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Red Lobster Senior Executive Chef Michael LaDuke gives tips on buying and preparing fish for Lent

Orlando, Fla. (January 24, 2008)ORLANDO, Fl. (January 24, 2008) Lasting almost six weeks, the Lenten season presents an opportunity to modernize those traditional fish dinners with a delicious, heart-healthy approach to seafood cooking. Red Lobster Senior Executive Chef Michael LaDuke offers simple tips and recipes to replace fried fish with healthier, creative alternatives that will keep menus fresh on meatless Fridays.

Fish has long been a staple during Lent, the period Christians observe between Ash Wednesday and Easter when eating meat is forbidden. Choosing and preparing fish has become a popular culinary undertaking with today’s more health-conscious consumers.
Whether abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent for religious reasons or increasing the amount of fish in your diet to improve health, you may experience some uncertainty when it comes to buying and preparing fish at home.

Here are a few quick tips from Chef LaDuke on how to get the freshest, tastiest seafood during the Lenten season and beyond:

  • The fish’s eyes should be clear. If the eyes are cloudy, the fish is beginning to get old.
  • The interior gills should be bright red. If the gills are pink or brownish gray, that means the fish has either been mishandled or is getting old.
  • There should be no offensive odor. Fresh fish does not smell fishy; it should smell moist and fresh, like a cut cucumber or melon. If there is an unusual odor, the fish should not be purchased.
  • The flesh should be firm and elastic to the touch. It should “spring back” into place. If an indention remains after the fish is touched, it is probably old.
  • Fresh fillets or steak cuts should look moist and firm. A large degree of gapping, or the separation of flesh is a fillet, is a good indication that the fillet is getting old and should not be consumed.
  • Check for bruises. Dark spots that appear on fillets indicate bruises, which are caused by mishandling.

Included below is Red Lobster’s Maui Luau Shrimp and Salmon, a unique recipe inspired by the Hawaiian Islands that will make a fresh addition to meatless menus during Lent. For more tips and recipes from Chef LaDuke, including a virtual cookbook and Chef’s Blog updated weekly, visit

Maui Luau Shrimp & Salmon

Serves 4

4 each 5–6 oz. skinned salmon fillet
24 each 26–30 count peeled shrimp
8 each Fresh pineapple half moons (super sweet variety)
Olive Oil

Salt and pepper to taste
Sweet chili sauce (choose your favorite brand, but make sure it is sweet)

4 each Bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 10–15 minutes)


  1. Brush both sides of salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Slide 6 shrimp onto each soaked skewer, leaving room on either end and brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut pineapple into slices and brush with olive oil.
  4. On a medium heated grill, place the salmon flesh side down. Grill for 6–7 minutes per side (150 degrees)
  5. Grill shrimp approximately 3–4 minutes per side (150 degrees); grill pineapple for 2-3 minutes per side or until there is good carmelization.
  6. Brush all items generously with the sweet chili sauce.
  7. Serve with your favorite rice and vegetable. 


*High resolution image available upon request


About Red Lobster

Diners have recognized Red Lobster as the nation’s best seafood restaurant for the 18th year in a row in a nationwide poll by Restaurants & Institutions magazine. Red Lobster has over 680 restaurants in North America and more than 63,000 employees.  The company served more than 140 million guests in fiscal 2007. For the Red Lobster nearest you, call 1-800-LOBSTER or visit


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