Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fish, Fries and Brussels Sprouts

This evening started with the idea to make French fries and we had no idea what else. I mean, you can't very well just eat French fries for dinner (at least not and then post about it in a blog for all to read...). So this is a sort of fish and chips thing. And I had Brussels sprouts that needed cooking.

Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Brussels sprouts
Salt (and other seasonings)

Despite their name, Gold potatoes end up looking kinda green.

I had Gold potatoes on hand but I imagine pretty much any potato will work. Russet is another great potato for frying. Wash, peel and slice your potatoes into French fry shapes. I like them a little thick because it gives them more of a potato taste.


 Pour about an inch or a little more of vegetable oil into a pan on medium heat and let it get hot before adding the potatoes. Stick one in to test the oil: I did this and it crisped dark brown in 30 seconds, so if the oil heat is way off at least only one fry is ruined. Once you've got the right temperature stick a handful of fries in. Flip them at least once so they're cooked throughout. After you've got them cooked to the crispiness you want take them out and lay them on a plate with paper towels to soak up the extra oil and retain the crisp. Sprinkle with sea salt (smoked sea salt is pretty frickin' awesome).

Tilapia! With dried basil, smoked sea salt and rainbow pepper.

Season your fish and put it in a pan with a very thin layer of olive oil. Flip once to cook through. This isn't fried fish like regular fish and chips have, but still tasty.

 Crumbly fish.

I got the microwavable bag of Brussels sprouts from Trader Joe's and they were done in 3 minutes. Sprinkle with seasonings (sea salt, pepper, garlic) and serve it up! 

Fish, fries and sprouts!

For a spur of the moment, what-sounds-good-with-fries night, this turned out really well and tasted great. A few potatoes, a bag of sprouts, and a pound of fish fed us fat kids quite nicely.

My spice cabinet.

How to choose your seasonings: Put the same seasonings you used on the fish and fries on the sprouts and everything will have a cohesive flavor. In fact, this is a great rule for pretty much everything you make: if you're using pepper and garlic in mashed potatoes, add it to steak too. I just discovered smoked sea salt and am very impressed with the taste. Worked great on fries, enhanced the fish and seemed perfect on the sprouts. Except for the paprika, you can see everything is from Trader Joe's, and that's because each of those containers (including the big one on the left) was $2. The tall one is regular sea salt, and there's dried basil, ground garlic, smoked sea salt, rainbow peppercorns, and behind those is dried oregano, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and two spice blends, one called everyday seasonings and the other called South African Smoke flavor. I use all of them regularly and one day I'll have a much more comprehensive set of spices. 

The whole point of spices is to use what you like. I love garlic and put it in everything (sometimes pretty heavily in everything). Because I eat a lot of things that absorb the flavor of what you cook with it (rice, eggs, tofu, etc.), spices play a huge role in my cooking. Rich has this Italian seasoning blend that's super delicious, too, and way better garlic than my ground jar. Experiment with spices and find out what you like best.

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