I am not sure if it’s a cultural thing – but I grew up with the notion that we eat fried fish on Fridays. I know the various “you buy we fry” restaurants are always packed on Friday’s so maybe it is something in my culture as they are only found in certain neighborhoods (at least in LA, not sure about here yet).The problem for me, I am not a lover of fried fish like some of my friends and family are. I RARELY fry it in the house as I hate the smell, but when I do fry it, it is good.
I just discovered a few weeks ago a new way to cook fish that was so awesome, my grandbaby asked if we could have it again the next day. THAT was a true test that it was good. Keep in mind, she and her mom are my top fans for my cooking. If I haven’t cooked something new in a day or so, my granddaughter will ask me to cook something – GOTTA love that.
Anyway, I was watching Big Daddy’s House on Food Network (my Tivo learned I like cooking shows so it recorded it for me) and everything he cooked on that show looked appetizing. My mom had mentioned him before, but I did not take the time to check him out. I searched for the recipes on line, tried them with a few of my own modifications, and loved it. On this particular show he cooked a seared cod, brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes in chicken broth, with ground pepper at that. I know, I NEVER would have imagined that sweet potatoes in cooked in chick broth could be good. I was raised with candied yams and still cook those today, but I was open to try something different. Believe it or not – the sweet potatoes were the bomb especially with fish (I never would have combined that either)!
I will tell you how I fixed it first and add links to his recipes at the end:
To fix the fish it took all of maybe 10 minutes (keeping our efficient cooking in mind here). His recipe called for cod, I used perch because the grocery store I went to did not have any cod. I think I am going to fix this on Saturday for a friend, so I am going to a different store for cod! You will need an egg, panko bread crumbs, fish, and oil. His recipe called for grapeseed oil, I used olive oil and a little of sesame seed oil as those are two oils I make sure I have all the time.
How I prepared it:
Turn your oven to 400 – it must be hot. Wash the fish and lay it flat so the natural juices come out (he said that)…pat with paper towel to make sure it is dry – season it. Take your egg and whip it in a small bowl – note depending on the quantity of fish you may need two – but not likely. Pour the panko bread crumbs on a flat plate or pan for laying the fish on it. Use a cast iron pan and turn it on – make sure it gets very hot – don’t put the oil in until right before you are ready to put the fish in. Only use enough to cover the bottom of the pan – remember we are NOT frying the fish.
Whatever you are going to fix as a side dish, should already be cooking and just about ready.
Brush the meat side of the fish (opposite the skin – we are only going to bread one side of the fish) with the egg and lay it on the bread crumbs pat or move around to get a nice layer of bread crumbs. Pour your oil in the pan – which should be very hot. Put the fish with the bread crumbs side facing down on top of the oil in the pan and leave it there for about 1 -2 minutes. Note: ALL your pieces should be able fit in the cast iron pan. If you are cook with electric, I would turn it off after the first minute. Put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Take it out of the oven and serve! Remember – fish cooks very fast, if your fish is thicker – you may have to adjust your time.
Sauce – In his recipe, he has a sauce to pour over the fish. It is excellent, I tried it too with a few modifications of course -but if you wanna fix it that will add more time. I do recommend it – but when you have the time. This dish is great without it. My granddaughter liked it, but she kept scraping it off because she wanted hot sauce with her fish. LOL I saved the sauce for our fish the second day and it was still just as good – so maybe fix it the day before if you want it and save yourself some time. We ARE trying to be efficient here. Let me know how it works for you…I will include his links below:
BTW – he won their Next Food Network Star Contest in the fourth season, his name is Aaron McCargo – check him out http://www.aaronmccargo.com/.
Seared Cod with Chive Butter Sauce (that just sounds good huh)
Seasoned Sweet Potatoe Puree (I mashed mine)
Brown Butter Sauteed Brussels Sprouts (I am gonna try this soon, I don’t like them but I love cabbage and this looked good) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aaron-mccargo,-jr./brown-butter-sauteed-brussels-sprouts-recipe/index.html
If you have a quick recipe that you want to share, please do so, I would love to include it.