Showing posts with label Local Ingredients. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Local Ingredients. Show all posts

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Kerala Fish Stew with Lime and Curry Leaves (and Potatoes & Peas) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I stopped by Whole Foods the other night to drop something off to my friend and we ended up shopping together. Since I knew I would be making an Indian dish this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs, I checked the local produce aisle to see if they had any fresh curry leaves and ended up with a large bag. Luckily, Natalie took some from me because, although they can be dried or frozen, they are always better fresh.

I looked to Madhur Jaffrey for a soup recipe that used curry leaves but ended up going with a Kerala Fish Stew with Lime and Curry Leaves from Nigel Slater. I liked the combination of the cardamom, lime and curry leaves. I did make a couple of changes, adding some small potatoes and frozen peas (I have been craving samosas I guess!) and adding more broth and coconut milk to make it soupier. I used two kinds of local fish, kajiki and shutome--both mild, firm white fish that held up well. 

Nigel Slater says, “Curry leaves, coriander, coconut, tamarind and limes. These are the tart, cooling flavours you expect further east, yet a Keralan fish stew may be scented with them all. The fish in the market is good enough, the usual Indian blue-grey pomfret, giant eel and the area's famous prawns - after all we are not far from the sea - but we can do better. Down by the sea, past the fishing boats at Cochin, you can also buy it from the boats down by the harbour in Cochin.

Kerala Fish Stew
Slightly adapted from Nigel Slater via
(Feeds 4 to 6)

750g (about 1.5 lbs) mixed fish, such as haddock, mullet (I used local kajiki {blue marlin} and shutome (broadbill swordfish)
a little turmeric
juice of a lime
3 Tbsp of coconut, vegetable or groundnut oil
an onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 large, or 6 small green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a piece of ginger as big as your thumb, peeled and finely grated
6 green cardamoms
20 fresh curry leaves

(I added about 1 lb small yellow potatoes, sliced)
(I added 2 cups light veggie stock)
(I added 1 cup frozen peas, thawed)
400ml tin (15 oz can)  coconut milk (I used 2 cans)
rice to serve

Rinse the fish, taking care to remove any loose scales or bones. Pat it dry with kitchen paper, put it in a shallow dish and dust with a couple of pinches of turmeric and the same of salt. Squeeze over the lime juice and set aside for half an hour or so.

Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan, adding the onion as it warms. Cook over a low to moderate heat until the onion is soft, stirring from time to time, then add the chillies, garlic and ginger, continuing till all has softened.

Break open the cardamom pods, crush the seeds slightly, and add them to the onion mixture with the curry leaves. Stir in the coconut milk and an equal amount of water. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, making sure it does not boil. (It will curdle if it does.)

Cut the fish into large, meaty chunks then slide them into the sauce. Let it cook gently, barely bubbling, until tender and easily parted from its skin or bone. This will take about 4 or 5 minutes depending on the thickness and variety of your fish. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice or salt as you wish.

Notes/Results: I really love this soup, the curry and cardamon give it an exotic flavor--not curry, but fragrant and aromatic, while the lime, chilies and coconut give it an almost Thai vibe. I used three large jalapenos and seeded, it was just spicy enough for me without overpowering the dish. I forgot to make rice, so served it with a microwave lime-coconut rice.I will happily make this again.

Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs for Cuisine Spotlight: Indian!

Let's take a look in the in the Souper Sundays kitchen.

Debra of Eliot's Eats shared this Quick Salad, inspired by By Invitation Only by Dorthea Benton Frank. She says, "Being the only cook in the family, Shelby brings “two bags of prewashed romaine lettuce to make a salad, with cherry tomatoes and a container of mini-mozzarella balls in water” (176). On the following page, she describes her recipe. ... This salad, however, was a great light Sunday lunch for us. I paired it with some balsamic-butter toasted pretzel buns. (More about that butter later—I’m still perfecting it.)"

