Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vegan Fried Fish-less And Chips

The other day I had lunch with a girlfriend from college--it was so fun seeing her again. We had not had a chance to share face time in two years. I guess that is how to define a "true" friend, when you can go a few years without seeing each other, then jump back in like time never passed. Someone at the table ordered fish and chips (it wasn't me)--and I just began to think about this dish, over and over again. Yum. Fish. And. Chips. I was a fan of this dish PV (pre-vegan). I mean to the point where my husband and I drove nearly an hour away up the Mississippi River to a little fish joint to indulge our "fried food" cravings. We'd both feel a bit ill afterward, but that wasn't the point, sometimes it's the journey. PV taste and food memories plague me often. I am human. And as I have said over and over again on this blog, I will always remember the tastes of non-vegan foods from the past--and as of now, that past is way longer than the past as a vegan. And I've also said, I am not a bean and rice kind of gal--I like to cook with vegan gusto. So I pull a dish from memory once in awhile to create a long lost favorite. Thank god for Match Meats (again, I turn to my tried and true partner in my vegan life to help me with this!).

Jamie Oliver has a cookbook called, Jamie's Dinners: The Essential Family Cookbook. I love this cookbook, not only for its wonderful variety of meal options, but for its simple use of ingredients and its beautiful photography. (Yes, there are many non-vegan meals in it and he is not a vegan as we all know)--but that should never stop you from being inspired to try a new dish and giving it that old vegan spin. So, I did. His recipe for Fish and Chips and Smashed Peas has always been a favorite of mine. Thus, became last night's meal--no peas for me though. I will break this meal down for you in really simple steps--hopefully you'll give it a try--it certainly satisfied a craving for me! The slaw recipe is below--really easy--make it first to give it time to meld together in the fridge.

Vegan Fried Fish-less and Chips

1 loaf sliced sourdough bread
1 cup sunflower oil (half for frying potato chips, other half for frying Match Crab)
1 batch homemade relish (1/4 cup vegan mayo and a tablespoon relish)
1 large russet potato sliced thin
1 package Match Crab
3 scallions sliced thin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Spike
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
For dredging the Match Crab in:
1/2 cup flour
1 tabelspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
Spike seasoning or S & P to taste
(Sift well to combine)

Preheat oven to 275--to keep the finished Match filets and chips warm while cooking the rest. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Prep the chips by first scrubbing the potatos--keep the skins on, then slice the potato really thin. Dry them with a paper towel. Warm half the sunflower oil on medium high heat. Carefully place a single layer of sliced potatoes in the pan. Fry for about six minutes--turn occasionally as they begin to brown. You probably don't want them too brown. Then, remove with tongs to a layer of paper towels to soak up some of the oil, then place on cookie sheets and keep in oven to warm. Repeat with rest of slices. For the filets--thaw out Match (and make sure it is still cool to the touch). Then add sliced scallions and seasonings and mix with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Shape into filets. Then, heat another pan on medium high heat with sunflower oil. Dredge filets in flour. Carefully place in oil and fry about four minutes on each side until they are nicely browned. Wait a few minutes before turning and they will hold together much better. Place only two or three in the pan at once. Place in oven to keep warm as you finish making the rest.
Serve atop a slice of sourdough bread and slather with vegan tartar sauce!

Vegan Good Old Slaw

1 small head cabbage
1/2 head purple cabbage
1/2 large carrot shredded
1/4 package of boxed variety Nori Mu Soft Tofu
1/3 cup vegan mayo
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Spike Seasoning or S & P to taste
a dash of cayenne

Prep veggies and place in bowl. Then, in a blender, make your slaw dressing. Pour over the slaw. Mix well with a wooden spoon until it begins to shrink a bit. Place in airtight container in fridge and leave for about an hour if you can.

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