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Fish Friday

Posted by Foxfier on 2011/10/14


I don’t know about anyone else— at least this time of year, come Lent I know it’ll be a group obsession — but I’m constantly on the look-out for something to make that doesn’t involve carne.

Beyond the staples of fried cheese sandwiches (Thank you, George Foreman), the treat of deep-fried calamari, and various canned soups, my childhood only offers one option:

Clam chowder.

Take a big soup pot, put a glob of bacon fat in the bottom and heat it up to frying temp.
Chop a small potato per person into cubes and fry in the fat until tender or slightly translucent.
Pepper and garlic salt to taste, if you wish.
Turn down to simmering temp.
Add a can of chopped clams and add milk until the potatoes are covered, then about a quarter inch more.
Simmer until thickened and serve. (Has the big advantage of being something that doesn’t have a point where it’s ready and MUST be served right now—it can set on the stove for an hour, just fine.)

You can add some onion when you’re frying the potatoes, or add dried onion when you add milk, and probably add some other things to taste, it’s kind of like jazz.

As good as this is, my husband got tired of it pretty early, so I had to branch out; unfortunately, our budget was extremely limited at the time. Grandma to the rescue—she raised a whole flock of boys, mostly on casseroles or one-pan bakes. (To the point that we never had them when I was growing up, unless we ate at her place—my dad can’t stand them!) The format of a cup or two of carbs like leftover rice or pasta, a can or two of tuna, a cup or so of cheese and enough ranch dressing to make it stick together is very simple while leaving room for adjustment.

Substituting mushrooms or eggs for meat can also help with existing recipes.

Anyone have some favorites?

cross posted

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15 Responses to “Fish Friday”

  1. [...] cross posted Tagged fish, Lent, recipes [...]

  2. I’m not Catholic, so I never had to deal with “meatless” Fridays, and that’s a very good thing. I’m not Jewish so I never had to deal with pig-free or “back half of the cow” free requirements, and that’s a good thing, too. (By the way, fowl and fish are both meat, just so’s ya know. ;) ) And, unlike Hoagie, I’m not a Gore May — not even a cook — so I don’t have all that many meal ideas that take more than a minute’s worth of trouble and 10 to 70 minutes worth of “leave it alone”. Oh, most of them include beef or pork.

    But hey, beefless, porkless breakfast nice and easy. 3 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix, a 9X12X2 baking dish, follow the muffin instructions for mixing ingredients, pour in baking dish, cook. Cut off a large slab, add all the sugar you want, smother in milk, soak up all the milk with the corn bread since milk alone is naaaaaasty, eat hot (or warmed up).

    Any time of day snack, nice and easy. Cook up a mess of white rice. Put it in a bowl, add liberal amounts of cinnamon sugar (or conservative amounts if you swing that way), cover in milk, eat hot (or warm).

    Nice and easy one-course meal (since that’s what I’m used to anyway, for the past 30 years). Kraft mac’n’cheese box (or off-brand, makes no difference since it isn’t the real mac’n’cheese anyway), prepared as directed, add can of tuna, add small can or jar of mushrooms (I prefer buttons and stems, or pieces and stems over sliced shrooms, and they must be “canned” and not “fresh”). I prefer to add some of the shroom juice, although it breaks down the stickiness of the fake mac’n’cheese, but if you prefer the stickiness, drink all the shroom juice instead of just most of it.

    And my fish recipes, which are very simple but a bit less budget-conscious since fish is spensive. Cajun catfish, baked untouched for 20 min. Salmon covered in lemon butter dill sauce (since I can’t find a lemon dill sauce). Whitefish or Shark or Halibut baked plain.

    Chicken is meh. KFC original recipe served in Texas is dry and bleh but served in Ohio is juicy and delicious for the first two pieces, then it becomes “where’s the beef”.

  3. Foxfier said

    By the way, fowl and fish are both meat, just so’s ya know.

    But only one is carne. ^.^ (Darn non-English based religions.)
    Like the guy at the link I had for “carne” pointed out, you offer God something that’s BAD! Most every meal turns into “where’s the beef?” once the new wears off. 8^p

    I love the “pieces and stems” canned mushrooms– they avoid the funky sizes that annoy me with most sliced mushrooms, and they’re usually a fraction of the price!

  4. AOTC said

    i can offer something here but we dont eat fish a lot. once in awhile i will bake fresh cod, salmon or something similar. the best fish i ever ate were lake erie smelt. as well, about a week ago a good friend of ours had a fish fry and prepared lake erie perch he caught, pan fried with a nice light crumb coating he bought at the bait store. that perch was awesome. apparently there are some exceptional seasoned coatings for freshwater fish in the bait/sport stores.

    i cook well, but dont enjoy cooking all that much. mr aotc likes simple meals. meat, potatoes and a vegetable. he doesn’t care for food “all mixed together” like stew or soups. even with simple meals he likes to keep the individual foods from mingling together on his plate. lol

  5. DNW said

    AOTC writes,
    ” mr aotc likes simple meals. meat, potatoes and a vegetable. he doesn’t care for food “all mixed together” like stew or soups. even with simple meals he likes to keep the individual foods from mingling together on his plate. lol”

    That, I think, is not all that unusual among kids, especially. I think I was even a little like that when small. Dim memory of someone remarking on it. You would think I might have more sympathy for picky eaters now. But I don’t, especially when it comes to vegetables.

