Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Pan Fried Lake Fish

In the spring of 1992, Karen and I took a vacation to Washington D.C. It was Karen's first trip there, and even though I had been there many times, this was the first time I had ever seen the Cherry Blossoms in bloom. It was an amazing site, and made the trip even more special. Karen and I spent most of the trip into D.C. doing all the touristy things, riding the Metro to get everywhere we needed to go. On one of our excursions, we went to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located on the campus of The Catholic University of America, in northeast D.C. We went on a long guided tour of the many interesting areas of the Basilica. This left us very hungry! Fortunately, the cafeteria (Open daily for breakfast & lunch from 7:30 am) was open and they were serving some very nice looking fare for lunch. I settled on the pan fried rainbow trout with some green beans and potatoes. I'd never had trout before, but I was feeling very adventurous. The trout was perfect; light, flaky, and oh, so tasty! A few years later, I noticed that the local Meijer store was carrying fresh rainbow trout filet in their seafood case. Remembering how good the trout in D.C.was, I went hunting for a recipe. I found the following recipe on (formerly S.O.A.R.) and it's a winner. this is a link to the original recipe.

I like to use Rainbow or Golden trout fillets for this recipe. I also like to add paprika to the flour in addition to the pepper.
Turn the fillets only once and be careful when turning them!

4 8-to-10 ounce fresh or frozen pan-dressed trout, lake perch, or other white fish
¾ cup finely crushed saltine crackers (about 21 crackers)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon snipped parsley
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 beaten egg
3 to 4 tablespoons shortening or cooking oil
Lemon slices, halved (optional)

Thaw fish, if frozen. In a shallow bowl, combine the crushed crackers, grated Parmesan cheese, and snipped parsley.
In another shallow bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Place lemon juice and egg in separate bowls.
Dip fish in lemon juice, then in flour mixture, then in egg, and finally in the cracker mixture.
In a 12-inch skillet heat shortening or cooking oil. Add fish in a single layer.
Fry over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or till brown. Turn fish; fry for 5 to 7 minutes more or till fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Drain on paper towels. Serve fish with lemon. Garnish with parsley, rosemary, and dill if desired. Serves 4


Honolulu Skillet Beans

We also call this recipe "Hula Beans". It's from "The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home" By Molly Katzen and was given to Karen by our friend, Ann a librarian in the at the Main Library downtown. Her husband, Brad, is a dentist. They are two of the nicest people we know and are very health conscious. They eat lots of organics, and stuff that is just too good for you, like tofu. Ann brought this dish to a dinner gathering at the home of our mutual friend, Jenny, who introduced Karen and I to Ann and Brad. Karen just fell in love with this dish and we make it often.

This recipe can be very sweet, depending on the brand of pineapple you use. We found that Dole Brand Crushed Pineapple in natural juices works best. Other brands, especially store brands have turned out with a too sweet edge to them.

You can use many varieties and mixes of bean in this dish, but try to have one light and one dark. We’ve used cannelini, and great northern beans, small black beans, small red beans, and adzuki beans. The adzuki beans are a bit hard to find, but well worth the effort! Check you local natural foods store; we get ours at Wild Oats.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoons oil
2 cans of beans (small white, black, red, adzuki
1 can crushed pineapple in natural juices (Don’t use anything with any extra sugar added)

Sauce ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce
(if you don’t have Hoisin sauce, get some! Otherwise, use 1 Tablespoon molasses + 1 Tablespoon vinigar +1 teaspoon hot sauce)
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
2 Tablespoons catsup
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cumin

Rinse the beans.
Combine all sauce ingredients
Saute the onions over medium heat until soft in oil.
Add the beans, sauce and pineapple. Stir together gently (don’t mash those beans!)
Heat gently for a couple of minutes.

Serve with rice for a meal!

Saute some minced garlic and/or chopped green pepper with the onions.
Add grated peel of an orange into the pot when adding sauce.