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Raised on Friday Night Fish Frys

So far in 2019, Elevate’s “52 Mondays” recipe series has resurrected recipes from Mom’s recipe drawer in January, and filled the Mondays in February with healthy, hearty soup recipes. Welcome to March, where this months Mondays will be all about meatless recipes using fish and seafood as our main ingredient. Just like the majority of our recipes, these promise to be simple, with few ingredients and loaded with flavor. 
So what does all of that have to do with Friday night fish frys? Here’s the deal – I grew up in Minnesota…land of 10,000 lakes…and lots of Friday night fish frys especially in the month of March and into April. They typically became more prevalent during the 40 days before Easter, known as lent, where eating meat on Fridays was forbidden in certain religious communities. Growing up in a huge German-Irish Catholic family in the Midwest put me smack dab in the middle of “Don’t eat meat on Friday” territory! In small towns across the Minnesota countryside, most every Catholic Church, and VFW Club held a Friday night fish fry. It was a social event the whole town turned up for like Friday night football games at the local high school. The fish was always batter fried. It dripped with heavy grease when it was deposited on your paper plate next to a scoop of mayonnaise based coleslaw and a serving of a red jello mold “salad” complete with marshmallows and canned fruit cocktail suspended throughout! 

You laugh. This is all true!

Fast forward to today, March 4,2019. Friday night meatless meals still exist and fish/seafood is always a good go-to. Hopefully we’ve figured out that a salad is more than jello with canned fruit and marshmallows, and there are healthier alternatives to coleslaw that’s made of primarily mayonnaise and cabbage! 

This shrimp and asparagus stir fry is perfect for whipping up a quick meal on a meatless Friday night after a busy week. With spring right around the corner it’s asparagus season, and the lemon sauce in this recipe pulls the flavor of the shrimp and the asparagus together to create one really tasty, healthy Friday night meatless meal. I served this over a generous layer of mixed spring greens, and added a small side of grits for fun! 

As is, this recipe serves 3-4 people. Double it and invite friends for your own healthy version of the Friday night fish fry!

Shrimp and asparagus stir fry with lemon sauce


4 TBLSP olive oil, divided
1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed and each stalk cut into 2”-3” pieces
½ tsp salt (optional)
1 tsp minced ginger (Gourmet Garden Ginger paste)
1 tsp minced garlic


2/3 C chicken or vegetable stock
1 TBLSP cornstarch
1 TBLSP sugar
1 TBLSP soy sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the lemon sauce ingredients and set aside.
2. In a large frying pan, heat 2 TBLSP olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook for about 3 minutes, turning them over to cook both sides. Season shrimp with ¼ tsp salt (optional). Shrimp should be beginning to pink on both sides and be opaque, but slightly undercooked. Remove shrimp from frying pan and place on a plate. 
3. In the same frying pan, heat another 2 TBLSP of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook until asparagus in tender-crisp, bright green =, and just barely beginning to brown. Season asparagus with ¼ tsp salt (optional). Add ginger paste and garlic and stir to combine with asparagus. Cook for another 30 seconds or so, stirring to combine the ginger and garlic with the asparagus. 
4. Pour lemon sauce mixture into frying pan with asparagus. Add shrimp back into pan and combine sauce with asparagus and shrimp. Simmer for about a minute more, until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and serve. (With grits or over greens, or both.) 
*Thanks to homecookingmemories.com for this recipe!