Monday, July 23, 2012

Fish 'N Chips!


Having grown up just outside Cape Cod in a seashore town called Scituate, deep fried fish 'n chips were a mainstay of my diet as a child.  It was served every Friday at the school cafeteria.  I think my mother thought it too pedestrian to serve at home.  But as an adult I have my own version that tastes great but doesn't involve deep frying.

Mise en Place: get everything ready
to go before you start cooking

I make my fish 'n chips by drying a piece of cod in paper towels, dredging them through flour, dipping in egg whites and the dredging through panko with Herbs de Provence.  Meanwhile, get a nonstick skillet nice and hot - then add extra virgin olive oil, and if you're feeling really decadent you can add a pat of butter.

Ready for the skillet

For the "chips" part of the equation, in place of french fries I substitute roasted string beans.  When I took these photos I had plain old string beans and garlic.  But if you like a crunch with your fish and chips you can scatter string beans on a sheet pan, douse with extra virgin olive oil (less is more), salt and pepper and put in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 10 - 15 minutes.  You have to keep an eye on them because they can burn quickly.  Toss them about half way through so all the sides get roasted.

Cod is the fish of choice for Fish 'N Chips

Anne Burrell has an interesting take on chips.  She cooks kale in a warm oven for about 20 minutes with just a little oil and salt and pepper.  You get the crunch without the calories!


For the "Fish"

1/2 lb cod for each serving
3/4 cup flour
1 egg white
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 tbspn herbs du provence
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lemon, sliced
1 tbspn extra virgin or conola oil
1 pad butter (optional)


Place the flour, egg white and panko in 3 separate dishes
Mix the herbs du provence and salt & pepper in the flour
Dry each cod filet with paper towels
Dredge through flour, shake off excess
Dip in the egg white
Dredge in panko mixture making sure it's well covered
Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat
Add a tbspn of oil in the pan - and butter if you're using it, swirl around
Place cod in the pan - cooking for 2 - 3 minutes each side until golden brown
Squirt with lemon juice

For the "Chips"

1 head kale, washed and thorougly dried
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive or canola oil
sea salt to taste


Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees
Remove teh ribs frm the kale and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
Lay on baking sheet and toss with oil and salt
Bake until crisp, turning halfway through, about 20 minutes
(pictures to follow!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

George Foreman Grill

New take on the old fashioned tuna sandwich

I received an offer from Groupon for a George Foreman grill for $54 including shipping.  I've often heard people raving about their GF Grills so I decided to take the plunge.  The first thing I cooked?  Well, a tuna sandwich of course!

Brioche roll gets a grilling

This sandwich combines cold and warm ingredients which worked out nicely.  First I grilled a brioche roll.  I only toasted the inside until I got the grill marks - it took less than a minute - you have to keep your eye on it as it can burn fast.

Grilled cherry tomatoes

Next I grilled sliced cherry tomatoes.  This really intensified the flavor of the tomatoes.  I also think it's important to use a really high quality tuna.  I buy Cento tuna packed in oil.  Cento was named the best canned tuna by Food & Wine Magazine.   I used to buy Bumble Bee and only packed in water.  But I noticed each can I bought had increasingly mushy tuna.  I bought it packed in water to save on calories and fat.  But, olive oil is considered a "good" fat and the flavor of the oil with the Cento brand is exquisite.  I just put the tuna with the oil in a small bowl, add about a tablespoon of champagne vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cento is a bit more expensive -  a small can is $1.89 but it's worth the extra pennies.

Et viola!

I assembled the sandwich with salad greens, the tuna mixture, the grilled tomatoes and banana peppers - which are sweet and mild.  I buy them in a jar.  They add a nice kick to the sandwich. 

I'll be posting more traditional meals to cook on a grill.  But if you have one of these you should give the tuna sandwich a try - it's really delicious and takes no time at all to prepare.


1 three ounce can of Cento tuna (Genova is also a good brand)
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbspn champagne vinegar
1 tspn anchovy oil (optional)
1/8 cup banana peppers
1/4 cup salad greens or arugula
Salt & pepper to taste


Cut the roll in half length-wise (don't cut it entirely in half - leave room so the roll holds together
Mix the tuna with the oil from the can with the champagne vinegar.  Just gently mix with a fork until blended - try not to mince the tuna.  Add the anchovy oil; salt and pepper to taste.
You may need to add extra virgin olive oil to the tuna - each can has differing amounts of oil
Grill the roll on the inside only till the grill marks appear - less than a minute
Remove roll from the grill
Add the tomatoes to the grill and cook until charred - about 3 minutes - keep an eye on them
Remove tomatoes from grill
Assemble the sandwich and enjoy!