Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Jalapeño Tartar Sauce

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Tilapia is known to be bland, writing about it is torture. I’m trying to find a story to entertain you with but I don’t have one and I can’t pretend to care anymore – I have shit to do. This recipe on the other hand is the antithesis of boring and recommend it to any lover of fish and a little heat.

In a food processor combine chips and spices. Heat vegetable oil in a pan and dredge your fish in flour, egg and tortilla coating. Cook in oil on medium heat 3 – 4 minutes per side. Combine ingredients to make the jalapeño tartar sauce and refrigerate for one hour before serving. Easy.

  • 2 Tilapia Fillets
  • ¼ Bag Tortilla Chips
  • ½ TSP Chili Powder
  • ½ TSP Seasoning Salt
  • ½ TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ Cup Flour
  • Vegetable Oil for Cooking

Jalapeño Tartar Sauce

  • 1 Cup Mayo
  • ½ Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 TBSP Cilantro
  • 1 Green Onion
  • Salt

Fish Fry, Two Ways

Where I come from, we eat a lot of fish, mainly Perch. My Uncle Bob is retired and goes fishing EVERY SINGLE DAY so we get that shit fresh. Naturally, everyone has their own way of cooking Perch but for me there is only one way – fish fry. If you’re lucky and don’t have to gut and clean the fish then this process is super quick and easy. Egg Wash + Coating + Deep Fry = Delicious.

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Preparation:

Soak fish for a few minutes in an egg wash. My Aunt Linda uses, egg and milk. My father uses egg and water. When you’re ready to coat the fish, flip it in the egg wash a few times (don’t be a nerd, use your hands!) and transfer it to your plate of coating. My Aunt Linda uses Saltine Crackers that she runs through her food processor. My father uses Sylvia’s Fish Fry Mix or sometimes the Fried Chicken Mix. Dust off any excess coating and drop that shit in some hot ass oil.

Deep Fry:

My Uncle uses a modest deep fryer called, Fry Daddy and my father uses a propane tank attached to an open flame burner like a lunatic. I recommend the Fry Daddy. Using Conola Oil and carefully following the instructions, deep fry small batches of Perch for 10 minutes and let sit on a bed of paper towel for 5 minutes. I also recommend doing this outdoors.

Garnish:

Sometimes I squeeze some fresh lemon on top or whip up some tartar sauce:

  • 1 Cup of Mayo
  • 3 Dill Pickles, chopped
  • 2 TBSP of Capers, chopped
  • Half of a Lemon, squeezed
  • S&P

You could also add:

  • Smoked paprika
  • Fresh dill
  • Parsley
  • Hot Sauce

Can we also talk about how cute my Aunt Linda’s Hens and Chicks are? Totally stealing this idea next year.

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Shrimp Ceviche

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Once upon a time I tried to squeeze the juice out of 15 limes with a fork and I died. Before embarking on this heinous endeavor, do yourself a solid and buy a citrus juicer. I use the Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer, because it’s tots durable and my mom bought it for me.

After juicing five million limes and chopping the ingredients mix it all together in a non-reactive bowl – that would be anything other than metal. If you want to know why, Google it. Tightly seal the bowl and let sit for at least two hours. The lime cooks the shrimp and will be done when they turn pink.

• 1 – 2 lbs of Tiger Shrimp, Raw
• Half Pint of Cherry Tomatoes
• 15 Limes – seriously
• 2 Cloves of Garlic
• 1 LRG Shallot
• Handful of Fresh Cilantro
• ¼ Thai Pepper or Other
• Pinch of Sea Salt

Beer and Butter Shrimp Boil

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It’s summer and in true Toronto style, I’ve been drinking in parks like a hobo. I also like to invite myself over for dinner to whoever will have me because I rarely cook in the summer. But this weekend my mother and aunt came to visit my cousin and I, so I hosted a dinner and card night which turned out to be quite the ladies night avec sangria and a kitchen dance party.

