Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Foto: Cornmeal-Encrusted Cod Fish and Chips

Once upon a time, Kelli and I were major brewpub aficionados. We had our favorite local joints, and anytime we were on the road traveling, if the town had a brewpub, we felt it our duty to stop, have a pint, and sample the food. (I'm sure I've said this before a time or two, but I haven't looked back through the blog to see exactly where...)

Those days - at least for now - are pretty much over. Finding a brewpub that serves both gluten-free beer and gluten-free pub food (often fried) that's safe to eat is about as rare as finding a politician who's in a long, happy marriage and who hasn't been in a sex scandal. In other words, good luck. (The great exception is The Alchemist in Waterbury, Vermont.)

And so, we bring the brewpub to us.

One dish that I always equate with classic pub fare is fish and chips. There's something about fried fish. The steaming hot, moist white fish on the inside. The perfect batter on the outside. The side of chips (French fries). A dab of ketchup. A dollop of tartar sauce (if that's you're sort of thing - Kelli loves it; me, not so much). It's not the kind of food I eat regularly (too much grease factor), but every once in a while, it really hits the spot.

Since time immemorial, it seems, fish and chips has relied upon one of two types of white fish - haddock and cod. Personally, I've long had a preference for haddock. But cod is a popular choice, too.

When my mom recently drove up to the Hudson Valley for a visit from Long Island, she brought with her a nice, big piece of fresh cod, purchased earlier that day from one of the local fish markets about which I waxed nostalgic a few blog posts ago.

From the moment that cod came in the door, I knew what we had to do...make fish and chips.

Today's Friday Foto recipe is the result. This time around, we went with a cornmeal crust for the fish. It's a little less conventional (than, say, a buttermilk batter or a beer batter), but it still really works well.

Cornmeal-Encrusted Cod Fish and Chips
Makes about 3 servings

1 lb cod filet
1/4 cup GF breadcrumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend
Garlic Powder
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
Canola oil

1. Rinse and pat dry the fish. Slice the filet into the desired size pieces for your fish and chips.
2. In one bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cornmeal and flour, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
3. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
4. Dip both sides of the cod filet pieces in the egg-milk mixture, then dip both sides in the breading mixture, coating all sides. Lightly shake off any excess.
5. Pan fry in hot canola oil in a skillet for 3-5 minutes. Turn over and pan fry the other side for another 3-5 minutes, until the fish is opaque throughout and just flakes easily.
6. Serve with chips (French fries) and condiments.


This recipe is: gluten-free, peanut-free, tree-nut-free, shellfish-free.

Note 1: For gluten-free breadcrumbs, you have lots of options. In this instance, we made our own by using the food processor and pulsing reject bagels from our recipe testing that had been living in the freezer (also check out the winning bagels). Any leftover GF bread would do the trick in this regard. Or, you could pulse some GF crackers, such as Nut Thins, in the food processor. Finally, you could buy ready-to-use breadcrumbs, such as those from Aleia's.

Note 2: Since the cod is breaded, it's not exactly an easy thing to check if it's done by using the "opaque throughout and flakes easily" method. A little bit of practice will make you a master in the fine art of the "finger firmness" test. Press on the breaded cod with a finger. The firmness and the "bounce back" will let you assess if it's done or not. If there's any question, pick one of your pieces, and break it open where it's thickest. If it's done there, the rest of that piece - and the others - will be done, too.

- Pete

P.S. In the interest of bloggerly love, we've also posted this recipe over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free Slightly Indulgent Tuesday post.


theMom said...

Living as far north in Minnesota as we do, we have many friends who fish regularly at Lake of the Woods, that little point of MN that sticks up beyond the 49th parallel. The summer tradition is to stake out a spot on the beach, (unless one owns property, in which case there's less staking involved); set up a deep fryer; and take turns going out on the boat(s) to fish for Walleye or Northern. When the fish comes in, it's cleaned and fried up immediately. They don't really take any other food along, except perhaps a pan of bars and a watermelon.

We've never joined any of the native Northern Minnesotans who've invited us for two reasons, 1) Joe's CD makes the day less than satisfactory for him. Who wants to watch everyone else eat freshly caught and fried fish; and 2) I grew up on cod in the Puget Sound area of Washington; I hate all the bones in Northern and Walleye. When we're given some, Joe generally fillets them without the worst of the bones. But the authentic northern MN tradition is to take the electric knife to them and leave everything but the spine. I don't know how they can stand to pick for 20 minutes to eat each piece!

Thanks for the recipe, though. Maybe this year we'll go when asked. We can take a designated GF fryer along for Joe and he can fry his in separate batches.

We keep saying that, but never seem to make it...

gfe--gluten free easily said...

I could go for this fish and chips dish and a gluten-free brewpub! There's a huge market there for someone ... just make the food good enough for all! Now I have to check out The Alchemist ...

Have a great weekend, you guys!

KellyRae said...

First of all...I'm SO glad I found you! Second, I can't wait to try this recipe, in fact, it's on the menu for tonight. A fish and chips (and brew!) aficionado myself, this is right up my alley! Beautiful!

peterbronski said...

Hi Mary... Sounds good! Hope this year's fishing trip works out!

Hi Shirley... We had a great weekend! Rock climbing, camping, hiking. Hope yours was great, too.

Hi KellyRae... So glad you found us! Welcome to No Gluten, No Problem. Hope you enjoyed the recipe!

Cheers, Pete