Posts Tagged ‘FISH’

April 7 is National Beer Day!

Now, I’m not a big beer drinker, but I do like to cook with it. One of my favorite things in the world is beer-battered fish. And it doesn’t have to be greasy if you do it right. (Scroll down to the bottom to see how to make this gluten-free!)

When you fry at home, you can do things the right way: start with clean oil, heat it to the right temperature, and then throw it out when it’s done. When you go to a fast-food place, that oil has been sitting there all day (if not all week)…it’s been used hundreds of times…it absorbs the flavors of whatever was fried before your food got dropped in there…and quite frankly, it’s beat up.

What got me started with this whole beer-batter-at-home process was stumbling upon some amazing fresh local cod at my neighborhood seafood store: Bridgeport Seafood in Tiverton, Rhode Island. My buddy, Dave, said that the cod came from just off Sakonnet Point that day. Good enough for me!

I use vegetable oil and, using a thermometer, heat it to 350 degrees. I always watch the temp of my oil…it can get too hot very quickly…and by the same token, the temp can drop quickly if I throw in a whole bunch of fish into the pot all at once. Using one of those deep fryers made for home use is also a good way of cooking and controlling temperature. I’m careful not to put too much oil in my pot (halfway up is fine) or it could spill over, since oil expands as it gets hotter.

Here’s all you need for great beer batter:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
12 oz. bottle of beer (Sam Adams Boston Lager works for me)
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours.

Cut your fish into pieces that aren’t too big and will fit in your pot easily. The thickness of the fish may vary and so may the cooking times of each piece. When the oil reaches 350, simply dip the fish into the batter and let as much batter drip off as you like before you carefully place the fish into the oil. Fry until golden brown.

 

beer batter

 

What good is fried fish without tartare sauce, right? Don’t tell me you’re using the stuff in a jar after frying the fish yourself!

1/2 cup mayo
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Frank’s Red Hot cayenne sauce
Grinding of black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped capers
1 teaspoon lemon zest, using micro plane zester

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for an hour before using.

 

To make beer-batter gluten-free, simply substitute GF flour for the all-purpose flour. (I like Cup4Cup.) And now, you can get gluten-free beer that tastes pretty damn good. Use it instead of regular beer, and you’ve got a beer batter that’s gluten-free!

When one of your favorite restaurants (I won’t name names) removes a profitable, bestselling dish from its menu, and the reason you’re given is that “the chef is tired of making it,” you kind of have to scratch your head and ask yourself: “What’s wrong with this picture?”

In this particular case, I decided to make it on my own. It’s really not hard to do…just takes a little time. But the end result is totally worth it.

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6 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup + extra mayonnaise
8 oz. high quality raw tuna
3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon chili oil
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
fish roe (optional, see below)
handful fresh spinach, or cucumbers (see below)

 

The best way to hard-boil eggs is to put them in a pot of cold water. Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, turn the heat off and place a lid on the pot. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Perfect eggs every time. Remove the eggs from the water and cool them in the fridge.

If the tuna is frozen, let it thaw a little. If it’s fresh, you might need to place it into the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up. That makes it easier to cube up. Slice the tuna carefully into the smallest cubes you can make. Once done, place the tuna in a bowl and put it back in the fridge until ready to use.

In a separate small bowl, combine the soy sauce and the chili oil. Set aside.

Finely chop the scallions. Set aside.

Once the eggs have cooled, peel them and cut them in half. Scoop out the yolks and place them in a bowl, starting with 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise. Add more mayo if needed. Mix well. I use a fork and try to get as many of the lumps out as possible. If you want to go crazy, you can put them in a blender or food processor to make a creamy puree. And again, you can place the puree in a piping bag and carefully squeeze out the puree into each egg half. I simply use a spoon.

Once all the egg halves are filled, place them on a spinach leaf-covered dish and put them back in the fridge until ready to serve.

When you’re ready to serve, take the tuna out of the fridge. Pour the soy sauce/chili oil mix into the bowl and mix well. Let the tuna marinate for just 2 minutes. Then pour off the excess marinade, or it’ll get too salty.