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared her Kitchen Clean Out Salad, saying "This salad is from scavenging in the fridge.  Best soups and salads come out from those forages. Here I used butter lettuce, some baby spinach, cucumber, chopped yellow bell pepper, grape tomatoes and a bit of rotisserie chicken. This was hauled off to lunch as I am still dragging myself in for a bit longer. While I enjoy lunch I prop up my Kindle and read. The life of a Government Drone."

Thanks to Debra and Tina for joining in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of The Lieutenant's Nurse by Sara Ackerman, Served with Tropical Fruit Salad with Lime-Honey Dressing & Toasted Coconut Chips

I am very excited to be the final stop on the TLC Book Tour for The Lieutenant's Nurse by Sara Ackerman. It's easy to tell from the books I read and review on this blog that World War II historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine and Ackerman's second novel is set here on Oahu, making it an even more tempting read. I've paired my review with a simple Tropical Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing & Toasted Coconut Chips that was inspired by the breakfast scenes on the SS Lurline in the book.

November, 1941. She’s never even seen the ocean before, but Eva Cassidy has her reasons for making the crossing to Hawaii, and they run a lot deeper than escaping a harsh Michigan winter. Newly enlisted as an Army Corps nurse, Eva is stunned by the splendor she experiences aboard the steamship SS Lurline; even more so by Lt. Clark Spencer, a man she is drawn to but who clearly has secrets of his own. But Eva’s past—and the future she’s trying to create—means that she’s not free to follow her heart. Clark is a navy intelligence officer, and he warns her that the United States won’t be able to hold off joining the war for long, but nothing can prepare them for the surprise attack that will change the world they know.
In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eva and her fellow nurses band together for the immense duty of keeping the American wounded alive. And the danger that finds Eva threatens everything she holds dear. Amid the chaos and heartbreak, Eva will have to decide whom to trust and how far she will go to protect those she loves.
Set in the vibrant tropical surroundings of the Pacific, The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an evocative, emotional WWII story of love, friendship and the resilient spirit of the heroic nurses of Pearl Harbor.

Paperback: 352 Pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (March 5, 2019)

My Review:

I had the pleasure of being on the Instagram tour for Sara Ackerman's first book Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers two years ago and hosted it as part of my virtual foodie book club, Cook the Books, earlier this year so I knew I was in for a great read with The Lieutenant's Nurse before I even opened the cover. The book starts soon before the attack on Pearl Harbor, as nurse Eva Cassidy is on board the steamship SS Lurline, headed to Oahu from San Francisco. A job as an Army Corps nurse and a boyfriend await her in Hawaii, as does a chance to hopefully leave her past and the secrets she holds behind her in Michigan,  Eva has regrets about leaving her younger sister behind, recovering from polio, but hopes to bring her out with her at some point. On the ship, she meets Lieutenant Clark Spencer and is immediately attracted and intrigued by him. Clark is in navel intelligence and his feelings for Eva have him passing on his suspicions about the probability of attack from the Japanese. If you know your history, I am sure you can guess what happens shortly after the Lurline docks on Oahu and soon Eva and Clark are caught up in the horrors of war. 

As in her first book, Ackerman does an outstanding job in describing the dichotomy of a beautiful island paradise, caught up in the graphic ugliness of war. Eva and Clark were characters that won my heart immediately and I liked the intrigue in the plot and that the author went in with the "who knew what and when" about the Pearl Harbor attack angle. I have read my share of fiction and non-fiction on the subject and I find the advance-knowledge conspiracy theories fascinate me. This is a romance for sure, emotions are heightened by the events going on around the main characters and some of the side characters, but it is also about Eva's growth and bravery. Living on Oahu, it's always fun to read about places I know in a time in history and Ackerman's vivid writing brings it to life. I only wanted more after the final chapter and I am already looking look forward to her next book.

If you want to win a copy of The Lieutenant's Nurse, head over to my Instagram account (here), where I am giving one away.


