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Nutty Fish

Monday, July 19, 2010

How useful leftovers could be - once and again I had a tasty proof of it today. Fish for today's dinner was planned ahead, but I hesitated for a moment about what to roll fish in before frying. Suddenly I glanced at ground walnuts that were sitting on the counter top since Masha's elaborate experiments in our kitchen during her last visit. Why not to use nuts for "breading"? So I did. My father who is visiting couldn't tell the difference between nuts and bread crumbs, but I can tell you that the subtle nuttiness made a simple fish quite a distinctive dish (sounds like poetry... Hm :). With two fresh vegetable salads on the side it made a light yet delicious meal.

What you need:
Any white fish, two fillets, each cut in three pieces (enough for three people)
Finely ground walnuts, about 4 tb sp
Black pepper
Olive oil

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat, add about 4 tb spoons olive oil. Press fish pieces in nuts, shake off the excess, and arrange on the skillet. Fry on both sides until slightly browned. The coating will break in a few places, but it's OK. Put fried pieces on a serving dish and loosely cover with foil or a plate to keep warm. As a side dish I made two salads, one of them, the green one, made just of grated cucumber, finely sliced fresh baby spinach, garlic, and blue cheese dressing. Another one is a variation of our favorite tomato & garlic salad.

What you need:
3 medium (or 2 big) ripe summer tomatoes,
cut in bite-size pieces
1 sweet Italian pepper, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Dill, finely chopped
1/2 lemon juice
Ground cayenne pepper
4 tb sp olive oil

Mix peppers with dill, sprinkle with salt and squeeze with your hand until it gives juice and pepper slices become soft and translucent,  add to tomatoes. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the bowl with vegetables. Mix garlic with olive oil and red pepper, add to the bowl. Gently mix everything together and serve immediately.

This unexpected success fish  will go well with any vegetable salad, even the simplest one, like baby spinach and balsamic vinegar. I think that next time I'll do it just like that.
Looking at the picture now it seems to me black olives would add more interest both for taste and appearance. What do you think?..

If you go with your instincts and dare experiment with whatever you have at hand, in many instances you will create something surprisingly different and pleasing. Today was one of those moments of my cooking life.

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