Tuesday, May 13, 2014

recipe: fishwich sandwiches aka fastest dinner start-to-finish in the "world of making dinners" category

Mike and I like to try and get fish into our weekly meals as much as possible.  Rarely, and I mean rarely is there ever a red meat meal (partly because I don't eat it and partly because Mike is slowly becoming less and less of a red meat fan - win for me!)  My problem with fish dinners is that:
1) I love salmon, but only salmon cooked the way my mom makes it. I haven't perfected that meal yet and it usually results in a meltdown, therefore, I unfortunately stay away from making salmon.
2) Tilapia can be bland and boring and I usually over cook it...until last night when I had Mario Batali's voice in my head (more on that later).

Anywho, Rachael Ray made this fishwich sandwich once on her show (which I typically fast forward all the way until the cooking segments to see if she has any great ideas and her arm flailing while interviewing people can be a bit over the top, but she's got some good ideas in the kitchen - this sandwich was her best yet!) I've made it a couple of times, using cod, but Whole Foods didn't have any cod that was thawed out yesterday so I went with the tilapia.  This is where I had Mario Batali's voice in my head... he told me (yep, just me, well...maybe more than just me, but I was keenly aware that I should be listening intently) that you should cook fish 80% of the way through on side 1, then flip fish to side 2 and cook for just a real short period of time (i.e. the other 20%, I'm really good at math).  This eliminated the "AnnE overcooked the fish again" complaint (by me - very rarely does Mike ever complain, unless it's real real bad in which case, we usually both feel that way and find ourselves tossing out dinner and making pb&j or running to Jack in the Box for an oreo shake - because when dinner goes bad at home, you might as well skip directly to dessert, but that really doesn't happen much unless it's a new recipe that went horribly wrong.) The fish was tender, not fishy (Mario also told me that when you over cook the fish it tends to become more fishy. That Mario, he's one heck of a smart man.)

Also, can I tell you that if you want to make a salad with this meal, you should probably assign that job to someone else, or make it before you start working on the fish, because this meal is made and on the table before you can blink 77 times (i.e. pretty flippin' quick). Also good to note, if you can find a brioche bun - buy it.  This fish is flaky and doesn't need to be over powered by a dense bun. The brioche hamburger buns at Whole Foods hold up well and are really delicious.

Fishwiches by Rachael Ray (changes made in italics by me):

Originally aired July 2, 2013
For the Slaw: (we aren't "slaw" people so I have not made this, but I thought I'd include it just in case you are)
         1/4 cup cider vinegar
         2 tablespoons light agave syrup or acacia honey
         1 teaspoon celery seed
         Salt, to taste
         2 tablespoons canola oil
         1 small head iceberg lettuce or young white cabbage, shredded

For the Fish Sandwiches:
         1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
         1 cup flour
         Salt and pepper
         1 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
         1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (2 teaspoons – I really like it)
         2 large eggs
         1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (2 generous squirts of Sriacha)
         Juice of 1 lemon
         4 filets of sustainable white fish, such as sole or tilapia
         2 to 3 tablespoons butter, to saute fish and butter griddled rolls
         4 brioche rolls, split and griddle-toasted
For the slaw, combine dressing ingredients together and toss with lettuce or cabbage. Chill until ready to serve.
Heat oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season the flour with salt, pepper, garlic and Old Bay. Beat eggs with Tabasco and lemon juice.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter into the oil. When it foams, swirl it around the pan. Coat fish in flour then eggs and add to pan, two at a time. Saut fish until golden, 2-3 minutes on each side.
Lightly butter and griddle rolls.

Serve fish on rolls with a little slaw on top and salt-and-vinegar chips alongside.


This is a really great delicious and super quick weeknight meal, especially for the summer months - it's May 13th and we are already in the triple digits, clearly Mother Nature has decided May is now a "summer month", I would beg to differ and by literally begging, please please, hold off on the heat! I do believe this will be one of those meals that we are going to have a LOT.

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