In a fast-food restaurant
Nordsee Aleko recently developed a new enthusiasm
for fish. However,
fiiish is only fish for him, when it has been breaded
and shares the plate with vegetable rice and a generous serving of remoulade.
Fortunately, the same results can be achieved at home in reasonable time
with fresh products.
We still have to frequent Nordsee in the mall Serdica around the corner. That does not mean that Aleko does not like the homemade variant of the dish but there is also that splendid view from the mall's roof on the Vitosha mountains that he likes so much, the LED floor in the basement, where you can hunt bugs and fishes, and sometimes there are unexpected encounters with dear friends from the days of auld lang syne.
Serves four eaters, prepares in one hour.
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 50 g pickled cucumbers, not too salty
- 1 egg (size L, ca. 65 g)
- 1 level tbsp. mustard
- 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp. solution from the pickles
- 50 ml olive oil
- 200 ml neutral oil (for example sunflower oil)
- 100 ml milk or yoghurt
- 4 tbsp. finely chopped herbs (dill, parsley, kerbel, estragon, ...)
- 10 g butter
- 240 g long-grain rice (basmati, jasmine, patna, or similar)
- 500-600 ml water
- 1 red pepper (ca. 120 g with trunk and seeds)
- 250 g peas, deep-frozen or fresh
- 250 g corn, deep-frozen or fresh
- 40 g butter
- 20 ml olive oil
- 1000 g cod, hake (Merluccius merluccius), halibut or the like
- 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
- 200 g dry white bread or breadcrumbs
- 200 g flour
- 60 g butter
- 60 ml olive oil
You can, of course, save a little time and buy the remoulade in the supermarket. I have the ambition to show my son the origin of such products and prefer to prepare it fresh. Besides, it does not make a lot of work.
I think the remoulade tastes better, when prepared the day before, so that you can let it sit in the fridge over night and give the flavors time to develop.. Because remoulade contains raw eggs, you should not keep it too long in the fridge. How long exactly you can keep it, widely depends on the quality of the eggs you use.
- Transfer the raw egg from the fridge. It should have room temperature, when you use it.
- Finely chop the hard-boiled egg and 50 g of cornichons.
- Stir the raw egg, one level tablespoon mustard, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons solution from the pickled cucumbers with salt, pepper and sugar in a high bowl with a blender.
- Mix 50 ml olive oil and 200 ml neutral oil, add it first in small drops, then pour it slowly into the egg mixture, constantly whipping it with the blender so that it forms an emulsion.
Finely chop 50 g pickles and a hard boild egg. Stir the pickles and the egg with 100 ml milk or yoghurt with a fork or whisk into the mayonnaise.
Add 4 level tablespoons finely chopped herbs (at least one tablespoon dill), and season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar. Keep in mind that the flavor of the herbs becomes stronger, when you let the remoulade sit over night in the fridge.
Rice is a natural product. There is now way to exactly specify the exacty required time for cooking or amount of water. It depends not only on the rice you are using, on your stove and on how many times you open the lid of your pot.
The best way to cook rice is to use a glass lid and remember how the rice looks, when the water has just boiled away. You can really see that by the patterns in the rice. All you have to do then is to find out by experiment the exact water to rice ratio for your favorite sort, and then you can cook your rice by visual judgment only without ever removing the lid from your pot.
If the rice is not done, when the water has boiled away, add a little more water and keep on cooking. If you have the feeling that the rice will be overcooked, increase the temperature, and remove the lid so that the water so that the water can boil away. You should, however, avoid to pour away cooking water because it has valuable ingredients.
- Melt 10 g butter in a pot, add 240 long-grained rice, and sauté it for about a minute at medium heat. Rice and butter should not take on color.
- Add 500 ml water (no salt!), wait until it comes to boil, and reduce the temperature to the lowest level. The rice should be done, when the water has boiled away (you can see that). If not, add water in small quantities and continue cooking until the rice is done.