    In theory there should be no “yuk” factor to plant food, unlike some of the wretched animal parts some people seem to develop a taste for. Haunch of venison is, for example, one thing; the internal organs are another. Leave it in the woods, and let the coyotes, as much as I despise them, have it.

    Completely agree about the skillet fried perch.

    Foxfier writes on her own blog,

    ” …all the canned meats have jumped so insanely in price– although I know tuna has something to do with the minimum wage law being expanded to America Samoa, mostly because the folks who use to work there are now living in my area and going to my church. Canned meats are pretty dang easy to use”

    This remark is kind of interesting, as it coincides as a general subject matter with a minor concern of mine: camp storage of at least some foods.

    Awhile back I began making a casual list of the kinds of food I might be able to leave in the cabin over winter, just in case we got snowed in. Now, you can of course get all kinds of freeze dried foods and we have some MREs in the cabinets, but I figured it would be an interesting exercise to make a mental inventory of the kinds of traditional foods for storage that were available off of a supermarket shelf. After going through the exercise, I was surprised to find just how much was available. Tuna isn’t the only canned fish apparently, and corned beef and bacon can even be found in tins. You could almost live off of tinned foods, though you’d get pretty sick of it pretty soon.

  6. Foxfier said

    DNW said:
    ” After going through the exercise, I was surprised to find just how much was available. ”

    *laughs* Head over to my local Walmart– and I live in Seattle!–and they’ve got a section at the end of the coffee isle that’s all (freeze) dried survival stuff, in coffee-tin sized containers. Lots of soups, fruits, what have you.

    Going off of their bananas, it’s excellent stuff, at a decent price. (Kit will go through eight bucks of bananas in a week. Over two weeks on, we’re only halfway through the test can I grabbed– and I’ve even used them in oatmeal cookies. YUM!!!)
    I know Costco also has food-in-a-bucket setups that have something like a month’s meals for four in a five gallon bucket (yeah, it’s a gimmick, but it’s cool.) and on the ship I loved my stash of pre-cooked rice, Udon in a bag. (Asian grocers are awesome for camping treats, although you’ll need either a guide or some gumption for a lot of the stuff.) Heck, even George Noory on coast-to-coast is selling “survival” food that’s basically off-the-shelf camping stuff in bulk packaging– WAY cheaper than MREs. (Even on base, those are more expensive than good beef.)

    Salmon, shrimp, oysters and clams are the only other fish that I generally see.

  7. Dana Pico said

    Mr Hitchcock wrote:

    Chicken is meh. KFC original recipe served in Texas is dry and bleh but served in Ohio is juicy and delicious for the first two pieces, then it becomes “where’s the beef”.

    Uhhh, I don’t think that Kentucky Fried Chicken is supposed to have any beef! :)

    And I speak as an authority, because I actually knew was acquainted with Colonel Sanders.

  8. Dana Pico said

    As far as fish, my darling bride just fries it on the George Foreman grill, so there’s no grease. Normally it’ll be tilapia, because that’s pretty good fish that’s commonly available and not ridiculously expensive. But she’s also roasted it on the grill outside, wrapped in foil with either sliced lemon or lime in it. The same trick works with chicken.

  9. [...] Comments Dana Pico on Fish FridayDana Pico on Fish FridayFoxfier on Fish FridayDNW on Fish FridayAOTC on [...]

  10. DNW said

    “Asian grocers are awesome for camping treats, although you’ll need either a guide or some gumption for a lot of the stuff.”

    I’ve overdosed on Ramen noodles more than once while in the woods. The lazy man’s way to saline poisoning.

  11. AOTC said

    dana, i forgot all about the george foreman grill for fish. i have used it in the months when the outside grill is piled high with snow… it does a nice job with salmon, i always use a little cooking spray though, the fish always sticks if i dont.

    and… speaking of saline poisoning, once in a blue moon we will cook a hot dog or two on the foreman grill. makes them better than the outside grill actually.

  12. Foxfier said

    I…uh… actually don’t much like fish. Campfire fish is one thing, but actual slabs of fish, I eat less often than my husband. (and he mostly eats it raw, on rice!)

  13. AOTC said

    fried corn meal mush.

    my mom made that when we were kids. a little butter and home made maple syrup……. mmmmmmm

    its good with stir fried veggies on top too for a more dinner kind of meal.

    no fish whatsoever. lol

  14. Dana Pico said

    Foxfier wrote:

    but actual slabs of fish, I eat less often than my husband. (and he mostly eats it raw, on rice!)

    A man of impeccable taste, your husband is!

  15. Foxfier said

    With just a few gaps, Dana, with just a few gaps.

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