Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sunday, May 3rd - Carribean Salt Cod Fritters and Okonomiyaki

Brunch was: (I started soaking the fish yesterday in a glass lasagna pan and changed the water every few hours. Must do this. D didn't the last time we made brandade and even though you soak it long enough, the salt will just sit around the fish unless you wash it away.)

Carribean Salt Cod Fritters
(Based on RecipeZaar - LadyPalm)
8 ounces (1lb) salt cod
1/2 c flour, half whole wheat half unbleached regular
1 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1T fresh orego-thyme leaves destemmed and washed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 c milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 medium onion, finely grated or really finely chopped, I used the fine tooth comb on my madolin
1 hot pepper. I used a mexican chili. To be authentic, SCOTCH BONNET. Becareful and do not touch your eyes after or use gloves or hold the pepper with a piece of plastic film. Remember that episode of the Simpsons where Homer when crazy from eating a crazy pepper? It was probably a scotch bonnet.
oil about 1/2 inch up the side of a teflon pan or any. I just suck at not burning or sticking.

1 Soak the salt cod in water overnight. Drain, rinse well, place in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and, when cool enough to handle, flake fish and set aside.

2 Mix flour, baking powder, spices and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in egg, milk and melted butter. Mix together to make a smooth batter. Stir in onion, chilli and flaked fish and mix well. Add more or less flour/milk as needed to make a typical fritter batter --flours vary due to changes in humidity.

3 Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in large deep fryingpan until hot but not smoking. Drop tablespoons of the mixture into the oil, a few at a time, spaced well apart. Fry for 3-4 minutes, turning once or twice until golden brown. Put heat on medium high. When I had it on high, they browned way too quickly. When I turned it down they took too long

4 Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. I put a few paper bags from groceries underneath as well. I'm going to work on a non deep frying version now that I've tried this once through.

5. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven while frying the remaining fritters. Serve hot with your choice of dipping sauce (I like seafood cocktail sauce). Number of servings really depends on how big you make the fritters.

THEY WERE AWESOME. Tasted of Jamaica and the fresh thyme and bay seasoning are essential. The original recipe says all the herbs are optional. They are not.

We had them with a Arugula salad with Tomato and Avocado. Also as condiments we had hot sauce and watermelon chutney MMMMMMMMM

D also had a spontaneous desire for lemon aioli so as he dug in he hopped up and made some.

Easy Lemon Aioli

2T mayonnaise (real, preferable olive oil based)
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh squeezed lemon
1/2 clove garlic (optional)

Dinner is at a friends.... I'll work on the Saturday posting of curry later. Photos to come.

S is a lover is a conniseur of Japanese cuisine. He feels that as he is not Japanese, that to do it justice and pay proper homage, he does it exactly as it should traditionally done. Yay for us! He made us half a dozen Okonomiyaki, Miso soup, and spinach salad. The Okonomiyaki came with the traditional core ingredients of a light batter binding cabbage and ginger with: Pork, Shrimp, Mochi (rice cake), other veg or Noodle. He said that the Mochi and Noodle topped one is a ladies' favourite and HE IS RIGHT. It was soooo good. You dress the completed 'pancake' with Nori flakes, Bonita (dried tuna) flakes and deep hoisin like sauce. Mayo is on the table and eaters' choice.

SOOOOO goood! He is a master of japanese cuisine, seriously. I'm told his sabu sabu is to die for. Alas, I don't eat pork broth.

We had two bottle so of Sake. One we brought from Tokyo, Dai Gingo IWAI and one that S's friend 'Coco' brought from Japan as well, Goching Gam-Bye Both were subtle, mellow and complex. Not what we're used to in random sushi joints that taste of harsh methyl alcohol. The latter was lighter and more lively than the one we brough which was more 'serious' in attitude... (not in quality)... as a drink I mean. It was stern but round and yummy.

We finished the evening with a choice of fudgicle..mmmmmm or vanilla ice cream with green tea Matcha powder.

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