C said to me, ‘How hard was this meal to make?’
That translates into, ‘You’re gonna make this again, right? Like A LOT? Please please please?’
We had Beer-Battered Chesapeake-Style Fried Fish for dinner, with homemade white bread, oven-roasted cherry tomatoes and stir-fried snow peas with baby carrots.
I gotta be honest with you, I really only made the bread because we’re out and I couldn’t be bothered to go to the grocery store and buy more. I used the America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe for American White Sandwich Bread. It was okay, don’t know that I’ll use it again, but it was fine. C seemed to really like it.
Everything else was easy and fast. I think the longest part of the prep was heating up the oil to fry the fish in!
Actually, the longest part of the entire meal was wiping babies down after they mowed their way through all the fish! Each baby ate more than 3 fish nuggets (they kinda shared a few pieces towards the end there). YAY!!!
Beer-Battered Chesapeake-Style Fried Fish adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Oil, about 4 cups – enough to fill a pot 1″ deep with oil
Fish – I used 3 Tilapia Filets cut into 1″ chunks, about 1 1/2 lbs. This recipe created enough batter for 2 lbs of fish, easy.
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 bottle light colored beer *As opposed to LIGHT BEER.
1- Heat the oil in a large pot. I started off with a medium heat and tested it to see if it was hot enough by dropping in a little batter. I was looking for a little sputter and to see if the batter would start frying up. It wasn’t hot enough so I cranked the heat up to high and after waiting a minute, I tried again until it was hot enough.
2- While the oil is heating, put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. At the last minute pour in a cold beer and whisk together until the batter is smooth. Add in 1/3 of the fish, coat and using tongs, let the batter drip off then place into the hot oil. DO NOT OVER CROWD THE POT. Also, once the fish has been in the oil for a few seconds, gently stir each piece so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. The fish needs 4-6 minutes to get all golden and yummy. Maybe a bit more. You’ll have to play it by ear. I used a Spider to scoop the cooked fish out of the oil and onto a plate lined with paper towel (yay! I finally put that to use!).
This was delicious, but I think it coulda used a little more salt in the batter. I seem to be the only one of that opinion in this household. *grin*
Sandwich Bread from America’s Test Kitchen
3¾ cups (18¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose Flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2 teaspoons Salt
1 cup warm whole Milk (about 110 degrees)
1/3 cup warm Water (about 110 degrees)
2 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted
3 tablespoons Honey
1 envelope (about 2¼ teaspoons) instant Yeast
1- Mix 3½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix the milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast in a large measuring cup (or something that’s easy to pour out of). Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes. (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and up to ¼ cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 1 minute.
2- Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl (I shpritzed it with Pam). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.
3- Dump the dough onto a clean counter. Using your fingertips, gently press the dough out into a rectangle about 9 inches long. Now tightly roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch the seam closed. Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes. **Or an hour if you forget, like me.
4- Place a rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 350º.
5- **YOU’LL NEED A 2nd LOAF PAN HERE. Both loaf pans will sit on the middle shelf in the oven. Bring lotsa water to a boil (I used my tea kettle). Half fill the empty loaf pan with the boiling water and set next to the bread-filled pan on that middle rack.
6- Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf read 195 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. **I don’t have one of these fancy-shmancy thermometers. I winged it. When the bread was golden brown and the house smelled divine, I took the bread out of the oven and let it cool in the pan. The recipe said to cool for 2 hours before slicing. I did, but I don’t know if you need to…. You try it and tell me the results?
Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes by me
1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes (or other small sized tomatoes), washed
2ish Tablespoons Olive Oil
1- Heat oven to 425º. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil.
2- Lay tomatoes out on the baking sheet, drizzle with1 Tablespoon of oil (use 2nd if needed to coat), then stir or shake pan or whatever you need to do to get all the tomatoes coated in oil.
3- Whack the pan into the oven for 20 minutes or so, until they are all caramelized and shriveled and happy looking. When you pull the pan out you can season with a little salt and pepper. I think these are great hot, but tonight we had a container full in the fridge and they were TERRIFIC cold!
I still can’t quite believe how much the babies actually ate.