Tag Archives: fish

Fresh Fried Fish

I’m fortunate to be married to a man who loves to fish, so we have a lot of fresh fish to eat.  Ed’s favorite way to eat fish is fried, and while that may not be the healthiest recipe, nothing compares to fresh fried fish.  It’s easy to make, but can be intimidating for people who have never made it (I know, I was one of them until Ed’s mom showed me how).

You will need:

  • fish filets (how many will depend on how many fish you catch!)
  • about a cup of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2-3 beaten eggs
  • a bottle of canola oil

You really need to get fresh fish, which translates to local fish, since that will spend the least time traveling from the ocean (or stream) to your plate.  Ed and his brother clean the fish, cutting it into filets and removing the skin.

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Today we have blackfish and fluke.  I cut the filets in half to make them easier to handle during cooking.

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Coat the filets in a thin layer of flour.  I find that a pie pan works well, but you could also use a shallow bowl.

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Next, dip the fish in the beaten eggs.  Again, I like to use a pie pan for this task.  Coat the fish in egg on all sides.  I like to use tongs so I don’t end up with thick layers of flour and egg on my fingers, but you could certainly use your hands.

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Return the fish to the flour mixture and coat again.  This will provide the crunchy coating on the fried fish.  I’ll often mix equal parts panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs and flour for the second coating, but I didn’t have any today so I just used flour alone.

Next, fill a pan with canola oil to about an inch depth.  I usually use my dutch oven, since the high sides help to keep the oil from splattering my kitchen.  However, today my dutch oven was full of leftover macaroni and cheese, so I used a cast iron skillet instead.  Heat the oil over high heat until it begins to shimmer, meaning it is hot.  You can test it by dipping the edge of a piece of fish in the oil.  If it simmers, it’s ready; if not, it needs to heat up more.

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Add some of the fish to the pan, giving it plenty of space.  I turn on the fan in the hood now, to prevent my house from smelling like fish for days.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness, until you see the edges start to brown.

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Flip the fish carefully.  I use tongs but you could use a spatula.  Allow the fish to cook another 2-3 minutes, or flip it a few more times until you get the level of browning you like.  If the coating begins to burn, you may need to turn down the heat.

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Remove the fish to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Cook the remaining fish in batches following the same procedure.  You can keep the cooked fish hot on a sheet pan in a low oven if you’re cooking a lot of fish at once; if you only have two batches, it can rest on the paper towel.

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Serve with lemon and tartar sauce.  Leftovers make excellent sandwiches the next day!  See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

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Maritime Aquarium

Sunday Stroll

My graduate class on Long Island Sound took a field trip to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk yesterday.  The aquarium has educational displays of animals, scientific research, historic boats and fishing industries, and a large area devoted to the Sound.  

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A sea turle swims by

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The shark tank

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A horseshoe crab

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A sea star

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Little striped bass

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Ariel the Harbor Seal

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The Norwalk River runs by the aquarium.  There are picnic tables along the river so visitors can enjoy the view.

To see who else is strolling today, visit the Quiet Country House.

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A Look in Our Freezer

christmas-tree-006When we bought a new freezer this fall, I was worried that it was way too big and we’d never fill it, even though the freezer of our refrigerator was full with veggies, homemade stock, and fruit waiting to be baked into pies.  In the last two months, we’ve filled it up the new freezer quite a bit. 

We have fish that Ed and his brother Chris caught over the summer.  We both love blackfish, and that’s mostly what’s in the freezer.

We have 3/4 of a pig.  We just got back the smoked hams, bacon and sausage, in addition to the pork chops, roasts, ribs and tenderloin.

We have 1/8 of a cow (we split 1/4 with Chris and Melissa).  Lots of ground beef and some roasts and steaks are just waiting to be thawed and cooked.  We just got the beef from Ed’s cousin John and his wife Kris.  They moved from Ed’s hometown to upstate NY to try to make a go at raising beef.  Ed and I are really happy that we got the beef from them because now we know where more of our food is coming from and we’ve gotten away from industrial beef.  Not to mention the fact that we’re supporting a small family farm.

In the future, we hope to be able to get even more of our food locally.  My family and our garden are able to supply almost all of the produce we need.  Ed and I are also planning to plant some fruit trees in the spring.  Ed’s family is planning to get more pigs next year and add turkeys into the mix.  Ed and I are even discussing getting some laying hens someday when we build our barn.  I’m not a big fan of chickens, but I do like eggs.  We’d also like to build a small greenhouse off of our barn for me to start seedlings and grow even more fresh veggies all year.  We can dream, right?

I’d love to hear about changes you’ve made (or traditions you’ve continued) to eat locally.

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Baked Blackfish

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Blackfish season is over here in CT, but thanks to Ed and his brother Chris, we’ve got a bunch of blackfish in our freezer.  You can substitute any white fish, such as cod, haddock, or sole for this recipe if you don’t have blackfish.  Just adjust the cooking time for the thickness of the fish.  This recipe tastes like fried fish but with less mess and less fat.

  • 3 slices of crusty white bread
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • 2 blackfish fillets

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Pulse the bread in a food processor until it is coarse crumbs.  Melt the butter, then pour over the crumbs, add seasoning and pulse to combine.  Top fish with bread crumb mixture then bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.

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Memorial Day Picnic

We got some furniture for our deck! And we also got some delicious flounder from Ed’s brother Chris.  The fish was so big that I had to cut the fillets into threes! It was swimming around this morning and I fried it for supper tonight! You can’t get better fish than that!  We also had some delicious Bibb lettuce from Chris and Melissa’s garden.  Thanks guys! My recipe for fried fish can be found here.

It was a nice, relaxing picnic for just the two of us.  Now I want to eat supper outside every night!

 

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Feeding Fish

Tonight, my mom and dad invited us over to watch them feed the fish.  They have 200 trout in their pond, and feeding them has become an event.  The weather was so beautiful and it was amazing to watch the fish feed at the surface.  The pictures speak for themselves.

Nate, Ed and Dukie feeding the fish off the dock.

No, that’s not an optical illusion.  Mom’s really that short, and Nate’s really that tall.

Fish jumping to eat!

Dukie likes fish food, too!

Dad and Duke.

I love this one.

Duke and I watch from the bank.

The covered bridge in progress, on the other side of the pond.

Nate and Ed check out the construction.

This will be a great spot for a picnic when the grass comes in.

Walk through the apple orchard to check on the Macouns. (Not ready yet…)

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