Changes Coming

This poor little blog has been sorely neglected lately. That hasn’t been intentional; life gets in the way far too often. However, I have some fresh ideas and I think a makeover is in order. This weekend, I’m hoping to have some time to sit down, decide on some changes and change direction slightly.

If you’re a follower of my blog, keep your eyes on this space. I’m in the mood for experimentation.

(I’m playing with themes at the moment – don’t be surprised if there is change after change. I’ll find something I like before too long.)

 

Advertisements

Captain Ben’s Crispy Cod

For as long as John and I have been together, whenever there’s talk of fish and chips, one specific recipe comes out. Sure, we could go to C-Lovers, our local fish and chip joint which is pretty good but, really, John’s fish and chip recipe is so much better! He’s had this recipe for a long time, probably some time in the 70’s, a newspaper clipping from the Vancouver Sun, given to him by his aunt.

Captain Ben20000As you can see, the original recipe calls for a dash of monosodium glutamate (MSG, aka Accent); I do  not keep that poison in my home; it is definitely a migraine trigger for me.

Cod2

Now, if I were to tell you that this fish doesn’t get soggy, you probably wouldn’t believe me. It’s true, though. We’ve made this many times; I’ve taken leftovers (if I’m lucky enough that there are any) to work with me the next day and they’re STILL crispy. Seriously!

Cod3

And there’s one ingredient that isn’t in this recipe… beer. This ain’t no beer-battered fish. Trust me… try it.

When John makes it, he doesn’t usually marinate the fish as the recipe directs. I made it today and followed the recipe exactly. Either way is good but I must say, I really enjoyed it marinated. Oh, I used the leftover batter to make onion rings.

Cod1

 

====================

Captain Ben’s Crispy Cod

[printable version]

Fish:

  • 1 lb. fresh cod
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Batter:

  • 2/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • water (I used about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Cut the cod into chunks about 1″ x 2″ (bite sized pieces), and put into a bowl. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over; stir to mix well. Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the batter, combine corn starch, flour, and vinegar but NOT the baking powder. Add enough water to make a medium thick pancake batter. Heat oil to 375ºF. Once the oil has reached the correct temperature, add the baking powder to the batter, stirring well. Dip fish chunks in the batter. Fry until golden brown, 3-4 minutes.

Remove to paper towel-lined baking sheet; hold in a warm oven until all the fish is cooked.

Chives

Everyone knows chives, right? They make an appearance in, or on, all sorts of things, usually as a garnish. I love them for their blossoms. They’re so pretty and the bees love them!

chivesRight now, the chives are in full bloom in our garden. Did you know that they’re edible? A couple of years ago, I discovered that they are, indeed, edible. Now, when the chive blossoms bloom, I put them into salads and use them as a garnish in all sorts of dishes. They taste very slightly of onions so they go well with anything you would use chives in… or on.

Recently, I came across a recipe that uses chive blossoms as the main ingredient. Chive blossom vinegar. It’s crazy simple to make and it’s almost as pretty as the chive blossoms… maybe even prettier. Maybe.

chive blossom vinegarI can see using the chive blossom vinegar in a vinaigrette. It would add a mild oniony flavour to anything you make with it. And the colour! Just look at that gorgeous shade of pink!

So how do you make this vinegar? Crazy simple! Pick your chive blossoms and give them a good wash (to get any bugs and/or dirt off). If you have a salad spinner, use it to spin out as much water as possible. If you don’t have one, you can leave them to dry for a while. Then stuff them into a jar. Stuff them! Get as many into your jar as you can.

Now, take some white wine vinegar and pour it into a saucepan. Heat it to the boiling point. Now, take that hot vinegar and pour it over your chive blossoms until the blossoms are covered. Place a square of parchment over the mouth of the jar, then screw on the jar lid.

Then, take the jar and put it in a dark place (kitchen cabinet, pantry, wherever) and forget it for a couple of weeks. Let the vinegar do its thing to the chive blossoms. In about two weeks, the vinegar will have leached the colour and flavour from the chive blossoms. Now you can strain it into a pretty bottle and admire your gorgeous Chive Blossom Vinegar.

See? Crazy simple! But oh, so pretty and oh, so tasty!