Tasty Tuesday: Fried Fish w/ Shrimp Sauce #colonial #dinner #cooking #fish #shrimp #whatsfordinner #IARTG

Today’s Tasty Tuesday post is all about frying fish, with a bonus shrimp recipe thrown in for good measure. There are a couple of things you should know going into today’s recipe.

The first is that I don’t fry much of anything. I’ve never had very good success with frying, no matter what it is. I don’t know why but it’s been a consistent thing for me since I was in 4-H way back in high school. For a pitch-in dinner I decided to make fried chicken like my mom and grandmom made. Boy did it look pretty, all glistening and golden brown. I took it to the dinner, feeling pretty good about my contribution, until the first bite revealed it wasn’t done inside. Talk about embarrassed and upset! That was my first ever attempt at frying, and it hasn’t gotten much better with age and experience.

When I made the schedule of recipes to try, I deliberately added this one to see if a different approach would help me make a decent dish. I even chose the simplest batter recipes rather than breading and such, figuring it would be easy and still yummy. But again I was wrong.

I’ll get into why after we look at the specific recipe that Hannah Glasse recommends:

Art of CookeryTo Dress Fish

Observe always in the frying of any sort of fish: first, that you dry your fish very well in a clean cloth, then do your fish in this manner: beat up the yolks of two or three eggs, according to your quantity of fish; take a small pastry brush and put the egg on, shake some crumbs of bread and flour mixt over the fish, and then fry it. Let the stew-pan you fry them in be very nice and clean, and put in as much beef dripping, or hog’s lard, as will almost cover your fish: and be sure it boils before you put in your fish. Let it fry quick, and let it be of a fine light brown, but not too dark a colour. Have your fish-slice ready, and if there is occasion turn it: when it is enough, take it up, and lay a coarse cloth on a dish on which lay your fish, to drain all the grease from it….

Some love fish in batter; then you must beat an egg fine, and dip your fish in just as you are going to put it in the pan; or as good a batter as any, is a little ale and flour beat up, just as you are ready for it, and dip the fish, to fry it.

Sounds simple enough, right? Really, it does. Only for me it has remained out of my abilities to pull off. In order to better understand what was expected, I delved into my ever handy Joy of Cooking cookbook to see how they recommended frying fish. After all, Ms. Glasse left a few things rather vague in her recipe. Like, what exactly is a fish-slice anyway? And how much beef/hog fat is required, or rather what is a present day substitute?

A fish slice is essentially what I know as a spatula, which is what I used to lift and drain off most of the grease before placing it on a plate to serve. As for the cooking fat, the cookbook recommended using a mix of cooking oil and butter, especially for thicker/larger fish fillets. My catfish fillets were of good size, so I did add a tablespoon or so of butter to the pan, but it’s not required apparently.

Now, another thing you should consider is that I have never been fond of the taste of catfish. So that may be playing into my less than enthusiastic response to this endeavor. But the man at the seafood/fish counter said it was the best for frying that he had fresh, so I went with it. I hoped that cooking it differently might help me like it.

As I mentioned, I decided to try the batter techniques instead of breading. She didn’t say it, but I think adding some seasoning to the batter would make the fish taste better. I may be wrong about that though! Do follow her directions to whip the ale and flour together just as you’re ready to dip your fish because the flour settles out quickly! (Lesson learned, that!)

Another thing I figured out is that I probably should have cut up the fillets into smaller slices to make it easier and quicker to fry them brown and done. Like I said, this is not something I normally do. Perhaps I should have sought out guidance from several friends I know who are better cooks than I am before attempting this one. Another lesson learned, right?

Here’s what I ended up with as a recipe:

Cooked filletsBetty’s Fried Fish

Ingredients:

Egg batter: 1 egg, beaten, seasoned to taste

Beer batter: ½ cup flour (seasoned); enough beer/ale to make a light batter.