Author Notes: Sara is the bestselling author of Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers. Born and raised in Hawaii, she studied journalism and earned graduate degrees in psychology and Chinese medicine. She blames Hawaii for her addiction to writing, and sees no end to its untapped stories. When she’s not writing or teaching, you’ll find her in the mountains or in the ocean. She currently lives on the Big Island with her boyfriend and a houseful of bossy animals. Find out more about Sara and her books at

Connect with Sara on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Food Inspiration:

There was food to be found in The Lieutenant's Nurse--especially while on the Lurline, then some classic 1940s wartime fare on Oahu. Mentions included: ship launch appetizers of cheese balls, pigs in a blanket, pate, champagne, shipboard dinner with lobster tails, steak,French-fried potatoes, glazed carrots and peas and rice, pineapple juice, Moscow Mules, made to order omelet, steak and eggs, breast of chicken with wild rice, glacé  pineapple and truffle sauce, bakes Alaska and petits, fours, rice balls radishes and pickled pickled plums wrapped seaweed, strawberry lemonade with a splash of vodka, strawberry waffle, a Shirley Temple, mention of guava trees, banana tress and big fat prawns in a stream at the North Shore, a Royal Hawaiian Pineapple Cocktail, canned sardines and Saloon Pilot crackers, mincemeat pie, hot dogs and Coca Cola, coffee and malasadas, soldiers running from the attack with pockets of maraschino cherries, cheese and pickles, egg salad sandwiches and lemonade, fried chicken and rice with seaweed (aka furikake rice), sugar cane and pineapple fields.

My first thought was to recreate the Royal Hawaiian Pineapple Cocktail, but my friend Debra did it too well already on her review so instead I turned to the description of breakfast on the Lurline--"plates of strawberries, pineapple and banana with bowls of shredded coconut" and "Tiers of cinnamon buns, pecan snails, and twisted donuts..." and "pancakes, waffles and tropical syrup..." I decided to focus on the fruit and make a breakfast salad with a tropical syrup-style dressing of lime juice and honey and a crunchy topping of toasted coconut chips. Wanting to be a little healthier with my dressing, I used an Ellie Krieger recipe I like with fruit that uses honey instead of white sugar and left out the mint.

Tropical Fruit Salad with Lime-Honey Dressing & Toasted Coconut
Dressing Slightly Adapted from Ellie Krieger's Radiance Salad at
(Serves 3-4) 

1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups fresh pineapple cut into chunks
1 large banana or two apples banana, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
zest of 1 lime
toasted coconut flakes or chips

Place fruit into a large bowl. whisk honey, lime juice and lime zest together in a smaller bowl. When serving, pour the dressing over fruit and stir to combine. Right before serving, top with coconut flakes/chips. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: A very simple fruit salad that can be adapted with what fruit you have on hand or in season. The lime dressing is both sweet and tangy and the honey and lime keep the bananas from browning too much. Put the coconut on at the very end so it remains crunchy and this is quite a tasty little salad that would also be good over yogurt or a bowl of overnight oats, or even atop a pancake or waffle. I would happily make it again.

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are having Spring Canapés as a theme. I think this fruit salad with it's refreshing dressing would make a fine lunch or dinner starter.

I'm also linking this yummy fruit salad up at Souper Sundays here at Kahakai Kitchen. You can join in the Souper Sunday fun by linking up your soups, salads, or sandwiches on the weekly post, here

Finally, I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "The Lieutenant's Nurse" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Eric Ripert's Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge

This is a Friday night dinner that is quick and simple to make and full of flavor. The fact that it includes many of my favorite things like fresh ahi tuna, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and fennel makes it even better. Normally I am leery about taking away too much of the deliciousness of seared ahi by adding a lot of other ingredients, but fish is usually in good hands with Eric Ripert, so I was excited to try his recipe for Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge from Food & Wine Magazine.

I used local fennel and local ahi tuna--the pieces are a bit flatter than some tuna steaks but they sear quickly and taste delicious.