Remove the plate of eggs from the fridge and carefully put a small spoonful of tuna on top of each one. Garnish with the sesame seeds and the chopped scallions and serve immediately.

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Optional: Instead of the bed of spinach, here’s another way to serve that works just as well: Peel a cucumber and cut the ends off. Slice the cuke into 1/2″ slices. Then carefully remove the seeds from the center to make a “cuke donut.” Use these as little stands to hold your eggs on the plate. When ready to serve, remove the eggs from the fridge and top them with the raw tuna without marinating it first. Drizzle the soy sauce/chili oil over the top of the eggs, garnishing with the sesame seeds, scallions, and a touch of fish roe.

 

 

The key to great tuna tartare is super fresh tuna. And although I get it practically off-the-boat fresh here in RI from the folks at The Local Catch, a group that sells only fresh, local and sustainable seafood, I still freeze my tuna before using it. It’s easier to cut tuna cleanly into cubes when it’s still a bit frozen.

 

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1 lb. super-fresh tuna
1/4 cup olive oil
zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I use Frank’s)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1 avocado, chopped into 1/4″ cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

 

Chop the tuna into 1/4″ cubes or smaller. Place in a large bowl and keep in the fridge.

In another bowl, combine the olive oil, lime zest and juice, wasabi powder, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper, and scallions. Pour this over the tuna and mix gently.

Add the chopped avocado to the bowl and mix gently.

Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavors to combine. Before serving, take the bowl out of the fridge and let it warm just slightly. Taste for seasoning. Top with sesame seeds.

Serve on crackers or over fresh greens.

It’s always a challenge when you’re on a diet. I’m going no alcohol and low-carb to lose some weight. (Down 6 lbs. in 5 days so far.) My wife needs to include gluten-free food in her diet, though she can have a few carbs. Fish is a great source of protein, and we love it sauteed in a little butter and olive oil with Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic seasoning on it. But let’s face it, that gets old after a while, and we all know there’s nothing tastier than fried fish.

Rather than using a heavy beer batter like I used to do (damn good and easy to do:http://wp.me/p1c1Nl-en), I came up with a very light gluten-free-flour-based seasoning that gave the fresh-caught local fish we bought incredible flavor and crunch without a carb overload and without gluten. Damn good, and I have to say, you’d never know the difference.

There are many gluten-free flours out there now, and all you need to do is substitute them cup-for-cup in any recipe you have. I’ve tried Bob’s Red Mill (OK), King Arthur (better), and Pamela’s (very good–what I used for this recipe.) I’ve just ordered the latest: Cup 4 Cup, created by chefs that include the famous Thomas Keller, which we tasted at Mario Batali’s Del Posto restaurant in New York City recently. They have about 12 different pasta dishes on their menu, and each one has a gluten-free option using the Cup 4 Cup flour. They were fantastic!

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1 cup flour (all-purpose or gluten-free)

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon granulated onion

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon paprika

2 eggs

fresh locally caught fish fillets of your choice (I used fluke and ocean perch)

Organic GMO-free canola oil or avocado oil for frying

 

In a flat bowl you will use to dredge the fish fillets, combine the flour, salt and pepper, parsley, oregano, granulated onion and garlic, and paprika.

In a separate flat bowl, scramble the 2 eggs.

Pour about 1/2″ of the oil in a pan and heat to medium-high heat.

Dip the fish fillets first in the eggs, coating well. Then dredge in the flour mixture, pressing down on both sides, so the flour mixture really sticks to the fish. Then shake the fillet lightly to remove the excess flour and gently lay the fillet in the hot oil. Fry until golden.

We made a quick and delicious tartare sauce using mayonnaise, dill pickle relish and Maille sauterne mustard.

 

What did a girl from Michigan, with family in the Upper Peninsula, have in common with a guy who grew up on Long Island in a mostly Jewish community? Well…smoked whitefish, for one thing!

