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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

I’m a big fan of sandwiches, especially a fried fish sandwich on a toasted bun with mayo and pickles.

Yeah, you can drive through your local fast food joint and get a greasy, who knows what kind of fish, sandwich… but making them at home is a hundred times better.

You can use whatever fish you want. Some good ones to try are: cod, flounder, red snapper, striped bass, or sole. Tonight, I chose cod.

 I like a thick, crunchy crust on my fish, so I use a wet batter that includes flour AND cornstarch.  The cornstarch makes the crust crunchy. I also add a can of beer and some baking powder, which makes the batter lighter.

I always let my pancake, waffle, and cornbread batters rest in the fridge for a little while before cooking it. I’ve always heard it was a good idea to do, so that’s the only reason I do it. I don’t really think that’s a good enough answer, so I figured I’d google the reason and share it with you. Go here to read a better explanation than I could ever type out.

Let’s get started with the batter.

First, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. The cayenne is optional, so if you don’t like heat, just leave it out.

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Now, add a can of beer (I used a light beer, but if you want to use a heftier beer, go for it) and an egg. Whisk until well mixed and no clumps remain.

Put the batter in the fridge for at least an hour and up to three hours.

Once you’re ready, cut your fish into sandwich size pieces.

 Fill a large pan with vegetable oil– halfway up the sides will work– and heat it up on Med-high heat.

To test if the oil is hot enough put a little batter in the pan. If it sizzles and bubbles, it’s ready.

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Now, let’s get these fish battered and into the pan!

First, put your fish in the batter and get it fully coated. Holding it with tongs, let some of the excess drip off before putting into the pan.

Here’s a BIG TIP for putting the fish into the pan… Keeping hold of the fish with the tongs, don’t let the fish fully touch the bottom of the pan. Swirl it back and forth until some of the batter begins frying, and then let go. This will keep the batter from sticking to the bottom of the pan and pulling away from the fish. If it sticks a little, don’t worry. Just move it around a little.

When you see it getting brown on the bottom, carefully flip, using the same technique as above.

Let it cook for at least another 8-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).

When it’s done, put on a wire cooling rack, and finish up the rest of the fish.

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Be sure not to forget to toast your buns!

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Now, build your sandwich however you wish. I like mine with mayo and pickles.

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Serve with chips or fries.

I baked homemade fries, which is easy to make. Slice potatoes with a mandolin or hand cut them. Put them in a bowl and coat with oil, salt, and pepper. Put on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until done to your liking.

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Enjoy! I promise, this will the best fish sandwich you’ve ever had!

What you’ll need:

Fish of your choice (Cod, Flounder, Sole, Striped Bass, etc…)

Vegetable oil (enough to fill your pan halfway up the side)

1 cup of flour

1 cup of cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 can of beer (your choice)

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper (optional).

Now, add a can of beer (I used a light beer, but if you want to use a heftier beer, go for it) and an egg. Whisk until well mixed and no clumps remain.

Put the batter in the fridge for at least an hour and up to three hours.

Once you’re ready, cut your fish into sandwich size pieces.

First, put your fish in the batter and get it fully coated. Holding it with tongs, let some of the excess drip off before putting into the pan.

Here’s a BIG TIP for putting the fish into the pan… Keeping hold of the fish with the tongs, don’t let the fish fully touch the bottom of the pan. Swirl it back and forth until some of the batter begins frying, and then let go. This will keep the batter from sticking to the bottom of the pan and pulling away from the fish. If it sticks a little, don’t worry. Just move it around a little.

When you see it getting brown on the bottom, carefully flip, using the same technique as above.

Let it cook for at least another 8-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).

When it’s done, put on a wire cooling rack, and finish up the rest of the fish.

Toast your buns and build the sandwich however you wish.

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You know those times when a dish gets stuck in your head and nothing else will do? Well, that kinda happened to me yesterday.

Chris and I were discussing what we wanted to eat this weekend and we decided on stuffed calamari for Friday night’s dinner. Well, when he went to our local fishmonger he was out of calamari.

