Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thai-Inspired Fish 'n' Chips

Thai Fish and Chips

For Fish:
Serves: 4
Total Time: about 20 min.

1 lb Tilapia fillets
1/2 C flour
7 oz coconut milk (about 1/2 a can)
1/2 C bread crumbs
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
canola oil
small bunch basil leaves, chopped

Season each side of tilapia fillets with salt.  Set up dredging station: in a large shallow bowl, place flour.  In another bowl, pour in coconut milk.  In a third bowl, mix bread crumbs, pepper, and curry powder.  Set a large plate aside to hold breaded fish.

Coat each tilapia fillet with flour, shake off excess, then coat in coconut milk.  Let excess coconut milk drip off, then coat fillet in bread crumb mixture.  Place coated fillets on plate.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan by about a 1/4 of an inch.  Test the heat of the oil by dropping a pinch of the bread crumb mixture in the pan--the crumbs should sizzle immediately but should not turn dark and burn.

When oil is hot enough, carefully place fillets--two at a time--in pan.  Fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until bottom is a deep golden brown.  Taking care not split the fillet, carefully flip over each piece (I used tongs in one hand with a wide spatula in the other), and fry for about 3 minutes, or until browned (internal temp should be 145 F).  Transfer to plate, top with chopped basil.  Serve with Thai tartar sauce (recipe below).
Crispy Fried Tilapia
“Thai” Tartar sauce:

1/2 C mayonnaise
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
6-7 basil leaves, chopped
juice from half of a lime
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

For Chips:
Serves 4-6
Total Time: about an hour

3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled if you’d like, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Seasoning mix (see below)

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp dried basil (I used Penzey’s Sweet California Basil)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger

Toast cumin seeds, then grind with mortar and pestle.  Add ground cumin to the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and combine.
Seasoned sweet potato fries, ready to be baked.

Season Fries and Bake:

Preheat oven to 450F.

Throw sliced sweet potatoes into a large bowl; toss with olive oil and about half of seasoning mix.  Line two 18x13 sheet pans with non-stick aluminum foil.  Dump fries onto pan, making sure fries lay in a single layer.  Sprinkle as much of the leftover seasoning mix as you’d like over the top of the fries.  Bake for about 28 minutes, turn fries over to brown the other sides, and bake for about 17 more minutes.  Fries should be browned and crispy but not burnt.
Baked sweet potato fries.

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