Delicious and simple.

    cladfamily101 at aol dot com

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  46. I follow you on Pinterest

    cladfamily101 at aol dot com

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  47. My favorite fish are both Tilapia for versatility and Chilean Sea bass (so meaty!). I love Salmon and tuna but only raw!
    seyma_bennett@hotmail.com

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  48. pinterest seymas
    seyma_bennett@hotmail.com

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  49. any fish in lemon.

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  50. i like tuna tartar
    flyergal82 AT (yahoo) /dot $com&

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  51. pinterest follower ladydanaj
    flyergal82 AT (yahoo) /dot $com

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  52. My favorite fish is tilapia covered in a potato breading.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love salmon and orange roughy.
    Diane Baum
    esldiane@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. The fish looks great Abbe! Love the cacao nibs and orange combination. Never thought of adding it to fish though, bet it tasted great. I like the white fishes the best, cod, plaice, sole, flounder. One of my favourite ways is to make cod with a sweet and sour sticky sauce, soooogood. Ok, I follow you on everything and subscribe, though I'm a terrible blogger friend because I take forever to get over here and comment. Sorry!! xxxx

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  55. My favorite fish is Orange Roughy. I like it baked topped with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese!

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  56. I am already a subscriber to your inspiring blog!

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  57. I am following all your boards on Pinterest. terri_moore2

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  58. twitted this today, 01/02
    http://www.twitter.com/myspotme

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  59. Broiled Salmon is about the only fish I ever eat except for fish sticks ;)

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  60. I like salmon with a dill sauce.
    tamarsweeps-at-gmail-dot-com

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  61. I absolutely love fish and eat it multiple times per week - usually wild salmon. I have heard of paiche, but never tried it. Now I really want to!

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  62. I love panko-crusted catfish.
    ashaldridge (at) gmail (dot) com

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  63. My favorite is halibut, cooked with lemon and butter
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  64. I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.
    #1
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  65. I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.
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  66. I follow you on Pinterest as cezovski9
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  67. This recipe sounds amazing! We love trying out different flavors with fish and you nailed it with this one! Our favorite fish is Branzino, made simply with olive oil, parsley and lemon juice. What a nice giveaway!! Very generous Abbe!

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  68. Oh, wow, this fish sounds fantastic!! I'll have to see if our WF has it...as I've only had beef with a cocoa rub and would love to try your recipe.

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  69. I really like your recipe. Your choice of cocoa nibs is something I'd like to try. I won't enter into your giveaway since I am participating in the same Whole Foods Ambassador program but I just wanted to say I look forward to enjoying more of your posts! Holly

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  70. Browned butter sauce? You had my attention! Prehistoric (lol!) and Morimoto - game on! This is just lovely! What a fabulous, interesting combination of flavors!

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  71. First of all what an amazing spice rub. Would never have thought to pair those flavors with fish. I started following you on twitter(@globaltastes) and Pinterest(chefmireille). My favorite fish that's hard - it used to be Chilean sea bass but once I heard they were endangered I stopped eating that. Being from the Caribbean, I use shark and dried salted cod a lot but I'm also a big fan of mahi-mahi. I also think monkfish gets a bad rep because of its appearance but has such a nice flavor and is great for soups, curries and stocks.I guess I couldn't just pick one fave fish.
    You can contact me via my blog at www.eastwestrealm.com

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  72. My favorite fish to eat is flounder. (Catching them is good too).

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  73. I know it's endangered fish but my absolutely favorite is Chilean seabass. Just love that buttery and rich flavor. Since it's an endangered species I have most recently been enjoying halibut and wild salmon. Thanks for introducing me to paiche I'll be looking for it in Whole Foods next time!

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  74. I am not a fish fan, except shellfish. I do occasionally like a thin flounder fillet, lightly battered and fried.

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  75. I will have to look for that fish - Chilean sea bass is one of the "non-fishy" types of fish I like - but the price tag of $23 a pound - I am not buying it to make at home anytime soon!

    Can't do tilapia or catfish - just - ew!

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  76. I was telling Holly the other day that I am going to try make a curry out of the paiche. It will be outstanding,,I hope :))

    Love your spice rub and the resulting dish! YUmm!

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  77. i love salmon. i usually marinate it in a ginger teriyaki sauce

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  78. I love most fish but, especially my husband's red snapper.

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  79. My very favorite fish is Chilean Sea Bass. Its hard to find and super expensive but delicious!
    Samantha (samdaleo)
    jamesmadison1974@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  80. I'm not big on fish, but I love some crab cakes!

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  81. i like salmon. it's my favorite fish.

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  82. Have to admit that I am not really very fond of most fish. I do like the freshly caught trout my husband brings home though - we usually use some kind of marinade and grill it. This looks very interesting though!

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  83. My favorite fish is grilled salmon!
    emely.drugge@hotmail.com

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  84. I follow you on Twitter - EmelyDrugge

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  85. I Subscribe to your newsletter
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  86. I Subscribe to your newsletter
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  87. Don't hate me, but I'm a vegetarian, so I don't eat any fish.

    jennylovesjeff (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  88. I follow on facebook
    skevens7@gmail(dot)com

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  89. I follow on pinterest (skyevans7)

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  90. I would love to win. I have some whole foods coupons I would like to use to make this $25 stretch further. Hope I win!

    email is redrobin1191 at yahoo dot com

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  91. I like grilled tuna steaks. neyabenz(at)gmail(dot)com

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  92. I like grilled tuna steaks johnlovelyn2012(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  93. I follow you on Twitter - @ladyleanneg

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  94. I follow you on Facebook. Leanne Godfrey

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  95. I love salmon.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  96. I follow you on pinterest as rounder9834

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  97. I follow you on facebook as Thomas Murphy

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  98. 1- I subscribe to your email as rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  99. 2- I subscribe to your email as rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  100. I love fried catfish kimbly@gmail .com

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  101. Thanks for the giveaway… Fish Tacos using Cod fillets.

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  102. Thanks for the giveaway… Fish Tacos using Cod fillets.

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  103. I am all about anything with brown butter and cacao in it! Sounds delicious!

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  104. Sad I missed the giveaway, but still love finding out about a new fish. I recently tried sablefish and it was great!

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  105. I've never tried paiche but this looks yummy! I love seafood, so would definitely have loved to try this out. And I bet the spice rub was just divine!

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  106. Cacao is loaded with antioxidants and I enjoy throwing it in my smoothies and use it in making granola but I love how you have gone savory here with it. Looks divine!

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