Wednesday, July 27, 2011
2011 Epiphanies - day 4 (the "recipe whisperer is still in")
I have a sneaky suspicion I put this photo up before, but I can't find it. This week's epiphanies are about things that have happened to my culinary world during 2011 (so far - after all, it ain't over yet). The fish you see there is tilapia. It could just as easily have been catfish. When shallow fried they look (and taste) a lot alike. The epiphany is simply that I have discovered how much more simpler certain things can be.
Tilapia in its natural state is relatively consistent in its thickness. Catfish is less so - unless you buy individually wrapped frozen filets, which I did the other day. They are smaller and thinner. When you take either of these fish and season them with salt, pepper and some paprika, then dredge them in flour, dip them in egg (laced with hot sauce if you like), and then press agressively into breadcrumbs (please, oh please do not use those Italian flavored ones); you then shallow fry (1/8 inch vegetable oil in a large skillet) them for 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
The last secret is that the oil has to be super hot. When you flick a drop of water into it and it pops instantly, you're still not ready. Wait one more minute. Carefully slip the filets into the oil. When you've cooked both sides, drain them on paper towels for a minute, dabbing the top with a towel as well. They will have absorbed the tiniest amount of oil. You could make a dip for this, but we don't bother.
There it is, another epiphany. In part I thank http://jennsfoodjourney.blogspot.com/ for encouraging me to give tilapia a chance at legitimacy. It won me over. It's not the most nutritious fish out there (lacking in omega 3's), but it's inexpensive and, when spiced up nicely, is fun to eat. We'll be having it again.
The "recipe whisperer" is in for a couple more days. I'm working on the whole grain pasta idea with a little help from my friends. Nobody out there seems to make menudo. I had hoped for some inspiration to try it at home. I've been given two suggestions for red cabbage. I will try them and report the results in coming days. In response to a request for help with liver I have come up with a couple of thoughts. I'm working through them, but will not forget to share at the right time.
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