Fish fillets, cut into manageable pieces

Instructions:

Heat cooking oil in a heavy skillet, enough to half cover your fillets.

When the oil is hot, dip fillets in desired batter and add to pan. Let fry until bottom half is light brown and turn over to cook the other side. This usually only takes a few minutes per side, but watch for the fish to be “enough.”

Remove fish to paper towel lined plate or platter, depending on quantity being cooked, to absorb the grease from the fillets. (Note: You may want to transfer the fillets to a serving dish and keep it warm and covered if you’re cooking a larger quantity of fish than the two fillets I did.)

Serve hot.

The other recipe I made to accompany the fish was some shrimp sauce. It’s a really easy recipe but it needed some tweaking too. Here’s Mrs. Glasse’s recipe:

Shrimp Sauce

Take half a pint of shrimps, wash them very clean, put them in a stew-pan with a spoonful of fish-lear, or anchovy-liquor, a pound of butter melted thick, boil it up for five minutes, and squeeze in half a lemon; toss it up, and then put it in your cups or boats.

Now, half a pint of shrimp and one pound of butter? I could almost hear my arteries hardening. I’ve made shrimp many times, usually steaming it but sometimes sautéing it in a stir-fry dish. I also felt like it needed a bit of spice to perk up the flavors. I did not use the fish sauce she recommends, mainly because I have developed an aversion to the smell of it let alone the taste. So here’s what I went with, and it did make a nice accompaniment to the fish:

Sauteing Shrimp for Shrimp SauceBetty’s Shrimp Sauce

Ingredients:

½ lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 T olive oil

2 T butter

1 T Old Bay seasoning

Splash of lemon juice

Instructions:

Melt butter in small sauce pan.

Add olive oil and seasoning, stirring to combine.

Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp are pink.

Add lemon juice and heat through before serving.

I’m thinking the next time I want some fried fish, I’ll head to a restaurant. Hubby and I agreed we didn’t much enjoy the results of my attempt so the fish won’t be repeated in my kitchen. The shrimp sauce more likely will be, since it’s easy and fairly healthy, too. So tell me if you enjoy fried fish and if so do you prepare it for yourself? Or head to the nearest seafood house like me?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Amy's ChoiceWhen Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence without a word of goodbye, Amy picks up the pieces of her heart and chooses independence. When Benjamin returns unexpectedly, Amy flees to the country to help her pregnant sister and protect her heart.

Benjamin Hanson knows he hurt Amy, but he also knows he can make it up to her after he completes his mission. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from the vengeful British occupation.

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Tasty Tuesday: Baked Salmon #colonial #dinner #cooking #fish #oysters #whatsfordinner #IARTG

Have you missed Tasty Tuesdays? I have! I’m nearly recovered from my shoulder surgery but still have some limitations on my movement and endurance. But I am very happy to be back to some semblance of my normal self.

Today we’re going to update the plan of attack since it got sidetracked during the weeks of wearing a sling and regaining strength and mobility. Then I’ll share a really good recipe for baked salmon. I was a bit surprised at how much hubby and I enjoyed it, to be honest. First, let’s take a gander at the revised schedule with a few changes to the recipes I’ll share.

After reviewing what I had originally intended adapting, I realized that a couple of them needed to change. I didn’t need to do two salmon recipes, for instance. So instead, I’ll try frying up some catfish and making some shrimp sauce to go with it. I looked more closely at the lobster recipe and found that it was basically boil them and then arrange them on a plate with a bowl of melted butter. Somehow I didn’t think that would be challenging enough or different enough to be interesting to me or you guys. So instead, I’ll try one with crab. Other than those two recipe changes, the only other change is the dates. So here’s the revised plan:

Aug 22 Salmon – broiled, and baked
Aug 29 Salmon au Court-Bouillon Fried Fish; Shrimp Sauce
Sep 5 Lobsters To Dress A Crab
Sep 12 Fowl and other birds
Sep 19 Brown Fricasey with chicken
Sep 26 Roast chicken with chestnuts
Oct 3 Stewing chickens
Oct 10 Duck with green peas
Oct 17 Collops and eggs
Oct 24 Salmagundy
Oct 31 Apple pudding
Nov 7 Apricot pudding
Nov 14 Stewed pears
Nov 21 Pound cake

So now let’s look at how The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy suggests preparing some baked salmon:

Art of CookeryBaked Salmon.