Food & Wine says, "This light, easy tuna recipe evokes the flavors of southern France. The fish is crusted with herbes de Provence, then drizzled with Ripert’s take on sauce vierge, an oil that he flavors with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and capers."

Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge
Slightly Adapted from Eric Ripert via Food & Wine Magazine
(Serves 4)

8 drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp drained capers
2 Tbsp finely chopped basil
2 Tbsp finely chopped scallion greens
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Four 4-oz sushi-grade tuna steaks
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 fennel bulb—trimmed, cored & thinly sliced
1 lemon, quartered

Make the sauce vierge:
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Prepare the tuna:
Season the tuna steaks all over with salt, pepper and the herbes de Provence. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the tuna and sear over high heat until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the tuna steaks to a cutting board and slice them 1/4-inch thick.

To Serve: 
Arrange the fennel on plates, top with the tuna and drizzle with the sauce vierge. Squeeze the lemon over the tuna and serve.

Notes/Results:  OK, this sauce vierge may be my new favorite sauce--it's so good and simple--just olive oil with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, basil, green onion and capers. I made a full batch of it and just half the fish recipe. I would use it on any fish and I don't eat chicken, but I think it would be excellent with it, and even just on the fennel, or other veggies, it would be great. I thought the herbs de Provence might be too much for the tuna and the sauce but it all went together really well--the cool, crisp bite of the fennel was perfect as a base. This will end up being one of my favorite Eric Ripert dishes and I will happily make it again.

Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is From the Sea
And I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Welcome Home Diner" by Peggy Lampman, Served with Crispy Cornmeal Fried Fish and Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Herbs & Feta (and a Giveaway!)

What's a great way to get over the hump of a long week? Being a stop on the TLC Book Tour for The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman, a great foodie novel--full of delectable sounding dishes. It's even better when it's paired with some book-inspired food like Crispy Cornmeal Fried Fish and a Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Herbs & Feta. And finally, there's a giveaway at the end of the post to enter to win a copy of the book. 

Publisher's Blurb:

Betting on the city of Detroit’s eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There’s just one little snag in their vision.
Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood’s gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.
As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they’ve worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 10, 2017)

My Review:

Yes, I do love a good foodie novel and I was excited to get a chance to review The Welcome Home Diner about two cousins who buy and renovate an old urban diner, hoping to transform their neighborhood and help (and benefit from) the urban renewal happening in Detroit. I have my own a cafe fantasies. When I make something delicious in my kitchen I often think, "that's totally going on my cafe menu!" Having spent some time in and around the food business, a cafe is much more work and effort than I have to give at this point in my life but I can live vicariously (at least through the good moments) through Addie and Sam in this book. Their path to success and happiness isn't an easy one between their own personal dramas, a neighborhood and neighbors that are not very welcoming, and an online troll who seems bent on making things difficult for the cousins.

I've read a couple of books recently that have written about Detroit and efforts to rehabilitate and rebuild the city and The Welcome Home Diner does it so lovingly in the way Lampman describes the city and it's surrounding communities--it made me want to go take a look. I enjoyed the main characters and although Sam and Addie are cousins, they are as close as sisters and that relationship with it's high and low points, felt realistic. I loved the supporting characters, particularly the Welcome Home's staff. They were a group of colorful personalities, most overcoming personal challenges and situations, and I enjoyed seeing how they were rebuilding their lives and themselves as much as the diner, the neighborhood and their city. 

Almost as important to the story and the characters for me in a foodie novel is the description of the food. I liked the blend of southern favorites and Polish and other ethnic traditions with farm-to-table practices and the focus on local ingredients. The Welcome Home had the kind of menu that would thrill me as a patron and I like when an author truly appreciates food and the art of cooking--it's no surprise Lampman is a popular food blogger. This quote from Addie, sums it up nicely, "Recipes are much more than instruction manuals. They're stories, rich with history, connecting the dots between past and present." This is not a book to read on an empty stomach as you'll see from my list of its food inspiration below.

