I finally did get to buy some fish today. I took a ride over to Adams Farms in Newburgh today and bought some fish and some produce. I wish they were a little closer because I would shop there all the time instead of every couple of weeks like I do now. Anyway, I did pick up some fish tonight and some for the freezer to use next week. Tonight, I decided we are going to have Fish Cakes, rice and mixed vegetables. The fish cakes seem like a good thing to make, are pretty easy to do, and take no time at all to cook. Like many of the meals we have made this week, they can also be customized to add flavors that you prefer over others. If you have a food processor, take it out for this one. It makes your life a lot easier.
4 slices firm white bread, torn into pieces (about 1 cup; you can just use store breadcrumbs if you prefer)
1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
1 pound boneless cod, haddock, halibut or other white fish fillets, cut into chunks
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pepper, cut diced (color is your choice. I prefer red, yellow or orange over the green)
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 to 4 tablespoons butter
Tartar Sauce ( I use store-bought myself [Gold’s is really good] but you could make your own)
Place the white bread in a food processor. Using on/off turns, process until very coarse crumbs form. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Using on/off turns, finely chop celery; add it to the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Using on/off turns, coarsely puree the fish; add it to the bowl. Add the egg, salt, pepper, diced pepper and parsley to the bowl. Mix gently but thoroughly. Transfer fish mixture to a work surface and shape into 4-6 fish cakes (use your best judgement on size, whatever thickness is reasonable to you). Place the cakes on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow them to set.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the fish cakes and cook until brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Using a large spatula, carefully turn the fish cakes over and cook until the second side is brown and the center looks opaque, about 5 minutes longer. Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.
The prep time for this dish is more than the cooking time, but it’s worth it. Your own fish cakes will taste better than anything you’ll find in the freezer section of the supermarket. As I said, you can really add whatever you would like to this recipe as far as spices and flavors. Try adding green onion, shallot, dill, cayenne pepper, garlic powder or whatever else you might like. I don’t like a lot of breading in cakes like this myself; I would rather taste the fish more than the breadcrumbs, so adjust the amount as you would like it. I am serving the fish with plain white rice, but you can use any type of rice that you would prefer. I think Jasmine rice might go nicely with this dish. You could also go with pasta if you would like, or even some egg noodles as a side dish.
For tonight’s vegetables, I am just steaming some mixed vegetables. I am using carrots, broccoli and cauliflower tonight and just steaming them in my steamer basket. Some sautéed spinach might go very nicely with this dish if you’re looking to make something different. Just rinse your spinach, toss it into a hot pan with some oil, maybe some minced garlic and some red pepper flakes, and saute just until the spinach is wilted, and you are all done.
So we’ve had an entire week of very easy meals, if I must say. The family laid out the menu for next week last night, so here’s a sneak preview of what we’ll be cooking next week.
Sunday – Ribeye Steaks with Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus (my pick)
Monday – Chicken Fajitas with Mexican Rice and Guacamole (Sean’s pick)
Tuesday – Hamburgers, French Fries and salad (also Sean’s pick)
Wednesday – Breakfast for Dinner (Michelle’s pick, this will also be our meatless night)
Thursday – We are leaving open as a leftovers day
Friday – Fish and Chips, and I haven’t picked a vegetable yet (my pick)
Saturday – Roast Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
We decided to work next week solely out of things we had in the freezer, so the only thing I had to shop for was the fish for the fish and chips, which will save us a lot of money on shopping next week. The cod for the dinner cost $7.00, and that’s all I have to buy for the week, with the exception of fresh veggies. Using what you have on hand can make things a lot easier on you as far as time for cooking and for your budget.
That’s all I have for today’s blog. I know I am glad it’s Friday and am looking forward to the weekend, even if it means doing some chores around the house. As always, if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hello, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at IguanaFlats@msn.com. Thanks for reading today and happy cooking!
Kerry Geraghty Keating
January 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm
This is what I need to do…use up the stuff from the freezer this week. By the way, do you have a good idea for pork chops? I never liked them as a kid, but they were super cheap, so i am going to give them a try this week!
January 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm
What kind of pork chops did you get? I have a bunch of different recipes I use. We buy the thin cut boneless chops, bread them with breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning and serve it with rice and a vegetable, but I have lots of other recipes you could try depending on how adventurous you want to get. I also have a bunch of different sauces you could use with just plain baked or sauteed pork chops, like cranberry-orange or lemon-thyme. Let me know if you’re interested and I would be glad to post one for you, or if you let me know what kind of chops you have, I can put a recipe out there for you.
Kerry Geraghty Keating
January 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm
They are “center loin” pork chiops…they are not real thick. I am most afraid or totally drying them out and making them taste like leather!
January 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm
Kerry… sorry I didn’t get back to you with a recipe, but I will try to get you some ideas tomorrow. I have a few recipes you may be able to use. Meat in general, including pork, is easy to overcook. You have to really pay attention to the timing to get it and everyone messes it up now and then. i should have some ideas for you tomorrow.