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Posts Tagged ‘fish’

For some reason sardines have acquired a bad reputation…but they shouldn’t have!  They actually taste good and are really good for you!

What to look for in the store...in water, oil, flavored oils--it's your choice!

Yummy....don't be afraid! This is what they'll look like inside the can 🙂

This may sound like an odd combination of foods, but for fish lovers…and sardine skeptics this recipe is worth a try. Eating canned sardines is something I have been enjoying since a little girl. I was first introduced to them by my father, who I am pretty sure is where I inherited my adventurous taste buds from. The classic snack was sardines on a saltine cracker with Parmesan cheese on top and a dash of Tabasco sauce. A quick bump in the microwave, and all of the flavors would meld together. Cheap, simple, and actually quite tasty!

The recipe provided here is somewhat of a fancier version that adds a couple of different ingredients. These sardine crostini are perfect little bites to get any meal started. They would also make a great party food for those who want to get their omega-3’s on a budget. Another plus to these little fishy bites–sardines are low in mercury, so no worries there either!

Sardine Crostini

1 baguette–sliced into 1/4-1/2 in slices on a bias

Olive oil

1 can sardines

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

dash of cayenne pepper

grated fresh Parmesan (optional)

whole grain spicy mustard (optional)

To make:

Coat one side of the bread with olive oil (use a pastry brush or light drizzle). Toast in oven at 425 degrees until crispy (approx 5 min). Place the sardines, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne in a bowl; roughly mix together with a fork.  A note on the sardines: There will be bones in the sardines that are actually edible, but if that gives you the creeps feel free to remove the bones prior to mashing).  Place the mixture on the toasts, top with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven for another 5 min or so…just to heat slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Optional: to give an extra texture and kick, lightly spread spicy whole grain mustard on the toasts first.

Cheap, easy, delicious--sardine crostini

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I am sure everyone is familiar with the standard quick fix meal from our childhood days–fish sticks with ketchup. At a cooking class I took the other week, one of the recipes reviewed was Cajun Catfish Goujonettes with New Orleans Remoulade. I made the dish during the class and it was both easy and very tasty. One of the take home messages from the chef instructor was think of recipes as a “guideline.” So, I came home and thought I’d give it a try in my own kitchen. I adapted the recipe in several ways to make it my “own.” So here is a really easy, quick way to whip up some grown-up style fish sticks, that I imagine any kid would enjoy too! I made enough servings for two but the basic ingredients could be multiplied to feed as many as you need. If you are making batches of the fish, preheat the oven to 200 degrees to keep the first batches warm while you make as many fish sticks as you desire. Enjoy!

Spicy Cajun Fish Sticks

1 1/2 lb of cod fillets, cut in “stick” size strips (can use any white, flaky fish you like or that is available)

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg (slightly beaten)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/4  tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

slice lemon as garnish/juice to top at end (optional)

canola oil

Instructions:

Set up the breading stations as follows: 1. all-purpose flour in shallow dish or plate with a lip, 2.  beaten egg in a bowl, 3. mix together dry ingredients (panko, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, paprika, Old Bay) in a shallow dish. Pat fish dry, season with salt and pepper.

Breading Stations

For the breading process: Coat the fish in the flour, shake off excess; Dredge in egg (let excess drip off a bit–you don’t want any clumps of egg); Coat fish in panko crumb mixture. Repeat as needed until all fish sticks are completely coated and ready to be pan-fried.

Heat dry pan on medium heat; add oil so that there is enough in the pan so that when the fish is dropped in the oil will be at a level about 1/2 up the side of the fish–not so much that the fish will be completely submerged (this is not a deep fry, just a pan fry). Let the oil heat on medium to medium-high heat until shimmering (I usually cheat and put a piece of the breading in to monitor the heat–watch until it is bubbling and the oil looks hot). If the oil is too cold the fish will absorb too much of the oil and end up a soggy mess. If the oil begins to smoke–it is TOO HOT! Gently place the fish into the oil one at a time. A good hint is to place the fish into the hot oil down and away from you so if there is any splatter it will be in the opposite direction of the cook 🙂

Pan Fried Fish Sticks!

Let the fish cook on the first side until brown; you can gently move the fish around in the pan to check the brownness and also make sure it doesn’t stick. Gently turn the fish over and brown the other side. Remove from the oil and let drain on a wire rack with paper towel underneath. If you are cooking more than one batch do not put paper towel in the oven–just put the fish sticks on paper towel to dab excess oil then place in the oven on shallow pan to keep warm.

Crispy, brown, and Delicious-- Perfect Bite!

Serve fish while warm with Smokey & Spicy Remoulade, lemon slices, or any other dipping sauce you like!

Note: You can also bake the fish for a lower fat version, but the coating may not be as crispy or brown. If baking cook at 375 until golden brown (about 7-10 minutes).

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