Happy Homecoming

February 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

A very-much-missed BSK arrived home yesterday after a five day trip to Florida to visit her 93-year-old Mom. HG prepared the welcome home dinner: Kir Royale cocktails. Then some more sparkling whites with Norwegian gravlax which is lightly cured in salt, sugar and dill and expertly sliced in paper-thin servings. HG made a simple dressing of Dijon mustard, olive oil, sugar and dill to highlight its perfection. Main dish was Petrale sole, dusted in Zatarain’s fry mix and lightly sauteed in hot grapeseed oil. Accompanied by boiled fingerling potaotes sprinkled with olive oil and dill. Drank House wine from Washington State (HG does not comply with the outdated white wine with fish rule — except in the case of smoked fish). Butter lettuce salad. A bit of triple creme Brie. Port and a nut cookie. For HG, best part of the meal was seeing BSK’s face across the dining table.

There’s Something Fishy Going On

October 18th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Fresh fish has always been expensive but now that our ocean fisheries have been nearly decimated, prices are getting a bit nutty. Good, wild caught, fresh and unfrozen salmon, tuna, swordfish and halibut hover around $29 a pound. HG feels that paying that much for a simple piece of fish is a bit self indulgent. Therefore, HG is opting for moderately priced, farm raised fish like tilapia and catfish. Older fish farms were ecological disasters — pumping filth into the environment and shipping out muddy tasting, chemically processed product. Some modern farms have really cleaned up their act and become more environmentally sound with the result that the fish are healthier and quite palatable. Make sure to seek out fish from these type of farms (Whole Foods has very strict guidelines for their farmed fish purveyors — so buying through them is a good bet).

Here’s a very good way of cooking them. Coat the fish in a mixture of Hellman’s mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Roll the fish in Louisiana Fish Fry or Zatarain’s Fish Fry or panko (crushed fine). Fry in a mixture of grapeseed oil and brown butter. After taking the fish out of the pan, melt a bit more butter with lemon juice, capers and a few drops of Tabasco. Pour this flavorful sauce over the crispy fish.

During HG’s college days at the City College West Harlem campus, HG enjoyed very cheap and very good fried catfish sandwiches. The breaded catfish was fried in lard (like cast iron pans, a staple of Harlem fry cooks), doused in a blazing hot pepper sauce and served between two slices of Wonder or Silvercup bread. It was accompanied by cole slaw or potato salad. HG’s version of fried fish is just a little bit fancier.

More Fast Fish

March 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Fresh Sole is usually available at your local fish monger or supermarket. These are very thin fillets and can easily fall apart in the cooking. Here’s what HG does with this very fragile fish: Start by asking your fish purveyor to give you the fattest fillets. Like his mother, HG is demanding when purchasing food. HG rejects the skinnies. Once you have the pudgiest Sole in your hands, dust the fish with some flour (or my favorite Zattarain’s Fish Fry). Heat safflower oil or grapeseed oil until quite hot. Put a serving platter to warm in the oven. Saute the fish very quickly. Maybe 40 seconds per side. Don’t worry about them being under-done. You’ll pop the fillets into the serving platter and they’ll finish cooking in the slightly warm oven. You might want to put some paper towel on the platter to drain any excess oil.

HG likes to serve this Sole with Japanese Soba (buckwheat) noodles. The noodles cook rapidly, typically in five or six minutes. When done, put them in a colander and give them a rinse in cold water. These noodles are best at room temperature or cold. Put them in a bowl. Add sesame oil and a squirt of sriracha. Serve alongside your Sole with a mache salad and you’ve got yourself a nutritious, low calorie meal.

Like his mother, HG worries about your health.

Fast Sea Treats

March 25th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

First, pour a glass of icy white wine. Sip. Finely chop some garlic and parsley. Heat your pan to high. Give it a glug of olive oil. Toss in the garlic, parsley and a bunch of shell- on shrimp. Dust liberally with piquant Spanish paprika. Saute quickly at a high temperature. You’ve got a spicy dish prepared in minutes. Another HG seafood trick that he picked up in Rhode Island. Cut up calamari into rings and tentacles. Dust lightly with Zatarain’s Fish Fry. Saute in some olive oil. Give it a hit of red pepper flakes. At last moment add some Mazzetta Mini Hot Pepper Rings (or any other vinegary peppers you like). Do not overcook — Bad for squid! Keep it on heat until peppers are slightly warmed. Sip some more icy wine. Be happy.

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