The other day my husband so kindly asked me why I don’t cook fish more often. Now, this he said to me after 5 years of marriage, and almost 10 years together.
I couldn’t help but get offended, here I was making three meals a day, running to the store every other day, just to feed him and the kids, and mind you, I always ask him “what do you feel like eating for dinner tonight?” With little to no response from him.
It was probably more that I was already frustrated when he asked me so unknowingly “ why don’t you cook fish more often?” That I got defensive. I didn’t say anything to him but “ok, I’ll make fish for dinner tomorrow.”
And then I walked off and sat in my room and pondered in silence for a bit. No I’m kidding…I continued making the chicken dinner as planned, fed my husband and all three kids, put all the food away, cleaned the kitchen, bathed everyone, got them all ready for bed and then after getting myself ready…i finally, with a baby attached to my chest nursing in bed…pondered his question.
Why don’t I make fish more? Well first of all it’s outside my comfort zone. I think I have this idea in my head sometimes that fish is so hard to cook, that I’ll get it wrong and ruin dinner.
Because I don’t cook fish that often I don’t know what to look for when I read a recipe. So I searched and sifted through recipes that night.
That’s when it hit me, I cook everyday and I’ve been cooking everyday since I got married. I understand tastes and flavors, I love food. My family loves the food I cook. And if if doesn’t turn out right so what, we order in and I just try again next time…just kidding, my family better eat it and remember to thank the chef.
So I did some recipe searching, got some ideas and headed for the store the next day. I gathered the ingredients, which surprisingly wasn’t much because most ingredients you can find In your pantry (a perk of the recipe below) and I proceeded to head home.
That night, dinner was a success! I put together a recipe using what I know about taste and flavors..and a little research and created the recipe below, so simple yet so good. My kids loved it and asked for more. It is now a favorite on our dinner rotation. And I was reminded that food doesn’t have to be scary, you know what tastes good. Just give it a try. Who knows, you might surprise yourself!
2 lbs fresh Tilapia (or your fish of choice)
2 C Flour
1/4 C Cornstarch
1 Tbs Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Baking powder
1 12 Oz bottle of cold beer
1/2C – 1 C of vegetable Oil for frying
Start by filling a cast iron skillet about a half an inch deep with oil and heat to medium high
Meanwhile mix all your dry ingredients together in a large bowl
Add in the beer slowly, you want the batter to be the consistency of pancake batter (not too thick but not too runny)
When the oil starts to pop a little bit, this should take a few minutes, then you are ready to fry your first fish!
Take one fillet and dip it into the batter, using a metal utensil (I use a slotted spoon) , submerge the fish entirely in the batter. Using the spoon lift the fillet out of the bowl, tapping the sides to let the extra batter drip off, and then slowly slide the fish into the hot oil.
The fish needs to cook 2-3 min per side
Transfer cooked fish to a paper towel lined plate and continue the process until al of your fillets are fried.
Tip: keep all your already fried fish in a 200 degree heated oven until ready to serve