Salmon with Anchovy Butter

IMG_3096I've never been a big fan of anchovies–I think it stems from a childhood aversion to all things "fishy." But like many other things I've grown to love (pickles, brussels sprouts, eggplant), I was intrigued by the salty, complex taste of anchovies after having an amazing Caesar salad at a recent dinner–so when I stumbled across this simple recipe using some of my other favorite ingredients I couldn't wait to try it. IMG_3099

 

IMG_3097I've since made it twice and it's officially a winner–simple with only a few ingredients and hardly any prep time–and any leftover butter is just as delicious soaked up by some crusty bread.

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Salmon with Anchovy Butter (from The New York Times)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened4 anchovy fillets, minced1 fat garlic clove, minced (or 2 small ones)

½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 (6- to 8-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

2 tablespoons drained capers, patted dry

½ lemon,

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mash together butter, anchovies, garlic, salt and pepper.In a large ovenproof skillet, melt about half the anchovy butter. Add fish, skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes over high heat to brown the skin, spooning some of the pan drippings over the top of the fish as it cooks. Add capers to bottom of pan and transfer to oven. Roast until fish is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.Remove pan from oven and add remaining anchovy butter to pan to melt. Place salmon on plates and spoon buttery pan sauce over the top. Squeeze the lemon half over the salmon and serve immediately.

 

Fish Tacos with Avocado-Corn Salsa

In an effort to be slightly healthier, Ari and I have started making more fish. Of course, it's still battered and pan-fried, but still better than a steak, right? Or bacon? Anyways, we made these fish tacos the other night and they not only came together in half an hour, but they were also quite good. And you get your daily serving of vegetables! Everyone wins. Well, except the fish, perhaps. Fish Tacos with Avocado-Corn Salsa (serves 2)

2 filets mild white fish, such as tilapia

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 egg

Salt and pepper

For the salsa:

2 avocados, large diced

1/2 cup corn

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 red onion, finely chopped

1 serrano pepper, small diced

1/2 lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Corn tortillas

Lettuce, chopped (optional)

Combine first 5 salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Squeeze lime juice over, then add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Place egg and cornmeal in 2 separate, shallow bowls. Season cornmeal with salt and pepper. Whisk egg slightly. Dip fish in egg, then cornmeal, coating completely. Sauté in a large frying pan until done, about two minutes per side.

After you have heated up the tortillas, place salsa, then fish (cut up) in the tortilla. Top with additional cilantro and lettuce, if desired.

That's it! Easy, right?

Crispy Fish Sandwiches with Sriracha Mayo

Following the Belgian Waffles post, I realized that the recipes on this site have been a little breakfast heavy -- which is great, because honestly, who doesn't love waffles at any hour of the day? I do, clearly. However, sometimes you need something savory, and last night Ari and I decided to branch out and make something different than the usual peanut noodles/chicken/takeout. Specifically, we picked up some tilapia from The Greene Grape, made a quick mayonnaise, and pan-fried the fish -- all in all, about an hour, including picking up the fish. Not bad for a weeknight dinner! We used a baguette for the bread, but next time I would use a softer roll, as the delicate fish was somewhat overwhelmed by the crunchyness of the bread. Also, I didn't have my camera but have been playing around with the Instagram app on my phone, which is why the colors look kind of crazy.  

Crispy Fish Sandwiches with Sriracha Mayo (loosely based on this recipe from Food & Wine)

2 fillets white fish (we used tilapia, but any will do)

1 baguette, cut into 6-inch sections and halved (again, I would use a softer bread next time)

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 egg

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1/2 teaspoon garlic

Lettuce

 

Place flour egg, and cornmeal in three separate shallow bowls. Mix egg to break up. Season cornmeal with salt and pepper. Heat oil in  a skillet over medium heat. Place fillets first in flour and coat completely, then in the egg, then in the cornmeal. Coat completely, and place in the pan and cook until browned, 5-6 minutes per side. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice, Sriracha, and garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread one side of bread with mayo, top with lettuce and fish fillets once  they are done. Serve immediately.

This recipe makes plenty of mayo, but you will definitely want it all. (Especially if you serve some french fries on the side...)

Restaurants: The Mermaid Inn

      Due to some unseasonably warm weather in New York this week, restaurants are keeping their patios open through the end of the month, which is always excellent news for me. At seven o'clock on Sunday night, it was still 80 degrees out, which gave me a chance to catch up with a couple of good friends from Bar Boulud. We decided to hit up the East Village institution known as the Mermaid Inn. I had heard great things, but never had a chance to go.

Abby and I both decided on the fish tacos, while Angie chose the squash soup and the grilled romaine salad. The fish tacos were wonderful -- the tilapia was crispy but still moist inside, and the cabbage slaw that it was served with was spicy without overwhelming the fish. I also tried a little of Angie's salad, which was fresh and lemony, with just a hint of anchovy. We sat in their back patio, which is much quieter than the sidewalk seating in front, and is festooned with lights and bordered by trees. We all felt like we had escaped New York for a little while.

The meal ended as they all do at the Mermaid Inn, with tiny cups of complimentary chocolate pudding and a fortune-telling fish. My fish told me that I'm "passionate" (which is certainly true about food). I'm hoping to go back before the weather changes and check out their excellent happy hour ($1 oysters! fried calamari! Aperol spritz!), but I don't make it before that, they also have a charming bar.