FRIDAY FISH: Guacamole Fried Fish Sandwich (Air Fryer or Oven)

Looking for St. Patrick’s Day Ideas? Just click on “St. Patrick’s Day” in the categories section at right to find my favorites including Salmon on Caraway CabbageIrish Soda Bread with Potato SoupSalmon on ColcannonColcannon SoupTraditional Kerry Apple Cake, and more.

Growing up in the midwest, I knew from local community fried fish and chicken dinners — which were some of the most fun occasions of the year when kids mostly stayed home if they weren’t in school. No video games, but lots of tag and Monkey in the Middle until the sun went down. Local churches and fire stations seemed to have been built from the ground up complete with huge vats perfect for filling with hot oil and satisfying the neighborhood’s penchant for golden-crispy protein. (My own childhood church, First Presbyterian of Homewood, was more likely to ask the men’s group to serve up spaghetti dinners, so we had to go elsewhere for our fried fixes. When it’s not Covid-Tide, they’re lately feeding folks every Monday night so maybe they even sneak in some fish these days; who knows? Stop by and see.) During Lent, the corner bars and local restaurants jumped on the fishy bandwagon and often offered “all you can eat” fish and fries — sometimes until the food ran out. The custom goes on today in the midwest and elsewhere, including Colorado. In fact, even non-believers look forward to spring when there is a fish sandwich if not an “all you can eat” nearly any place you stop for a beer.

In Colorado Springs, get your fried fish at Tony’s Downtown Bar on Tejon or check with Culver’s on North Academy, where we recently scored big hot fried walleye sandwiches. (No beer, though and more’s the pity.)

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FRIDAY FISH: Salmon and Fresh Tomato Salsa on Garlicky Cauliflower Mash…and a Little Plating Fun

With as much fish as we’re supposed to eat for health and six weeks of Friday Fish for Lent every year on this blog (this is now our second Covid Lent), salmon comes up pretty often on our menu. Our friend Chris likes to say, “Puh-leeze give me something else to do with salmon!” Over the years, I’ve come to enjoy serving salmon with at least two vegetables — so you’ve seen a few variations on this theme — hoping to eat less carbs or save them for some bread. I also simply want to increase our vegetable intake. Serving a smaller portion of fatty fish or red meat on a bed of vegetables or just to the side is not only a healthier way to eat (more vegetables), it makes the protein appear larger, more attractive, and puts it front and center for its closeup — an old tried and true restaurant ploy. So if it’s not really something new to do with salmon, it might just look and taste better!

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FRIDAY FISH: Oyster Po’ Boy with Horseradish Blue Cheese Sauce + Sweet Pepper Slaw

When you travel all over the gorgeous United States of America, it’s simply part of the journey to sample the local fish or seafood sandwiches. Think about going to Maine without eating a Lobster Roll or to Maryland and missing a Crab cake Sandwich? How about Minnesota or Wisconsin and skipping that Walleye Sandwich? You can’t do it. I mean, it’s just nearly a great big part of the trip. Let your mouth water over Fried Catfish Sandwiches, a big Shrimp Bahn Mi, Gravlax with Dill and Capers or even Apple and Kale, Smoked Fish Sandwiches, Lox and Bagels, Tuna Wraps, or my favorite thick crispy Fish Wiches — an outgrowth of the Midwestern Lenten Friday Fish Fry and served up at many a local bar and grill. I mean, if you live and/or work in the midwest, you send someone out for a bag of them for the office or house, right? Everyone waits all year for that to happen. These sandwiches have a cult following–maybe because they’re not available all of the time. (FISH/SEAFOOD SANDWICH HONOR ROLL HERE.) Even here in Colorado, I’m pushing for my Southwestern Grilled Fish Sandwich with Green Chile Goat Cheese and Jicama Slaw to soon become can’t-live-without-them standard fare. (Insert tongue in cheek.) And you know we have stellar trout we smoke and eat as is or in a spread or fry up for breakfast? Even though Colorado isn’t the first to come to mind when you think of fish, you might be surprised at our bounty and book a fly fishing trip for the summer. Could you make a sandwich with a Colorado trout fillet? Of course; let’s just dream about what it might be… … …

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FRIDAY FISH: Cheesy Crab and Corn Chowder

I’m not big on giving something up for Lent, though I’m observant as a progressive protestant Christian can be. I’ve been writing FRIDAY FISH every week on the blog for five years now just as a way to think about fasting from meat and to increase our health. What’s happened is that I’ve become more of a fish and seafood cook and have gone out on a pole limb recipe-wise. Gotten out of my recipe card so to speak. Each year I’m catching something new (oh, gee), tweaking an old dish, or just looking for less-expensive or more available options –particularly for those of us who live in landlocked states like Colorado where fish is available, but not on the scale or quality it is on the coasts.

…scroll down for more info on lent or eating fish on Fridays…

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Friday Fish: Basil Sole on Greens with Parmesan Tomato Salad

As easy as it looks. Slice the tomatoes and peel the Parmesan. Then, in one pan: sauté shallots, greens, garlic, and carrot. Add wine and fish. Season. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes. 279 calorie dinner coming right up!

Truth in blogging. I somehow made this last spring, photographed it, and never blogged it–perhaps saving it for this year’s Friday Fish?  Never-the-less, I had no recipe in the files and nothing doing but I would have to make it again guessing how I’d done it and hoping it all came out right. It did look fairly simple, hmmm ….So while I do that, let’s talk a little about fish. And you.

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Salmon with Scallion Pesto on Broccoli-Parm Mash–Valentine’s Day at Home

Mardi Gras Red Beans and Rice

Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday Bacon-Granola Pancakes with Fried Egg

Nothing says lovin’ like something from the…top of the stove. I hope you’re skipping the long wait and perhaps not-so-great-service at the restaurants on Valentine’s Day.  Go to your favorite spot some other time and give your best servers a break…  Instead, stay home and fix this luscious meal for you and your happiest partner, you and a friend, or just for yourself.

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