The Welcome Home Diner is about more than the food--it's about relationships, friends and family--both the one you are born into and the one you create, and it's about community and reinvention. I found it to be an enjoyable read and I would happily go back and visit with these characters in another book. I'll be adding it to my collection of foodie books--I'd probably put it on my shelves for the gorgeous cover alone, but the story earns it a firm place. 

If it sounds like a book you'd enjoy, make sure to enter the giveaway for a copy below.


Author Notes: Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications—summa cum laude—from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public-relations firm. When she returned to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, she sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman’s first novel, The Promise Kitchen, published in 2016, garnered several awards and accolades. She is married and has two children. She also writes the popular blog

You can connect with Peggy via her website, blog, Facebook or Twitter


Food Inspiration: 

There is far too much food in The Welcome Home Diner for me to list all of it but here are the highlights—garden-grown lettuces, smoked pulled pork, biscuits, chess pie, greens (turnip, collards and mustard) and potlikker (the seasoned liquid left from boiling greens), corn pone, heirloom salad with blue cheese croutons, buttermilk pancakes with apple-maple syrup and walnuts, chocolate egg creams, lavender lime soda, spinach salad with hard boiled eggs, bacon and lemony dressing, hot sauce, kale smoothies, cornbread, sweet potato hash, giant chocolate cookies called “Heartbreakers,” asparagus salad, smoked chicken, patty pan squash, lamb burgers with beetroot salad and tzatziki, pickled carrots (and pickled eggplant, peppers, zucchini, okra and tomatoes), crispy corn trout, Heirloom tomatoes, lemonade with citrus and ginger, spicy Green Zebra Tomato Curry, eggs over easy with blue corn grits and red eye gravy, gazpacho, twice-stuffed potatoes, sponge cake, coconut pie, fennel dressing, wild mushroom pâté, sage-crusted pork chops with baked apples stuffed with orange-scented sweet potatoes, shaved Brussels sprouts salad, sugar cookies, Singapore Slings, chutney, cabbage rolls, Steak Diane with wild mushroom fettuccine, Polish Stuffed Easter Eggs (the author has a recipe on her blog), strawberry pies, spicy grilled wings, and root vegetable soup.

There were a few different recipes I wanted to recreate--the lavender-lime soda, maybe a meat-free potlikker, or the Green Zebra Tomato Curry. There were also a handful of recipes in the book (the pancakes and apple-maple syrup with walnuts, the greens with turnips and potlikker, the lamb burger sliders, the crispy corn trout, the Heartbreakers, Ginger-Molasses Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd, Babcia's Golbaki (cabbage rolls), white and dark chocolate-covered strawberries, and skillet-fried chicken). Most of the savory dishes included meat which I don't eat and I wasn't feeling like baking, making pancakes or eating something sweet. 

I have been craving tabbouleh and when I read the description of Sam and Uriah eating out at a Mediterranean restaurant and Sam noting the extra herbs (oregano and thyme) that popped up in the tabbouleh they ordered, I wanted to make the salad--even though it isn't a big part of the book. The heart wants what the heart wants. I had an Ina Garten recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta bookmarked to try that used mint and parsley and decided to add oregano and thyme to it and adapt it to my needs. I make tabbouleh fairly often and have made it with quinoa before (posted here) although I don't often think to change out the grain from the usual bulgur wheat. Qunioa is great if you need to avoid gluten or just want the protein and extra nutrition it provides.

To go with the salad I decided to do a spin on Paul's Great Lakes Crispy Corn Trout from Welcome Home's menu, only as good trout is hard to get here in Hawaii, I decided to use some local Monchong which has a firm, flaky texture and a moderate, buttery flavor. I think Sam and Addie would appreciate the use of locally-sourced ingredients. Since I used fillets rather than a whole fish, I worked a little dried sage into the coating rather than in the cavity of the fish. 