Cooking with beer is totally underrated. Its hops and barely add new and interesting flavours. It has tenderizing properties valuable for meat and marinades and it’s versatile in numerous cooking techniques. I based this recipe on my favourite dish served at the Portuguese restaurant Bairrada Churrasqueira. I prefer the College Street location in the summer. They have an enormous back patio and often grill sardines for free. Hint: The sardines taste better than they smell!

Beer and Butter Shrimp

  • 1LB of Large Shrimp. Cooked.
  • 1 Large Shallot
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 TBSP Cajun Seasoning 
  • A Shitload of Butter 
  • 1 Tall Can of Light Beer (Pilsner) 
  • Ground Pepper 
  • French Bread for Dipping

1/2 squeezed lemon could work too. I forgot to add it.

Sautee butter, shallots, garlic and seasoning in a medium pot. Add half can of beer, ground pepper and shrimp. Boil for five minutes, 10 if shrimp are raw. Remove shrimp. Add the rest of the beer and boil for 10 minutes. Pour sauce over the shrimp and squeeze half of a lemon over top.

Simple Smoked Salmon Appetizer

My family loves appetizers. So I always feel nostalgic when I see stuffed mushrooms because my mom makes the best – her secret is making homemade stuffing with sausage. She also makes an awesome cheese spread that is so addictive I once went through a phase of spreading it on white toast then gained five pounds. I have issues with denying myself anything.

We like our snacks too. We always had in the fridge a variety of cheeses, salami, kielbasa, pickles and crackers in questionable quantities. I was the freak kid who preferred olives over cookies. I remember lying on the couch watching Jem eating olives out of a jar with a spoon. I used to drink fucking pickle juice too, so gross. This was the pre booze era, I still drink pickle juice with vodka – cause I’m a lady.

Recently, I’ve developed a penchant for smoked salmon, and Lee’s mother made a snack plate at the cottage similar to what my mother would make only she added smoked salmon, cream cheese, super thin and small pieces of lemon (way smaller than the picture above) finely chopped onions and crackers. You just pile all of it together and face it, rind and all! I might substitute onions with capers because raw onions are disgusting. I also like smoked salmon with spinach dip on rye bread.

Tilapia in a Bag

Go figure the only blog post I spent zero effort on went viral. Since this post generated a lot of (P) interest I thought I would share another fish in a bag recipe I enjoy. This method of cooking is so easy and mess free, I’m starting to think I should cook all my meals in a tin foil pouch. And if I ever went camping, which will never occur in this lifetime, I would definitely be cooking this way over a camp fire. What I like most about this method is how the greens steam on their own with the flavours of the ingredients you add to the pouch – thus saving even more time to drink the bottle of wine you bought for this recipe.

  • 1 piece of tilapia
  • Bunch of bok choy
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. white wine
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • ½ lime squeezed 
  • S&P

*NOTE* I’ve always used rapini opposed to bok choy but I couldn’t find any at the store today.

Spread a large piece of tin foil on a flat surface. Add a bunch of greens, place fish on top. Gather the sides a bit so the liquids do not run over the foil and add your ingredients. Wrap the fish up tight in a pouch, place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400 °

Shrimp Wraps with Cilantro, Lime Dressing

 

See that tortilla wrap? Throw that shit out, carbs are assholes. Lettuce wraps are just as satisfying and fresh as fuck. Combine yogurt, juice from ½ a lime, chopped cilantro, a pinch of paprika, salt and pepper and set aside. Cook shrimp on medium heat in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika for approximately 3 minutes. Build your wrap and pat yourself on the back –  you just made a chic 10 minute meal. You’re welcome.

• 10 – 12 LRG shrimp, thawed
• Lettuce
• 4 TBSP Greek Yogurt
• ½ Lime
• Cilantro
• Paprika (smoked paprika if you have class)
• Garlic
• Olive oil
• Salt & Pepper