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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

Crispy Oven-Fried Cod

Whenever I’ve made breaded items at home - fish, chicken tenders – I’ve always turned to panko.  Light and flaky, it creates a texture that appeals to my family.  Then I discovered cornmeal, which offers a sweeter base and finer grain.  Combined with panko, it’s a nice change of pace for a healthier take on fried fish.

Note: be sure to season the coating.  If salt and pepper are too bland, consider herbs and spices.

Recipe here.

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When it comes to eating protein, I’m pretty predictable – non-dairy milk or whey protein in my oatmeal, egg whites or Applegate-brand cold cuts, any and all nut butters, and chicken breasts.  I dabble in the meat selections for the boys – sausages, beef, pork, shrimp, etc. – but I honestly don’t eat more than a few bites.  (I’ll eat whatever surrounds the sausage/beef/pork by the spoonful, though, since it usually involves pasta, grains or vegetables!)  I’m a creature of habit, what can I say.  My Dad and in-laws, though, eats tons of seafood and fish, in particular.  Over the years, I’ve tried to cook more fish.  It’s good for you, right?  But Rice Kernel isn’t that enthusiastic.  Unless there’s ketschup.  Or panko.

I don’t do that red sauce.  I can’t ever bear the smell.  And while I love crispy, pan-fried foods, there’s only so much panko-breaded salmon and white fish you can eat before your mouth longs for something juicier.  So I started searching for recipes.  This is the first I’ve tried.  I figure the sauce was red… like ketschup.  That didn’t do it for my little boy, though.  Fortunately he was happy with “naked fish,” as he dubbed it (sans sauce).  And I was happy with “dressed fish,” aka tomato cream sauce.

Cod with Tomato Cream Sauce

Recipe here.

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Deliciously savory and simply to prepare.  This dish is perfect to use up the bounty of spring/summer basil for the pesto recipe, but storebought pesto is just dandy.  If you don’t typically toast your pine nuts or roast your garlic for homemade pesto, I recommend trying it once.  The flavors are completely transformed.  The original recipe calls for evaporated milk in the sauce, but we didn’t have any on hand.  Would be interested to see how the sweeter milk would fare.  Next time….

Salmon Pesto Pasta, from Crumbly Cookie

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

8 ounces pasta
12 ounces salmon
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 ounces milk or cream or evaporated milk
1/2 cup pesto (recipe follows or use store-bought)
Additional vegetables (I used spinach and broccoli), optional
grated parmesan, optional for serving

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; stir to separate pasta. Cook pasta until al dente; drain. Pour milk into empty pot and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2. Add cooked pasta to pot and stir to combine.
  2. Ajust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Line a baking sheet or pan with aluminum foil. Season skinless side of salmon liberally with salt and pepper, sprinkle with zest, then rub with olive oil. Broil until salmon is no longer translucent and is firm when pressed, about 10 minutes. Remove from broiler and sprinkle with lemon juice. Use fork to flake into bite-sized pieces. Skin will stick to foil and can be discarded.
  3. Add salmon to pasta mixture and stir over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and stir in basil and any vegetables, if adding.  Top with parmesan, if desired.

Pesto, adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients

Makes ½ cup

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (or substitute almonds or walnuts)
5 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed thoroughly
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, Italian (optional)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch table salt
¼ cup (½ ounce) finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Toast nuts in small heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade.
  2. Add the unpeeled garlic to empty skillet and toast until, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and the color of the cloves deepens slightly, about 7 minutes. Let the garlic cool, then peel and add to food processor bowl.  (Alternately, you can also roast your garlic.)
  3. Place basil and parsley in heavy-duty, quart-size, zipper-lock bag; pound with flat side of meat pounder until all leaves are bruised.
  4. Process nuts and garlic until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients except cheese; process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down bowl with flexible spatula.
  5. Transfer mixture to small bowl, stir in cheese(s) and adjust salt. (Can be covered with a sheet of plastic wrap placed directly over the surface or filmed with oil and refrigerated up to 5 days.)

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Crispy Pan-Fried Fish

One of the best secrets to create a thin, crispy crust on fish is to use Wondra flour.  Also known as instant flour, Wondra is often called for in baked goods to produce crispy, flaky crusts and tarts.  Instant flour is a low protein, finely ground flour that has been treated so that it will dissolve instantly in water.  When dredged in Wondra, the skin of fish (or fish itself, if you remove the skin) crisps up like a potato chip while keeping the flesh of the fish moist and flaky.  Give it a try for an unexpected crunch!

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Salmon’s cousin… spiced up.

Indian-Spiced Artic Char

Ingredients

1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp cumin seeds2 tsp coriander seeds
pinch cinnamon
pinch cloves
pinch tumeric
pinch red chilli flakes
2 fillets of Artic Char (6oz each)
olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat a dry skillet over high heat, add peppercorns, cumin and coriander and toast until fragrant – about 1 minutes.  Remove from skillet and place in a coffee grinder and grind until powdery. Mix with cinnamon, cloves and chilli flakes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 or pan to medium heat. Drizzle salmon with oil and rub part of the mixture onto the fillets.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or cook on stovetop for 6 minutes skin-side, and another 4-5 minutes on the second side.

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