Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Simple pan fried fish with Mediterranean tomato sauce

We had some tomatoes that needed to be used, so I decided to make a tomato based sauce and serve with fish. This is a nice sauce and freezes well if you make extra.

Green/black olives - chopped
Basil - I have a plant on my kitchen counter
Tomato paste - just a bit. Or tomatoe juice. Or both.
Squirt of lemon juice
Some white wine (maybe 1/4 cup)
Capers if you have any

Seems like most my favorite foods start with the same base.
Sautéed chopped onions in a generous amount of butter for 4-5 minutes and then add chopped garlic for another 2 minutes maximum. Garlic cooks much faster than onions and burns quickly. If you burn your garlic you have to start over. So, I add garlic at the end and make sure I stir, stir so it doesn't burn.
Now add your other ingredients. Turn the heat down to simmer and put a cover on the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes, give it a stir every now and then. Make sure you stir in the paste of using.

Cod loin, or whatever fish you have. Haddock is a favorite of mine too
Milk in a shallow dish with sides
Enough flour to coat the fish on a plate
White pepper - I prefer white over black pepper
Paprika! A nice large pinch, plus
Grated parmesan cheese
Any other seasoning blend you like

Mix the flour and spices and cheese together.
Rinse and pat dry the fish
Dip both sides in the milk
Dip both sides in the flour mixture

*My frying instructions
I put about 1/4" of cooking oil in a cast iron pan. A frying pan is fine, but I use my deeper pot to help contain the grease splatters. But wear an apron anyway! I put the heat on low and start preheating the pan/oil while I am cooking the tomatoe sauce. I love cast iron pans, but it is best to preheat them. Anyway, while you are battering the fish, turn the heat up. You want the oil pretty hot. Once hot, put a big glop of butter on top. Butter is fragile and will burn directly on the pan, but floating on the oil protects it. The butter will give the fish a nice dark crust, which I prefer.

Ok. NOW you are ready to fry the fish! Put it in there and do not fiddle with it or your crust will fall off. 3 minutes first side, flip over and take a look. 2nd side is 3-4 minutes depending how crusty the 1st side was. This is based on a thicker piece of cod/haddock. Adjust if you are using thinner fish.

A note about frying with oil. Do NOT walk away from it, you might get a fire. If you ever do have a grease fire, do NOT put water on it! Use flour! You already have your flour out anyway for the fish. If you even think your oil is too hot, turn it down! I guess I should add that this is just a friendly blog post about how I pan fry fish, if you suffer damage from anything I write about, I am not responsible.  Ok. You are warned.

Ta-da, done! Garnish with freshly shaved parmesan cheese.

Anyway, I served it with salad and bread & butter. We also ate left over cream of pumpkin soup and I posted that recipe a few days ago.

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