This week's theme brought so many good ideas to my mind. Imagined making mac and cheese with cut up hot dogs in it, beef stroganoff, hamburger stew, tuna casserole... the list goes on. My parents fed me well not only in terms of variety, but also quality. They are both very good cooks and they were generous when letting us help out in the kitchen as we were able and interested. Family dinners were a nightly activity and I'm not-so-proud to admit I still win the "Spiller of the Night" award regularly (if it isn't obvious, this is the award given to whomever spills something on themselves or the table).
We bought a crap-ton (this is a legitimate description of a quantity when you purchase food at Costco for just two people) of talapia recently and I've been trying to decide to do with it. I present: Adult Fish Sticks
I started with the recipe from Jillian Michaels' book Making the Cut (reproduce here) and whipped up the mayo/lime juice coating and got my panko bread crumbs ready. The tomatoes and lettuce you see in this pic are for Andrew's suggested contribution to the dinner: a favorite of his from childhood - iceberg letter wedges with tomato and blue cheese dressing.
I took two talapia fillets and thawed them. There was no way to get consistency of thickness so I just went with cutting against the grain so the sticks at least wouldn't totally fall apart.
Each fillet made about 8 fish sticks
Andrew came up with the great idea to crush up some seaweed and add it to the panko which made them not only a bit more interesting looking, but also tasting. If you look at this pic closely you can see that each fish stick is very lightly coated in the mayo/lime dressing. I was afraid it wouldn't go far enough, but it was perfect.
I got away with no butter and no oil in this dish. Baking stones are the greatest and if you don't have one, get one.
While they were baking, we ate our lettuce wedges. Such a refreshing and easy basic salad. I don't know why we don't do these more often. Not a lot of nutrition, but I was thinking about hot summer nights when eating just generally isn't all that appetizing and how perfect this would be; cold, crisp, and tasty!
The fish cooked up beautifully. Despite the variance in thickness none of the sticks were too over cooked and the panko got nice and crispy.
I bought Ivar's tartar sauce and we ate them up quickly while still hot and crispy. Definitely reminded me of childhood, but with a nice adult twist.