Category: coleslaw


Yesterday, the local farmers’ market was brimming with the first harvest of early summer vegetables. Among them: cucumbers, summer squash, tender green beans, new potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, and sugar snap peas. Tonight I used several of those offerings for this week’s vegetable plate.

The green bean and potato dish is quite different from that of my southern upbringing (in which the beans were cooked until mushy and the potatoes were added during the last 20 minutes of cooking). Instead, I reverse the order by cooking the tiny new potatoes first until almost fork tender and then the tender young green beans are added for the last few minutes of cooking with a knob of butter to season the dish. The beans retain their crisp, succulent nature and provide a wonderful, crunchy foil to the soft texture of the potatoes.

Roly-Poly summer squash benefit from a quick dunk in buttermilk before being breaded in seasoned cornmeal and oven-fried while the bread bakes. The cucumbers were transformed into bread-and-butter pickles yesterday and although they will improve with more aging, they were more than acceptable tonight. The addition of freshly-made coleslaw completed the main course.

A deviled egg
Green beans and new potatoes with a butter glaze
Oven-fried Roly-Poly squash
Coleslaw and bread-and-butter pickles
Spoonbread

Baked peach crisp with a drizzle of heavy cream

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Reinventing A Fish-Fry Menu

The typical fish-fry menu involves a lot of deep-frying: fish, potatoes, hush puppies…and while certainly tasty, it’s a nightmare of too much “friedness” with only the relief of coleslaw and tartar sauce on the side to add any variation to the plate. So a reinvention was in order to make this menu more palatable and varied in texture.

Tonight’s Basa filets are prepared for pan-frying as opposed to the deep-fry method.
After dredging in flour and egg wash, they are breaded with finely-ground fresh cornbread crumbs that have been seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices. After a short chill in the refrigerator to set the crumb topping, the  filets are then pan-fried in a puddle of vegetable oil and butter in a skillet until perfectly crispy on the outside and wonderfully tender inside. Using the cornbread crumbs negates the need for hushpuppies (to my mind), and gives the fish a delightfully crunchy texture. The potatoes are steamed (although you could also boil them). The tartar sauce and coleslaw remain intact, but with some variation as well—I didn’t want to have two different mayonnaise-based components in the menu, so the slaw is made with vinaigrette.

Shallow-fried Basa filets breaded in fine cornbread crumbs and served with Eddie’s dill-and-caper tartar sauce
Steamed baby potatoes
Coleslaw of cabbage, carrots, and scallions with cider vinaigrette and celery seeds

A perfect tangerine

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