Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cornmeal crusted Fish and Beet Gratin

I started out on my day off to prep some vegies and use them up. I am definately falling behind in my cooking for some reason. Life just got too busy, I guess. 
But anyway, Taylor had some friends over and I decided it was a good nite to eat our fish that I had to toss into the freezer last week. So out came two pounds of fresh Grenedier fish. I found a recipe I liked from Emeril and went to work. It was cornmeal-breaded fried fish...can't go wrong there. Lee made the tartar sauce, of course! I boiled those two artichokes from last week's SLO Veg box and quartered them so there would be enough for all. I also had some frozen corn on the cob that I decided to cook because I needed to free up room in my tiny freezer. But the piece-de-resistance had to be the Beet Green Gratin from Alton Brown. I think its the only way to go with beet greens!
So the prep kind of went like this: trimmed and washed beet greens. Trimmed stems off artichokes. Started a pot of water boiling for the artichokes and put them in. Looked at the clock and said, okay, 45 minutes for the 'chokes, now to get the gratin going. I sauteed some mushrooms, onion and garlic, then put the beet greens in to wilt. Meanwhile, I mixed up the ricotta cheese with the egg yolks and parmesan cheese. Then I mixed that in with the wilted beet green mixture and put it all in a large baking dish. (Later I thought I should have used a smaller dish and made it thicker...oh well, live and learn!). Crushed Rtiz crackers went on top and it went into a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. 
Then I prepared the cornmeal mixture for coating the fish. It took cornmeal, coconut flour, paprika, cumin, cayenne, granulated garlic and onion, salt and pepper. I was following an Emeril Lagasse recipe, but I can't find the link now. I don't know how much spice I used exactly, I just shook some out. Used about 1 teaspoon of paprika to 2 cups flours, and a lot less cayenne than that, about 1/4 tsp.  I soaked the fish in milk for about 5 minutes, then started breading it. I had two pounds of fish, and I had about 1 cup of flour left over at the end. Note to self: use less flour next time. A little goes a long way. At that point I enlisted Lee's help to fry it in melted butter.
I checked on the artichokes after a bit and they seemed done. Lee was just about finished frying fish, so I took the artichokes out of the water and put the corn into the same pot. I figured we would either hate it or love it, and you know what? The corn was great!
When all the fish was done, Lee and I fixed our plates and I called the boys in. Not getting a response, I opened the bedroom door a crack to show them the food, which they grabbed at. I pulled it back and quickly shut the door. Not a second later, three bodies came barreling out looking for food. 
"It's fix your own plate tonight, boys!" I sat down.

Here I am smearing a bit of fish in the tartar sauce. I also have a dab of mayonnaise on my plate for the artichoke. A hunk of whole wheat sourdough bread provides a "scoop". The fish is in the center with the beet gratin about 11 oclock.



1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound beet greens, cleaned and picked
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 cups ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup crumbled crackers (recommended: Ritz crackers)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sweat. Add the beet greens and mix well. Remove pan from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Combine everything and put into a lightly oiled 9 by 11-inch baking dish. Top with the crumbled crackers and bake for 30 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

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