Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sole Goujonettes with Paprika Salt (Page 294)

  • Date: Saturday, March 8, 2008 -- 10pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This recipe was part of the never ending Make-Seafood-While-in-Boston plan. I'll admit, I have a generally bad attitude about this plan. I like seafood just fine. But I prefer beef, or chicken, or pork, or tofu... Basically seafood isn't at the top of my list. So All Seafood All the Time wouldn't be my choice if it wasn't necessary for the ultimate completion of my project. Fish fry is pretty low on my seafood list. So I was none too excited about this dish. Add to that Whole Foods didn't have sole so we made this with one of the substitutes listed in the recipe: catfish (by far my least favorite fish) and I was preparing myself to eat a dinner of side dishes. I have learned something in my 27 years on this planet though -- sometimes people surprise you. Oh now wait, that's a lesson for a different day. I have learned that sometimes fish sticks surprise you. These fish sticks with a fancy name were excellent! The catfish came out deliciously cooked, and not-at-all grainy or meaty like bad catfish preparations can be. Matty declared this the best catfish he has ever had, which from him is very high praise. The fish was flaky, and flavorful, and just delicious. The coating was also fantastic. It was a very simple batter, but in perfect proportions to produce something really lovely. The seasoning in the batter was just right, and the surface seasoning with paprika salt added a nice punch to the whole thing. These were ideal fish sticks. A couple very minor critiques. The recipe is totally off its rocker about how much to make. It claimed to serve four, so I cut it in half. That enormous pile of fish sticks you see is actually less than the amount I made, which supposedly served two. Two what I ask you? There was no way we could finish, and deep-fried food does not keep well, so proceed with caution when determining how much to make. Also, this wouldn't be a great dish for a crowd (or in my opinion any more than two or three people) because the sticks are vastly superior right after they are fried. If they sit a little bit, they aren't nearly as good. So fry em up, and eat!

Here is the recipe.

My apologies for the long blog silence. Spring break has gotten the best of me. I would like to claim that I have been lounging on a beach in Cancun, drinking something in a terrifying color with a little umbrella sticking out of it (that would be a good excuse for not blogging, no?), but in reality I have just been really busy working, seeing my friends in Boston, and spending time with my special gentleman friend. (Note: said special gentleman friend claims that I'm not a Cancun kind of girl. He rejected my suggestion that I might be a girl-gone-wild deep down. Thoughts?). In any event, it has been so great to hang around Boston for a good chunk of time. I am going to live here in Boston for most of the summer, and this trip has really made me look forward to it.

Yesterday I got the extra-special treat of seeing one of my California friends in Boston! Rachel's husband was recently hired by Harvard, so the two of them are out here looking for a place to live, etc... He was busy with meetings and seminars yesterday so we spent the afternoon eating sandwiches at Darwin's, leisurely drinking hot chocolate at Burdick's and wandering around Cambridge. It was great fun!


Magdalen said...

Uh, I don't actually know you, so anything I say on the subject can be taken with a grain of salt (and a sprinkle of paprika, as desired), but nonetheless I can't help but think that a recipe of Stanford/MIT/advanced mathematics with a side order of culinary school has rather scotched the grand plan of being a Cancun-sort of party girl. A bit anachronistic, wouldn't you say?

Still, as you say: people can surprise you!

Anonymous said...

You know that "going wild" in that case means flashing, right?

You MIGHT be a girl gone wild deep down, but I'd say that's best kept between you and your special gentleman friend.

Teena said...

Ok, ok, so maybe I'm not a Cancun party girl gone wild!

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with the first poster. The stereotype of the academically pedigreed female who does not need to rely on silly if unrepressed behavior of flashing random people to boost her self-esteem is just that, a stereotype. Recently I met a married man who is on his way to becoming one of the respected mathematicians in the country; this does not prevent him from wanting to cheat left and right. Remember, ours is a discipline rife with psychological instability, and academia is just a microcosm of the real world.
Having said all that, the blogger, on the other hand, definitely seems like one of the strong, confident types who isn't a Cancun type of girl, in the bad sense of the term!

Teena said...

Anon: Now I am so curious who this mathematician is that you are talking about! I agree with your point though -- just because people are academically accomplished does not mean that they are prone to making good decisions in other facets of life... I certainly have made questionable choices in my life, and have know plenty of super-smart people who have made completely irrational choices at times.

Anonymous said...

Hey Teena,
I can't say who the guy is because he's on the market for a tenure track position this year. But even among extremely qualified people he stands out: NSF postdoc, etc. etc. The contrast between that and his immature behavior is just unbelievable.
He's not a topologist though.
Anyway, I'm a great fan of your blogs so keep up the interesting write-ups and recipes!

Teena said...

Hmm... well then I will just have to speculate wildly about who you may be referring to!

Anonymous said...

I also can't say anything because it's possible the dude will come after me with a machete
(just kidding)