Friday, January 8, 2010

So about that eating healthy...

I flagged this recipe on The Food Network website from Sunny Anderson a few months ago and knew that when the husband and I wanted to indulge, this would be the meal. Fried fish... big, crusty sourdough rolls... cheesy, creamy pasta. Yum yum yum.

Tonight was the night to indulge! Next week we get into the full swing of healthy eating, gym going, and spin classes so it was the perfect evening to go for it.

The batter on the fish is so perfect (LOVE the cornmeal!) and the mac and cheese is sharp and delicious. The original recipe called for catfish but I used locally caught pollock, which is a nice, dense fish that holds up really well to frying. The mac & cheese also called for onion and while I loooove onion, the Mr. does not, so I sub in shallots whenever a recipe calls for an onion (which makes the onion taste more mild).


Crunchy Fish Sandwiches and Stove Top Mac & Cheese


Ingredients for Spicy Tarter Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise 1 lemon, juiced
3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons dill relish
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch ground pepper

Ingredients for Fish:

Oil, for frying
2 eggs
3 dashes hot sauce
2 teaspoons Old Bay
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 fish filets
4 sourdough sandwich rolls
4 tablespoons butter, softened

To make the Spicy Tartar Sauce:

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the Fish:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a deep 12-inch pan set over medium-high heat, add enough oil so it comes 1/3 of the way up the sides. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F.

In a wide-mouth bowl, whisk the eggs with the hot sauce, Old Bay and a pinch of salt. In a small paper bag, mix together the cornmeal, flour, cornstarch, and salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge the fish in egg mixture, then in the flour mixture. Gently shake off excess flour. Set aside and repeat with remaining flounder. Fry the fish in batches until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes each side, being careful to keep the temperature at 375 degrees F. Remove fish to a paper towel to drain and immediately season
with salt.

Slice the sandwich rolls in half, slather the cut sides with butter and season with salt. Arrange, cut side up, on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 8 minutes. An alternate is to put them, buttered side down, on a griddle or under a broiler, and toast until golden. Set aside.

To assemble sandwiches, slather the rolls with the Spicy Tartar Sauce, top with fish, and serve.

Stove Top Mac & Cheese

2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, grated with juices retained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded
1 pound baby shell pasta, cooked al dente

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots, including juices, and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, white pepper, paprika, and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cook for a few minutes to let the flavors bloom, and then slowly stir in the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the cheeses and stir until melted, then remove from heat. Stir in the pasta and toss until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm.

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