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Beer Battered Fish

As my cousin’s van rattled through the English countryside, I debated whether the Pennines should actually be referred to as “mountains”. My contention remains to this day that any “range” topping out at elevations of less than 3,000 ft really shouldn’t hold the same distinction as the glorious caps of the Cascades that dominate the horizon around me. Mount Rainer takes my breath away every single time.

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As my cousin’s Wimbledon accented voices extolled the virtues of rolling hills dotted with ancient churchyards, the van crept to a stop at little more than a shack perched at the edge of a moss laden slope. It was here, standing along the roadside overlooking the softened ridges and dipping valleys of the Pennines, that I began my lifelong love affair with fish and chips.

A newspaper wrapped bundle holding fried seafood and British chips was thrust into my hands. Faint spots of grease spread rapidly into slicks covering the whole paper as I took the first heavenly bite of flaky, perfectly crisped cod, the juice running down my hands, steam wafting in the cool mountain air. It was a perfect food moment.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips - Bakerlady

 

It is against this first experience with fish and chips that all seafood restaurants must compete. Not surprisingly, I find baskets of poorly breaded fish and soggy fries unequal to the memory. I took matters into my own hands recently, and the crispy, grease laden result transformed my American kitchen into an English countryside.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips - Bakerlady

The batter for this fish starts with beer. Obviously that means it’s going to be divine. Because, beer. Add just enough flour and spices to turn it into a batter.  This fish is triple seasoned. Once straight on the fillets, once from flavor in the batter and finally into a seasoned flour dredge. Aside from that, it’s very uncomplicated. Dip, dredge and fry. Boom. Golden perfection.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips - Bakerlady

The outside is crusty golden deliciousness and the inside is perfectly flaky, tender and melt in your mouth gloriousness.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips - Bakerlady

The simplicity of this recipe makes me wonder why my quest for nostalgic crispy fried fish has been previously unsuccessful for decades. Wow, I’m old. Maybe it’s because a great meal experience is so much more than just the sum of its ingredients. Perhaps, just possibly, the bliss of that little English fry shack was about more than just the greasy newspaper wrapped lunch. Imagine that. It’s people who make lasting indelible memories. Gather your family around for a perfect fish fry and make some magical food moments of your own.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips - Bakerlady
Good gracious! I forgot to tell you about the fries. Mmmm. Homemade fries. Coming soon!

Beer Battered Fish and Chips - Bakerlady


Print Recipe for Beer Battered Fish

Beer Battered Fish
adapted from Paula Deen

1 1/2 pounds cod fillets, skinned with bones removed, and fish cut diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips (5 to 6-inches long)
1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer – I used Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon house seasoning (recipe below)
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
salt and pepper

Batter:

In a large bowl, pour in 1 bottle of beer. Sift 1 1/2 cups flour into the bowl, whisking in gently until just combined, stir in 1 teaspoon House Seasoning and Old Bay Seasoning. Pat fish dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper and coat the fish in the beer batter. Mix together the other 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 tsp house seasoning. Dredge the pieces of fish in the flour mixture and slide into oil as coated. Fry fish, turning over frequently, until deep golden and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Fry remaining fish in batches, returning oil to 375 degrees F between batches.

Serve fish with French fries.

House Seasoning (I scaled this down using teaspoons — I didn’t need a whole cup of it)

1 cup salt (2 teaspoons)

1/4 cup black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

1/4 cup garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon)

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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Happy Pi Day!

It’s March 14th! That means math rules the day and we get to celebrate by eating pie! Yes, the third month, the fourteenth day is very special around here. For it is the glorious day we celebrate the tool that helps us calculate all circular things. 3.14 = pi. March 14th = pie. Here are some of my favorites to make for this special day.

Pi Day - Bakerlady [Read more…]

Easy Irish Soda Bread

No Corned Beef Dinner would be truly complete without delicious Irish Soda Bread to accompany it. I am absolutely required to bring a still-warm loaf (or two) of this soda bread to my mom’s each year for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It is pillowy soft inside with a gorgeous crusty exterior. This bread is also incredibly easy to make!

