If you try to go anywhere near a Long John Silvers on Friday during Lent, you will experience considerable difficulty. Let’s, just for a moment, pretend that eating LJS won’t immediately send your arteries into a state of shock.
I mean for real….When I walk in there, I immediately feel a thin coating of vaporized grease settle over every pore in my skin. My stomach begins to cramp, and my head begins to ache the second I have cleared the threshold. For most Lenten observant people rushing through a lunch hour, the only real options are Long John Silver’s, or square fried fish patties on a bun from a myriad of fast food joints.
For a run down on some of those unnaturally square delights, visit my friend Adam at Unorthodox Epicure, whose family reviewed five of the most widely available ones. CLICK HERE for their conclusions.
So, what is Lent anyway? I felt I needed to tackle that too, because some people just really want to know, and even more people think they know, but don’t. If you don’t care, skip ahead to the pretty pictures, and you don’t even have to puzzle about it.
Lent is the 40 days preceding Easter that is celebrated by Catholics and some other Christian religions. It is symbolic of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and praying, before he was handed over to Pontius Pilot to face crucifixion.
It is intended to be a time of repentance, reflection, and sacrifice, preparing the believer for the spiritual renewal of Easter, in the same way that Christians believe Jesus experienced physical rebirth.
The exact rituals and expected behaviors change periodically based on the Catholic leadership. Currently, believers who are in good health are encouraged to sacrifice luxuries during Lent, and meat and poultry are generally expected to be avoided on Friday’s during this period. Those who cannot avoid these foods, may also make sacrifices in other ways, such as doing charitable work on that day, or some other penitential act.
Most, though, just avoid meat. And although there are many, many ways of doing that (i.e., pancakes, eggs, bean dishes, vegetarian dishes, etc..), most people have made seafood a ritual.
I have assembled some of my favorite, previously published seafood dishes, should you need some inspiration, although I am not sure eating lobster ceviche, crab cakes, or shrimp embrochette is really done in the spirit of sacrifice.
Click any picture to link to the original recipe. Enjoy!
Pecan Crusted Tilapia With Margarita Reduction and Strawberry Peach Salsa
Fish and Chips
Captain Crunch Fried Shrimp
Shrimp and Grits
Chili Roasted Crabs Steamed in Pumpkin Ale
Sweet Potato Tostones with Blue Crab Cake, Jalapeno Fried Corn, and Citrus Avocado Cream
Lobster Mango Carpaccio
Champagne, Lobster and Strawberry Parfaits