“What? NO!!! I was SO looking forward to that dish!” was my reaction when Chris called to tell me.

We talked it out and finally decided on stuffed sole. It wouldn’t be exactly the same, but close enough.

When I make my stuffed calamari, I do a sausage stuffing, and I wasn’t sure if it would work with sole, but I gave it a shot, and it was delicious!

I use Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage, but you can use any bulk sausage you like. If you don’t want to do sausage, you can use crabmeat.

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So, let’s get to it.

First, make a simple tomato sauce. Sauté onion and garlic for five minutes and then add one large can crushed tomatoes and one large can diced tomatoes. Then, add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I also like to add a tablespoon of sugar to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. If you want it spicy, add red pepper flakes.

Let the sauce simmer for at least an hour. Half way through, take the lid off the pot. This will allow the sauce to thicken up a bit.

Once it’s ready, ladle some of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, and set it close to where you’ll be assembling your stuffed sole.

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Now, onto the stuffing. If you’re going to use sausage, brown it and let cool.

In a large bowl, add the sausage, panko bread crumbs, parsley, milk, eggs, salt, and pepper.

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Mix it all together with your hands and get it to a consistency that can be formed like this:

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Lay out your sole and put the filling in the middle.

Then roll the fish around the stuffing and put on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish.

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Cover the fish with the rest of the tomato sauce and bake at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. Give it a check at 30 minutes and if the fish is still a little translucent and not firm, let it go for a little while longer.

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This will be a go-to dish for us from now on. I’m kinda glad they were out of calamari; it gave me a chance to be creative with a different fish.

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Note: The amount of stuffing will depend on how many pieces of sole you use. I made a little too much for 10 pieces of fish, but I’ll use the leftover in something else. You can’t really get it wrong as long as you have the right consistency.

What you’ll need for the tomato sauce:

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 large can diced tomatoes

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt and pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

Red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

Sauté onion and garlic for five minutes and then add one large can crushed tomatoes and one large can diced tomatoes. Then, add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I also like to add a tablespoon of sugar to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. If you want it spicy, add red pepper flakes.

Let the sauce simmer for at least an hour. Half way through, take the lid off the pot. This will allow the sauce to thicken up a bit.

Once it’s ready, ladle some of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, and set it close to where you’ll be assembling your stuffed sole.

What you’ll need for the stuffed sole:

2 lbs sole (or whatever amount is good for you)

1 package of sausage of your choice or crab meat

1-2 cups panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup parsley

1 cup of milk

1 teaspoon salt and pepper

Directions:

If you’re going to use sausage, brown it and let cool.

In a large bowl, add the sausage, panko bread crumbs, parsley, milk, eggs, salt, and pepper.

Mix it all together with your hands and get it to a consistency that can be formed into a ball.

Lay out your sole and put the filling in the middle. Fill it as much or as little as you want. Roll the fish around the stuffing and put on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish.

Cover the fish with the rest of the tomato sauce and bake at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. Give it a check at 30 minutes and if the fish is still a little translucent and not firm, let it go for a little while longer.

Remember, the amount of stuffing will depend on how many pieces of sole you use. You can’t really get it wrong as long as you have the right consistency.

Fish substitutions: 

If you can’t find sole, flounder will work.

 

 

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Salmon isn’t something I grew up eating. Well… I take that back. We put canned salmon in salmon stew, but we NEVER had it fresh. Actually, I didn’t have fresh salmon until I was in my twenties. I think that was the case for most fish, unless it was bass or bream my dad caught.

Now, I eat salmon all the time… especially since we have an awesome fresh fish and meat market down the road. Thank you, Stowe Seafood!

What’s nice about salmon is you can cook it any way you’d like– bake, grill, or sear. It can also handle rubs and sauces.  Me? I’m boring. I like mine simple with just salt and pepper, seared in a cast iron pan.

I realize a lot of people don’t have access to sushi-grade salmon, so here are some keys to buying salmon:

  • Know where it comes from; domestic is always best.
  • Get wild caught, if possible.
  • There shouldn’t be a strong, fishy smell and you want the flesh to be firm. No stinky, mushy salmon– never, ever.

