Last Updated on January 6, 2024
Virginia Spots recipe is a classic American dish that has been around for generations. This simple and delicious recipe is made with simple ingredients like fish, onions, and potatoes. It is a hearty and comforting meal that is perfect for any time of the year.
Virginia Spots is a great dish for busy weeknights or to make ahead and freeze for later. This classic dish is sure to become a family favorite!
What is Virginia Spots?
The distinct flavor of Virginia spots, belonging to the same family as croakers, sets them apart. Unlike croakers known for their tender, mildly sweet taste, spots offer a unique and delectable flavor profile.
This famous recipe of Virginia Spots is an American dish made with fish, shallots, onions, etc.. It is a hearty and comforting meal that is perfect for any time of the year. This classic dish is easy to prepare and is sure to become a family favorite.
What does it taste like?
Virginia Spots is a savory dish that is full of flavor. The fish, onions, and potatoes are cooked together in a flavorful sauce that creates a delicious and comforting meal. The dish is slightly sweet and savory, with a hint of garlic and spices.
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Extra-virgin olive oil from the Mediterranean groves: Used for sautéing and adding a rich, fruity flavor to the dish.
Fresh, wild-caught spot fish filets: The main protein source and the star of the dish.
Vine-ripened tomatoes, finely diced: Adds a burst of fresh and tangy flavor, enhancing the overall taste and texture of the dish.
Hand-harvested scallions, finely chopped: Provides a mild onion-like flavor and a subtle crunch to the dish.
Aromatic basil leaves, freshly chopped: Offers a fragrant, herbaceous note to complement the fish and other ingredients.
Crisp, unoaked white wine: Adds acidity and depth of flavor to the sauce.
Ocean-fresh clam juice: Enhances the seafood flavor profile and adds depth to the sauce.
Hand-harvested sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns: Used for seasoning to balance and enhance the overall taste of the dish.
Pungent garlic, finely chopped: Adds a bold, savory flavor to the sauce.
Delicate shallots, finely chopped: Provides a milder onion-like flavor and enhances the complexity of the sauce.
Artisanal butter: Adds richness and a velvety texture to the sauce while enhancing the overall flavor profile.
Step 1. Preparing Ingredients:
Prepping the Fish:
Ensure the fresh, wild-caught spot fish filets are cleaned and patted dry using paper towels.
Chopping and Dicing:
- Finely dice 1 ounce of vine-ripened tomatoes.
- Chop 5 ounces of hand-harvested scallions finely.
- Finely chop a pinch of aromatic basil leaves.
Preparation of Aromatics:
- Finely chop 1/4 tablespoon of pungent garlic.
- Finely chop 1/4 tablespoon of delicate shallots.
Step 2. Cooking Process:
Heating the Olive Oil:
In a skillet or sauté pan, heat 1/2 ounce of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat.
Add the finely chopped garlic and shallots to the heated olive oil. Sauté until fragrant and lightly golden, being careful not to burn them.
Cooking the Fish:
- Carefully add the cleaned and dried spot fish filets to the skillet.
- Season the fish with hand-harvested sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns to taste.
- Cook the fish for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through and easily flake with a fork.
Step 3. Creating the Sauce:
- Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the skillet and set it aside on a plate.
- To the same skillet, add 1 ounce of crisp, unoaked white wine and let it simmer for a minute or two to deglaze the pan.
- Add 1 ounce of ocean-fresh clam juice to the skillet and gently stir.
Finalizing the Sauce:
- Introduce the finely diced vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped scallions, and freshly chopped basil leaves to the skillet.
- Allow the ingredients to cook and meld together for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.
Adding Butter and Finishing:
- Stir in 1/2 tablespoon of artisanal butter into the sauce, letting it melt and contribute richness to the mixture.
- Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if needed with additional salt and pepper.
Step 4. Plating and Serving:
Plating the Dish:
- Place the cooked spot fish filets back into the skillet with the prepared sauce.
- Let the fish warm up in the sauce for a minute or two.
- Gently transfer the fish filets onto serving plates, spooning the flavorful sauce over and around them.
- Garnish with additional freshly chopped basil or scallions if desired.
