Thursday, June 09, 2011

Fried Perch Fillets with Fresh Cucumber Relish (Page 297)

RECIPE #1266

  • Date: Saturday, April 16, 2011 -- 6pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A
I hadn't made this recipe yet, although it sounded delicious, because I hadn't seen lake perch at the store. So when I spotted some a few weeks back I was very excited, and I took the opportunity to make this dish. My special gentleman prepared the relish by whisking together lemon juice and vinegar, then adding olive oil, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, celery, and salt. Meanwhile, I skinned the fillets, then dipped them in a mixture of egg and milk followed by a dip in a mixture of fresh bread crumbs, flour, Parmesan cheese, dill, thyme, salt, and pepper. I then dipped each fillet in the egg mixture again, followed by the crumb mixture for a second time. Then I deep fried the breaded fish until the breading was golden brown. In a word: Yum! Oh my gosh was this dish good! I don't typically get too excited about fish, but this fried fish was delicious. The double dipping gave the fish a hearty layer of breading, which was flavorful and crispy. The cucumber relish was delicious, and the fresh, acidic flavors of the relish offset the heaviness of the fried fish very nicely. The dish was simple to prepare, and extremely tasty. This will definitely be my go-to recipe for fried fish in the future.

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Hello from California! After four weeks in Europe, last Friday I headed back to the States. My 11-hour flight from Paris to San Francisco was long, but otherwise uneventful. I spent last weekend hanging out with my dear friends Emilee, Brian, and Sam. On Monday my mini-workshop started. There is a math institute in Palo Alto which funds collaborative research. So they paid for me and three of my collaborators from around the country to fly out here for a week and work together on some projects. They provide lodging, workspace, and never-ending snacks and wine -- it's a very nice arrangement! It is an intense experience, but also quite fun as the three guys I am here working with (Mike, V, and Andrew) are also friends of mine. We have had a productive and exhausting week.

It's always strange coming back to the Bay Area. I went to college at Stanford, and the place where I am staying now is just a couple miles down the street from the campus where I lived for four years. So I do feel a bit nostalgic. I have been realizing though that many of the memories that I have of this place are from my post-college experiences here. I graduated 9 years ago, and in the time since I moved away I have made at least 20 trips back to the Bay Area, including some that lasted for more than a month. I have lots of mathematical reasons to visit here, and also personal reasons, so I come back often. I went for a long walk tonight. I wandered around for a couple hours, thinking about all the experiences I have had here, the people I have spent time with, the things I have learned... I thought about college, and also my visits since then. There are several areas of the country that hold special places in my heart: Madison, Boston, Bloomington, East Lansing... but the Bay Area remains especially dear to me. So I am happy to be here. At the same time, I am also anxious to go home. Our mini-workshop ends tomorrow, and on Saturday I am headed back to Michigan! After more than a month on the road, including travel to five different countries, nothing sounds nicer to me than going home. I can't wait to see the kitties, sleep in my own bed, eat homemade food, see my friends... It sounds insanely wonderful. Even better: I am not making another long trip until August! Once I get home on Saturday, I don't have to get on an airplane again for seven weeks! In August I am headed to Europe again, for a week in Germany. But between now and then my plan is to enjoy a beautiful Michigan summer at home. I can't wait!

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