Growing up in NY, I was introduced to smoked whitefish, herring, and lox at an amazing deli just down the road from my parents’ house. My wife’s family from Michigan, meanwhile, caught the whitefish, herring and salmon and smoked it themselves.

Now we share our mutual love of smoked fish at home in Rhode Island. My Yooper father-in-law showed me how to properly remove the meat cleanly from the smoked whitefish then I took his recipe for smoked whitefish salad and tweaked it.

Remove every bit of meat. Double-check for bones!

Remove every bit of meat. Double-check for bones!

Ingredients:

 

1/2 whole smoked whitefish, meat removed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of sea salt (I like Fleur de Sel)

 

Remove the meat from the smoked whitefish carefully, making sure all the small bones have been removed. Doublecheck to make sure you’ve done this really well. Place all the white fish meat in a bowl.

Combine all other ingredients with the fish thoroughly using a fork. Serve with crackers, or my favorite: a toasted everything bagel from New York!
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Here’s a shot of the real deal straight out of the smoker, at a fish store in Mackinaw City, Michigan, on the way to the in-laws’ house in the Upper Peninsula…
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The key to great tuna tartare is super fresh tuna. I was lucky: I got a phone call from friends who had an overload of just-caught tuna delivered to their door! I gladly accepted whatever they wanted to give me, and made this dish…

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Ingredients:

 

1 lb. super-fresh tuna

1/4 cup olive oil

zest of 1 lime

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I use Frank’s)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup scallions, minced (white and green parts)

1 avocado, chopped into 1/4″ cubes

1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

 

Chop the tuna into 1/4″ cubes or smaller. Place in a large bowl and keep in the fridge.

In another bowl, combine olive oil, lime zest and juice, wasabi powder, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper, scallions, and chopped avocado. Mix gently so you don’t mash the avocado.

Add this mixture to the bowl of tuna and combine gently. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavors to combine. Before serving, take the bowl out of the fridge and let it warm just slightly. Taste for seasoning. Top with optional sesame seeds.

Fried food has not had a good reputation. Everyone automatically thinks that it’s bad for you. That fact is, if it’s done right, fried food is delicious and not greasy at all.

When you fry at home, you can do things the right way: start with clean oil, heat it to the right temperature, and then throw it out when it’s done. When you go to a fast-food place, that oil has been sitting there all day (if not all week)…it’s been used hundreds of times…it absorbs the flavors of whatever was fried before your food got dropped in there…and quite frankly, it’s beat up.

What got me started with this whole beer-batter-at-home process was stumbling upon some amazing fresh local cod at my neighborhood seafood store: Bridgeport Seafood in Tiverton, Rhode Island. My buddy, Dave, said that the cod came from just off Sakonnet Point that day. Good enough for me!

 

Beer Battered Fish

I use vegetable oil and, using a thermometer, heat it to 350 degrees. I always watch the temp of my oil…it can get too hot very quickly…and by the same token, the temp can drop quickly if I throw in a whole bunch of fish into the pot all at once. Using one of those deep fryers made for home use is also a good way of cooking and controlling temperature. I’m careful not to put too much oil in my pot (halfway up is fine) or it could spill over, since oil expands as it gets hotter.

 

Here’s all you need for great beer batter:

 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)

12 oz bottle of beer (Sam Adams Boston Lager works for me)

1 teaspoon salt

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 3 hours.

Cut your fish into pieces that aren’t too big and will fit in your pot easily. Thickness of the fish may vary and so may the cooking times of each piece. When the oil reaches 350, simply dip the fish into the batter and let as much batter drip off as you like before you carefully place the fish into the oil. Fry until golden brown.

 

beer batter

 

 

What good is fried fish without tartare sauce, right? Don’t tell me you’re using the stuff in a jar after frying the fish yourself!

 

 

Alz Tartare Sauce

 

1/2 cup mayo

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Dash of Frank’s Red Hot cayenne sauce

Grinding of black pepper

1 Tablespoon finely chopped capers

1 teaspoon lemon zest, using micro plane zester

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for an hour before using.