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Herbs & Feta
Adapted from Ina Garten, via Food
(Makes 6 Servings)

1 cup quinoa (I used sprouted quinoa)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I reduced to 1 tsp here)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup good olive oil (I used about 3 Tbsp)
1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts (5 scallions)
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (2 bunches)
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

(I used 3/4 cup parsley, 1/2 cup mint, 2/3 cup oregano, & 1/3 cup thyme)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and medium-diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved through the stem
2 cups medium-diced feta (8 oz) (I reduced to less than 4 oz)

Pour 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and 1 teaspoon of salt, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until the grains are tender and open (they'll have little curly tails). Drain, place in a bowl and immediately add the lemon juice, olive oil and salt to taste.

In a large bowl, combine the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Add the quinoa and mix well.

Carefully fold in the feta and taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold

Crispy Cornmeal Fried Fish (Machong)
Adapted from Paul's Great Lakes Crispy Corn Trout via The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman
(Serves 4)

4 whole trout, 10-12 oz each, boned
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
8 sprigs fresh sage
1/4 cup ground cornmeal 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Rinse the trout and pat dry. Season the cavity of each fish with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Place 2 sage leaves in the cavity of each fish. Close the cavity by threading a wooden skewer or toothpick through the flaps.

In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal and flour. Dredge both sides of the trout in the mixture. 

Heat two large skillets over medium--high heat and divide the oil between them. When the fat simmers, add 2 fish to each skillet and fry until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the fish with a large, flat spatula. Continue to cook the fish on the other side until just cooked through an golden, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the fish to a platter and serve immediately with the lemon wedges.

Notes/Results: Let's start with the salad which was really tasty. I say add all the herbs to tabbouleh--don't limit yourself to just parsley and mint. I liked being able to get a bit of the oregano, thyme, mint and parsley in each bite. I did reduce the salt in this dish--with cooking the quinoa, the dressing and the veggie mix (Ina had anywhere from 1/2 tsp to 2 teaspoons salt in each step even before the feta is added, I just don't think it needs that much. There is a note in the recipe that Ina uses Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt which is very coarse and to use less if you use a finer grain salt. I say taste and use your judgment and think of your heart! ;-) Speaking of feta, 8 ounces is WAY too much. I cut it down by less than half and it was plenty. I just don't think this salad needs as much cheese as it has quinoa in it. In fact next time I would reduce the cheese again, but double the quinoa to make it more grainy. (OK, seedy, quinoa is technically a seed.) But still, I really enjoyed the salad both with the fish and on its own--I will happily make it again. For the fish, I don't usually "fry" my fish and especially monchong but it worked quite well--crispy and slightly crackly from the cornmeal on the outside and tender and juicy inside. It was delicious indulgence. An excellent dinner. 

I'm sharing this post several different places including:

I Heart Cooking Clubs where it's Potluck week--our chance to make any recipe from our current IHCC chef (Ina Garten) or any of the previous IHCC chefs.

The Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

As my tenth entry for Foodie Reads 2017. You can check out the October Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what foodie book everyone is reading this month.

Finally there's Souper Sundays, hosted right here at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday we feature delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches from friends around the blogosphere--please join in if you have any to share. Here's this week's post and linkup


Note: A review copy of "The Welcome Home Diner" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

***Book Giveaway***
The publisher is generously providing a copy of The Welcome Home Diner to give away (U.S. & Canada addresses only, sorry) here at Kahakai Kitchen.

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) and tell me about your favorite family recipe or favorite diner meal, or tell me why you'd like to win a copy of The Welcome Home Diner

There are a couple of other optional ways to get more entries to win: 1) Tweet about this giveaway or 2) follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii) and/or
author Peggy Lampman (@dinnerfeed). (Note: You can still get extra entries even if you already follow these accounts.)

Deadline for entry is midnight (EST) on Friday, November 3rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!