Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fried Cod with Hushpuppie-Inspired Crust

Today's recipe is one I sort of stumbled upon this weekend, when I needed to make dinner and just grabbed the nearest things from freezer, pantry, and garden.  It was pretty inexpensive that way, and it is furthering my aim to make it cheaper yet.  Read on....

To start, I fried up some Alaskan cod pieces from Trader Joe's.  (I didn't keep the receipt on this one, but I remember them being fairly inexpensive for what turned out to be two dinners and two lunches.)  I dipped the cod in farm egg (which hubby scored a deal on at $1.50 a dozen!) and then dredged it in a mix of corn meal and Old Bay seasoning.  After frying in olive oil, I had a crust that tasted very much of hush puppy.

The tartar sauce that you see above is mostly homemade, and dead easy:  just mix half mayonnaise with half cucumber relish.  I put up my own relish last year, so I know the quality of that product.  Go ahead and use the full-fat mayo; the light often has HFCS in it (depending on brand) to improve taste and mouthfeel in the absence of the fat. 

Finally, I put my creation on a bed of greens from the last of the garden.  Here I have baby romaine and Simpson lettuce grown in the greenhouse/sunroom, along with mojito mint from the sunroom and the last of the basil from the garden, plus some tomatoes ripened in the house.  Let me tell you, I am in love with the taste of a little mint with my fish.  That addition made this dish light, fresh, and absolutely yummy. 

The Analysis

Fast:  As with most of my meals, this was on the table in about 30-45 minutes. 

Cheap:  The greens and tomatoes were all mine, so those were basically free, as was the cucumber relish for the tartar sauce.  My goal:  I want to learn to fish, because then I could occasionally bring in the protein for yummy dishes like this.

Good:  This is actually one of my favorite fish recipes to date, and I stumbled on it because I needed to put something on the table that night.  Score!
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