- In the meantime, clean a red pepper, and cut it in cubes of about 8 mm. You can also use orange or yellow peppers, but the red ones look better with the yellow corn and the gree peas.
Melt 40 g butter with 10 ml olive oil in a pan, add the pepper, 250 g peas, and 250 g corn. In case they are not deep-frozen, they need less cooking time and you should add them a minute or two later.
- While the rice and the vegetables are cooking, you can start preparing the fish, see below!
- Remove the vegetable from the stove, when it is done.
- When both rice and vegetables are done, mix everything and season to taste with salt and pepper. Rosemary or coriander may also go well with it but a lot of children will frown upon that.
It does not have to be cod. Hake (Merluccius merluccius) or halibut will do just as good as cod. Halibut filets are quite fragile and require extra care as they easily fall apart in the pan.
I do, however, avoid the ubiquitous pangasius, not only because of its taste.
- Grind 200 g dried white bread to breadcrumbs. If you use ready-made breadcrumbs from the supermarket, avoid the seasoned breadcrumbs. Who needs that, by the way?
Carefully remove remaining fishbones from the filets with a pair of fishbone tweezers. Cod makes this quite hard. Sometimes it is easier to cut out the fishbones with a knife.
Prepare a breading street with two flat plates and a soup plate: Put 200 g breadcrumbs on the flat plate closest to the fire. Whisk two eggs in the soup plate in the middle, and finally give 200 g flour on another flat plate.
- Cut a lemon into eight pieces.
- Season the fish filets from both sides with salt, pepper and some drops of lemon juice (from one or two of the lemon pieces).
- Melt 60 g butter with 60 g olive oil in a pan. When the white whey flakes from the butter are no longer visible, the temperature is high enough.
- Dip one fish filet in the flour to coat. Dip it into the egg mixture and finally dip it in the breadcrumbs to coat. Do not press the breadcrumbs into the fish! Always tap off excess of flour, eggs, or breadcrumbs. Slide the filet into the pan. The butter's foam should subside, when it comes into contact with the breaded fish.
- Reduce the temperature by one or two levels, avoiding the butter to burn.
- Repeat the procedure with the other filets. If your pan is too small, fry the fish in multiple turns. The filets have to swim freely in the pan without touching each other.
- Cook the filets until they become golden yellow from both sides. If you want the breadcrumb coat to "souffle", that is to throw waves like a Wiener Schnitzel, constantly pour the hot butter over the already cooked side.
Transfer the filets on a plate laid out with kitchen roll, and dry them from both sides. Let them sit there for two minutes.
- Serve the fish with a piece of lemon, the vegetable rice and a dip of remoulade.
If your pan is to small, and you have to cook the fish in multiple turns, you may have to replace the butter after every turn.
Test the cooking point of the fish with your finger! That needs a little training, though. Whenever you are served a perfectly cooked fish, exercise a little pressure on it with your thumb and remember the fish's consistency.
If you see discharging eggwhite on the fish, you know that you have overcooked it and you should immediately remove it from the fire. In doubt, remove the fish early. In the worst case you have to put it back into the pan for a minute, but you should keep in mind that fish continues the cooking process outside of the pan, when you let it sit on a plate for a minute or two.
Instead of the raw egg and the cow milk or yoghurt use about 150 to 200 ml soy milk for the remoulade. Since soy milk is a weaker emulsifier than egg you may have to beat the remoulade longer or experiment a little with the quantity of oil.
You can either omit the finely chopped hard-boild egg or replace it - only because of the surface feel, not the taste - with finely chopped tofu. Pick one of the softer tofu qualities for it.
Because the remoulade does not contain raw egg, you can keep it a lot longer in the fridge.
Replace the fish with celery like in the vegetarian variant. Use soy milk instead of the egg for breading the celery. You can also mix the flour and the soy milk to a thin pancake dough so that you have only two breading stations instead of three. If you do not have soy milk at hand, use water. It works just fine.
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