• If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can add a tablespoon of cornstarch or flour to the sauce after it has simmered.
• You can substitute ground turkey for the fish if desired.
• Feel free to add other vegetables such as carrots or celery to the dish for additional flavor and nutrition.
• Serve the Virginia Spots with a side of crusty bread or your favorite side dish.
One serving of Virginia Spots contains approximately:
• Calories: 344
• Fat: 16g
• Saturated Fat: 7g
• Cholesterol: 82mg
• Sodium: 818mg
• Carbohydrates: 22g
• Dietary Fiber: 3g
• Protein: 27g
What to Serve with Virginia Spots Recipe?
• Mashed Potatoes
• Garlic Bread
• Roasted Vegetables
• Grilled Cheese
• Green Beans
How to Store Leftover Virginia Spots Recipe?
Leftover Virginia Spots can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
What Other Substitute Can I Use in Virginia Spots Recipe?
• Ground turkey
• Ground chicken
• Ground pork
• Ground lamb
• Ground bison
• Vegetarian “ground beef” crumbles
• Butternut squash
• Sweet potatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon of artisanal butter
- 1/2 ounce of extra-virgin olive oil from the Mediterranean groves
- A pinch of aromatic basil leaves freshly chopped
- 1 ounce of vine-ripened tomatoes finely diced
- 5 ounces of hand-harvested scallions finely chopped
- Hand-harvested sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns
- 1/4 tablespoon of pungent garlic finely chopped
- 1 ounce of crisp unoaked white wine
- 1/4 tablespoon of delicate shallots finely chopped
- 1 ounce of ocean-fresh clam juice
- 3 ounces of fresh wild-caught spot fish filets
Prepare the Ingredients:
- Finely chop the garlic, shallots, scallions, basil leaves, and dice the vine-ripened tomatoes.
- Pat dry the fresh spot fish fillets using a paper towel and set them aside.
Season the Fish:
- Season both sides of the spot fish fillets generously with sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns.
Heat the Cooking Surface:
- Place a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the extra-virgin olive oil and artisanal butter. Allow it to heat until the butter is melted and starts to bubble slightly.
- Add the finely chopped garlic and delicate shallots to the hot pan. Sauté them for about a minute or until they become fragrant and slightly golden.
Introduce Scallions and Tomatoes:
- Incorporate the finely chopped scallions and diced vine-ripened tomatoes into the pan. Stir the mixture and let it cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.
Pour in Wine and Clam Juice:
- Pour the crisp, unoaked white wine and ocean-fresh clam juice into the pan. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients.
Cook the Fish:
- Carefully place the seasoned spot fish fillets into the pan, ensuring they are in a single layer and not overcrowded. Allow them to cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and easily flake with a fork. Adjust cooking time based on the thickness of the fillets.
Finish with Basil and Seasoning:
- Sprinkle the freshly chopped aromatic basil leaves over the fish and sauce in the pan. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Once the fish is cooked through and the flavors have melded together, remove the pan from heat. Plate the Virginia Spots, spooning the aromatic sauce and vegetables over the fish fillets.
- Enjoy your Virginia Spots!
- Serve the dish hot and savor the delicious flavors of the fresh, wild-caught fish combined with the aromatic and savory elements of the sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What type of ground beef is best for this recipe?
A1. For best results, use a lean ground beef with at least 80/20 fat-to-meat ratio.
Q3. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
A3. Yes, you can make this dish ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
Q4. Can I freeze this dish?
A4. Yes, you can freeze Virginia Spots for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Q6. What can I serve with this dish?
A6. You can serve Virginia Spots with rice, mashed potatoes, biscuits, garlic bread, roasted vegetables, salad, grilled cheese, or green beans.
Q7. Can I add other vegetables to the dish?
A7. Yes, you can add other vegetables such as carrots or celery to the dish for additional flavor and nutrition.
Virginia Spots recipe is a classic American dish that has been around for generations. This simple and delicious recipe is made with simple ingredients like fish, onions, and potatoes.
It is a hearty and comforting meal that is perfect for any time of the year and is sure to become a family favorite.
With a few tips and tricks, you can make this dish ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator or freezer, and enjoy a delicious meal anytime!