I worked in a fishery restaurant that was next to the Florida Everglades for a season. The seafood was literally delivered fresh from the boat to our restaurant dock. Boat loads of fresh Everglades frog legs were delivered to our docks too. Many times I spent the entire day shift at that fishery restaurant doing nothing more than clipping frog leg toes and trimming the hips of frog legs to be cooked in the evening when the restaurant opened.
The evening business was so busy, that we never opened the restaurant for lunch. We always had a two hour waiting line for dining room seating. We all prepared fresh seafood by day starting at 6:00AM and cooked from 4:00PM till 11:PM at night. We were paid well, because we were the best! A small high quality crew that is paid a high salary does far better quality work than a large crew of slacky numbskulls or green chef school prima donnas!
The restaurant also bought tons of stone crab claws from the crabbers. We marketed stone crab claws too. Boiling huge pots of fresh stone crab claws is an awesome aroma to work around! I have cut every tropical fish that you can imagine into filets during my career, but never more than the volume that I prepared at that fishery restaurant. I know the texture and flavor of all the tropical fish.Frog leg trimming can get boring, but it is a duty that requires perfection. Everglades frog legs are the very best in the world! I have seen Everglades frog legs that were over two feet long and the thigh section was as big around as a large turkey leg. That is a lot of frog hoppin' power!
Cajun Blackening Spice Mix Recipe:
Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of onion powder into a mixing bowl.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic powder.
Add 4 tablespoons of paprika.
Add 4 tablespoons of cayenne pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of black pepper.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of white pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
Add 1/3 tablespoon of sugar.
Add 1/3 tablespoon of flour.
Stir the ingredients together.
The tiny amount of sugar helps to caramelize the highlights of the grains of the fish meat. The small dash of flour helps the spice mix to stick to the fish. This is a basic cajun blackening mix. Some chefs add many dried herbs to the mix, but that is not necessary. Originally in Louisiana, blackening was done by pressing rock salt and coarse black pepper onto the fish with no extra seasonings.
Dijon Vinaegrette Recipe:
Place 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard into a small mixing bowl.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
Drizzle 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil into the mixture, while constantly whisking, to form an emulsified dijon vinaegrette.
Set the simple dijon vinaegrette aside.
Crispy Coriander Noodles:
Cut 1 large pre-made wonton wrapper into 3/8" to 1/2" wide strips. (5 to 7 noodle strips is plenty)
Fry the fresh wonton noodle strips in 360 degree vegetable oil, till they become crisp.
Sprinkle the crispy sea salt and ground coriander on the hot fried noodles.
Set the noodles aside.
Cajun Blackened Frog Legs:
Dredge 3 pairs of medium size frog legs in the Cajun blackening spice mix.
Heat 2 ounces of unsalted butter over medium heat, till it begins to smoke.
Place the frog legs in the hot butter.
Blacken the frog legs for 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other side. Try to only flip the frog legs once, but if they are thick, then flip them twice.
When the frog legs become fully cooked and blackened, remove them from the pan and set them on a dry towel to remove the excess grease.
Cajun Blackened Frog Legs with Crispy Coriander Noodles, Mixed Lettuce and Dijon Vinaegrette:
Place about 5 ripe plum tomato thin wedges on the border of a plate.
Toss some mixed wild lettuce with a few thin julienne slices of red bell pepper in a mixing bowl.
Mound 1 handful of mixed baby lettuce on the plate, so it partially cover the tomatoes.
Drizzle a few drops of the Dijon Vinaegrette on the lettuce.
Place the blackened frog legs on the plate, so they lean against the lettuce.
Slide the crispy coriander noodles between the frog legs and the lettuce.
Spoon a generous amount of the Dijon Vinaegrette on the plate around the frog legs.
The Dijon Mustard Vinaegrette is a classic salad dressing flavor that is nice for dipping the blackened frog legs in. The crispy noodles have a pleasant coriander flavor and they add some crunchy texture to the plate.
When frog legs are blackened, the juices are sealed into the meat. Frog legs are more tender than chicken and they have no fat. Some people say frog legs taste like chicken, but they really do have a delicate flavor of their own. This is a delicious healthy frog leg lunch style salad entree! Yum! ... Shawna