Week 6: Small Victories – Chris’s picks

Continuing on with Julia Turshen’s Small Victories, Chris chose the Crispy Fish with Bacon + Chives (page 206) for his recipe this week. He served it with baked steak fries (chips) and a salad, both his own original creations, and both of which were fantastic (spoiler alert, so was the fish).

Small Victories can be found here on Amazon.

Chris said that he chose the recipe because we’d been eating a lot of chicken and beef lately, and figured we should mix it up with some fish. Which makes sense, considering that we tend to default to chicken or beef due to kid preferences. He mentioned that the recipe wasn’t far out of his comfort zone, but was different enough to be interesting. Additionally, lightly breaded and fried fish had a good chance of being something that the entire crew would eat, and we had all of the children with us that night, so it made sense.

So, off he went to the local fish market (major bonus of living in NYC), and discovered that Francis has absolutely no sense of scale, as he thought they were going to the fish market near Chris’s mom’s place in Southampton. Whoops. Anyway, the fish part was easy, but potatoes were surprisingly difficult, as they ended up going to two different stores trying to find Russet potatoes, which for some reason Trader Joe’s is not carrying lately.

Here’s Chris as he lightly breads the fish filets. The recipe called for corn starch with some flour to really make a crispy crust on the fish.

The fish came together rather quickly – the longest part of the meal was the potatoes, which were amazing. Chris put some Old Bay and a few other spices on them.

My only complaint: There were not enough of these.

And because he’s awesome, Chris also put together one of his excellent salads, with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, sugar snap peas, almond slivers, and a balsamic dressing. Personally, I HATE assembling salads, and I’m not wild about eating them, but something about how Chris puts them together makes me happy every time.

From my instagram story about putting together this meal. It was pretty great. 🙂 You can follow us on Instagram @we.cook.the.books

Here’s a quick shot of the crispy fish, which was definitely as crispy as advertised, especially when we figured out that the oil had to be extra hot. Also, yes definitely use your most non-stick pan for this, otherwise you’re going to have crispy fish bits instead of fillets. The coolest part of the crispy fish is that you cook them in a combination of bacon grease (the bacon gets used as a topping for the fish) and neutral oil. The bacon grease definitely added a lovely flavor to the fish, although one member of the family was not a fan. Ah well. Can’t win them all.

We were STARVING after the meal was finished, and also, our most important sporting event of the year was on that evening, which was the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which we are all avid fans of. So we chowed down and then ran to the couch for the show without taking a photo of the plated meal. Oops.

All in all, I think Chris was into this recipe. We will definitely be utilizing Turshen’s books more in the future. I also have a copy of her book Now and Again, so that’ll eventually make an appearance on the blog.


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