Take a little piece cut into slices about an inch thick, butter the dish that you would serve it to table on, lay the slices in the dish, take off the skin, make a force-meat thus: take the flesh of an eel, the flesh of a salmon an equal quantity, beat in a mortar, season it with beaten pepper, salt, nutmeg, two or three cloves, some parsley, a few mushrooms, a piece of butter, and ten or a dozen coriander-seeds, beat fine. Beat all together; boil the crumbs of a penny-roll in milk, beat up four eggs, stir it together till is thick, let it cool, and mix it well together with the rest; then mix all together with four raw eggs; on every slice lay this force-meat all over, pour a very little melted butter over them, and a few crumbs of bread, lay a crust round the edge of the dish, and stick oysters round upon it. Bake it in an oven, and when it is of a very fine brown serve it up; pour a little plain butter (with a little red-wine in it) into the dish, and the juice of a lemon; or you may bake it in any dish, and when it is enough lay the slices into another dish. Pour the butter and wine into the dish it was baked in, give it a boil, and pour it into the dish. Garnish with lemon. This is a fine dish. Squeeze the juice of a lemon in.

Looking closely at this recipe made it seem complicated and included several ingredients I’ve learned hubby and I aren’t fond of. The other thing I noticed is that it likely was meant for when you’re cooking a whole salmon based on the quantity of sauce – check the number of eggs for example – the recipe yields. Obviously, some adjustments were needed to suit a meal for two instead of twenty! In fact, I played more with this recipe to shape it into something we’d enjoy.

Let’s start with the force-meat she would have us make. I don’t know about you, but using the flesh of an eel isn’t a common ingredient. At least not in my house… Instead of force-meat, then, I chose to make up a sauce to pour over the salmon fillets.

Instead of using butter to grease the dish, I used cooking spray, wiping it around with a paper towel to evenly grease the baking dish.

Instead of nutmeg and cloves, I used different lighter herbs and seasonings as you’ll see in the recipe below. My thinking is that the heavier spices would overpower the more delicate flavor of the fish.

Penny-rolls were small loaves of bread that cost a penny. I took that to mean there would be a bit more crust relative to the softer bread. Thus, I used a bit of hot dog bun and diced it up which seemed to work just fine.

I chose to not include a crust made from bread and oysters on the baked dish, but chopped up the oysters and added them to the sauce to cook. Using my motto of keeping it simple if I want to have a recipe I’ll use again, the resulting dish was good. See what you think…

 

Finished salmon with lemon garnish
Baked salmon with lemon garnish

Betty’s Baked Salmon 

Ingredients:

2 fresh salmon fillets

1 cup milk

¼ cup diced bread

2 slices onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

4-5 mushrooms, diced

2 eggs, beaten

1 T melted butter

2 oysters, chopped

3 T lemon juice

4 oz. white wine

½ T garlic powder

¼ tsp oregano leaves

¼ tsp dill leaves

¼ tsp ginger, ground

 

Sauce
Sauce simmering

Instructions: 

Grease a baking dish large enough to hold the salmon fillets.

Lay the fillets in the dish.

In a saucepan, combine milk and bread and bring to a boil.

Add remaining ingredients and stir, cooking over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until hot through.

Pour over fillets and cover tightly.

Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

This combination I’ll make again. It’s nice enough to serve to guests as well. Do you enjoy salmon? How do you normally fix it? Does this sound tempting?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Emily’s Vow is the first book in my American Revolution era historical romance series, A More Perfect Union. Her story touches my heart and I hope you enjoy it!

Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

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