I am a very fussy eater when it comes to seafood dishes. So when I find one that I love and is easy peasy to prepare I have to tell my friends. I've also been known to stop people in Whole Foods and tell them all about my latest find. Just like when you read a really good book, the first thing you want to do is tell your family, tell your friends that they absolutely have to read it--now! That's how I feel with great new finds in recipes.
This latest greatest find is a recipe from mark bittmans book "The Best Recipes in the World". A massive book of worldly recipes, most of them easy oh so easy to create. It's such a valuable book for beginners and experts alike.
I didn't just use the recipe, I had to (of course) kick it up a notch and add a sauce. Don't get me wrong it's good on its own, I just wanted a sauce. I always want a sauce with a good meal.
Both recipes are from mark bittman, I claim none of this as my own, but I do suggest serving it with some sticky sushi rice. The sauce and the sushi rice are purrrfect together. You can also use shrimp instead of fish-- if you do let me know how it goes. Sorry the photo isn't so hot, I had hungry people waiting to eat and lack of light :-(
crispy curry fish
By mark bittman
1 ½ to 2 lbs skinless cod fillets
1 TB vinegar
salt to taste
½ ts fresh ground black pepper
1 ts ground turmeric
2 ts curry powder or garam masala
¼ ts cayenne pepper (optional)
peanut oil or vegetable oil (for frying)
2 cups flour
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 lime wedges
Heat oven to 200°F. Place oven proof platter in it. Toss fish with vinegar.
Combine salt, pepper, turmeric, curry powder and cayenne pepper in small bowl, then rub mixture onto both sides of each fillet.
Pour at least 1/8" oil into large nonstick skillet.
Turn heat to medium high.
Combine flour with enough warm water to make a batter about as thick as yogurt.
Test oil to see if it's hot enough (a piece of flour will sizzle in it).
Turn heat to high. Dunk fillets into batter one at a time, letting excess batter run off, then place fish in pan. Please do not overcrowd.
Fry fish, rotating as necessary so filets brown evenly.
Remove fish when golden and crisp on each side for 5 to 15 minutes.
Keep warm on platter in oven while you cook remaining fillets.
Sprinkle cilantro over fish. Serve with lime wedges.
By mark bittman
3 small dried red chiles (Thai or piquin)
3 garlic cloves
2 shallots, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, peeled, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon peanut oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts or crunchy peanut butter
Combine the chiles, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and turmeric in a food processor and grind and until fairly smooth; scrape down the sides of the machine once or twice if necessary.
Put the oil in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the chile-garlic mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Taste and add a sprinkle of salt or a little more soy sauce if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week (warm gently over very low heat or in a microwave before using). Makes about 2 cups.
For curry peanut sauce. Another layer of flavor: Omit the chiles, lemongrass, and turmeric. Instead, put one 2-inch piece of fresh ginger and 2 tablespoons of curry powder or curry paste in the food processor along with the shallots.