Once you buy the best you can get, be sure to cook it properly, which means to NOT overcook it. I have a feeling a lot people don’t care for salmon, because a lot of restaurants cook the hell out of it, and it’s bone dry. If it’s cook just beyond medium, it’s perfect (my opinion). Even if it’s cooked all the way through, but not a minute over, it’s still delicious.

Let me show you how I do mine, but know you can bake it at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, and it’ll be very tasty, but it won’t have the crispy skin (if you like that) or a seared top.

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First, heat up vegetable oil in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron). While it’s heating up, season your salmon. You can use any kind of seasoning you like. My husband likes Old Bay and I like salt and pepper.

Place the salmon, skin side down, in the hot skillet.

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Cook on med-high heat for at least 5 minutes. You want the skin to get crispy. If you don’t like the skin, that’s okay. Once the salmon is cooked, it will pull away from the skin easily. Once the skin is crispy, carefully flip.

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From here, keep an eye on the flesh of the salmon. You’ll see it turning more pale as it cooks through. It will take another 5-10 minutes, depending on how cooked you want it. My husband likes it just past rare. I like it just past medium. If you need to, take it off the heat, and with a fork, see if it pulls away easily in the middle. If it’s still undercooked, put it back in the pan for few more minutes.

Tip: If you normally cook the heck out of your salmon, try cooking it just a little less, just once. It could change how you enjoy your salmon from now on.

Sides:

I served mine with lima beans and a lightly dressed tomato, red onion, and cucumber salad.

For the salad, cut cherry tomatoes in half, and slice the onions and cucumbers. Put it all in a bowl that has a lid.

Whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper and then pour on top the salad.

Put the lid on and shake. Put in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

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Now, for the lima beans.

I know it seems like a strange side with salmon, but for some darn reason, we love it. If you don’t like lima beans, any veggie will work. Rice is also a good side with salmon.

My mom always told me to buy Fordhook Limas, so that’s what I buy. They’re a little bigger than the others.

I cook them according to the package. Then, I strain out most of the water, add a little butter, salt, and pepper, and then cook them down for another 10-15 minutes, stirring them often, and adding water (when needed) to make them creamy.

I apologize… I forgot to take pics while I cooked them. But, honestly, there’s not much to see.

Now, put it all on a plate and enjoy!

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Salmon– it’s healthy and delicious!

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What you’ll need for the salmon:

6oz – 8oz salmon fillet (as many fillets as you need for the amount of people you’re cooking for)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Seasoning of your choice

What you’ll need for the salad:

Small package of cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 purple onion, diced

1 cucumber, diced

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

What you’ll need for the lima beans:

One or two packages of Fordhook Lima Beans (number of packages depends on how many you’re feeding)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tablespoon butter

Directions for Salmon:

Heat up vegetable oil in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron). While it’s heating up, season your salmon. You can use any kind of seasoning you like.

Place the salmon, skin side down, in the hot skillet.

Cook on med-high heat for at least 5 minutes. You want the skin to get crispy. If you don’t like the skin, that’s okay. Once the salmon is cooked, it will pull away from the skin easily. Once the skin is crispy, carefully flip.

From here, keep an eye on the flesh of the salmon. You’ll see it turning more pale as it cooks through. It will take another 5-10 minutes, depending on how cooked you want it. My husband likes it just past rare. I like it just past medium. If you need to, take it off the heat, and with a fork, see if it pulls away easily in the middle. If it’s still undercooked, put it back in the pan for few more minutes.

Tip: If you normally cook the heck out of your salmon, try cooking it just a little less, just once. It could change how you enjoy your salmon from now on.

Directions for the salad:

Cut cherry tomatoes in half, and slice the onions and cucumbers. Put it all in a bowl that has a lid.

Whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper and then pour on top the salad. Put on the lid and shake. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Directions for the limas:

Cook according to the package. Then, strain out most of the water, add butter, salt, and pepper, and then cook them down for another 10-15 minutes, stirring them often, and adding water (when needed) to make them creamy.

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