Easy Irish Soda Bread - Bakerlady

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The Best Corned Beef Dinner Ever

Saint Patrick’s Day is coming. Time for too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra-ing about Molly Malone, Danny Boy and my Wild Irish Rose. Time for dancing a jig while not spilling a drop. Time for decking out in shades of forest, emerald, mint and moss. For celebrating my freckles and green eyes while lamenting my lack of red-headedness. And the most glorious of all, time for every grocery store from sea-to-shining sea to suddenly stock up on corned beef. This Saint Patrick’s Day, be the lord of the manor with this absolutely perfect, not a hint of dry meat anywhere, corned beef dinner. Made in a crock pot, this scrumptious classic will fill your home with rich mouth-watering aromas, and keep you laughing, singing and toasting with your friends and family instead of slaving over a hot stove.

The Best Corned Beef Dinner Ever - Bakerlady

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Saint Patrick’s Day Deliciousness

Here’s a round-up of a few of my favorite dishes for Saint Patrick’s Day! Click on the titles to be brought to the details on how to make each deliciously Irish item, or just head to the bottom of this post to print out all the recipes and get cooking!

Bread Pudding with Bailey's Custard [Read more…]

Moldy Maggot Stew (Black Bean and Sausage Chili)

Next on the mwuh-ha-ha menu for your perfect Halloween party, Moldy Maggot Stew. I know, it looks sooooo hideous. It’s a great party dish, full of hearty goodness that will keep your guests warm, toasty and disgusted all night long. Maggot Stew is a glorious sausage and black bean chili recipe from one of my favorite blogs. The maggoty mess in the middle is created by whipping up some Minute Rice, tossing it with a little olive oil to make it glisten and dumping it in the middle of your chili. Fabulously freaky! Again. Signs make all the difference for grossing your guests out. Maggots. (shudder)

Moldy Maggot Stew - Bakerlady

I make this chili frequently without the maggots too. It’s an easy dish you can just throw into a crock pot on a chilly fall day and enjoy with a chunk of french bread while watching the rain pour down your windows.

Love this recipe idea? Check out more Halloween party food on my Fabulously Freaky Halloween Fodder post. It’s full of devilish and delicious ideas!

Print Recipe For Moldy Maggot Stew

Moldy Maggot Stew
from Rumbly in my Tumbly

1 pound sausage (you can also use ground beef)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 tablespooons chili powder
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Brown sausage.  Add to crock pot along with all other ingredients.  Simmer on low at least 4 hours and serve.To add the maggots, make 1 1/2 cups Minute Rice and toss finished rice with oil to make glisten. Dump into the middle of your chili.

White Bean and Chicken Chili

 

NFLfemale.comYou’ll be seeing this tag occasionally on my recipes. I’ve been invited to be a the food/homegating writer over at NFLfemale.com. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to share Bakerlady deliciousness over there, and the chance to work with a really fantastic group of women. Head over and check out a sisterhood of women who love food and football. They have a great time supporting their teams and each other!

 

Given that football is a raging passion in my life, a passion only matched by my loathing for ambient air that’s sticky and too hot, it’s no wonder autumn is my favorite season. And it’s here! Imagine me pulling out bins of sweaters, boots and multi-hued leafy decor right now. Dancing around rejoicing that overnight the temperature has returned to a nice healthy 65-ish with some rain. Ah rain. I’ve missed it horribly. I’m such a Seattleite. If I see 85 degrees again before July of next year, it will be too soon. Plus, there’s that glorious crisp in the air that tells folks in the Pacific Northwest that cool evenings and foggy mornings are ahead. Am I the only one who adores fog? I so enjoy watching the sun break over the evergreens, the rays cutting through a blanket of misty foggy beauty. Yeah. That’s good stuff. If it happens to be game day? All the better. Football is just better with some weather thrown in.You know what else is fantastically fall like? Chili. Nothing puts the topper on a good blustry autumn day than a hearty, chunky bowl of chili. With cornbread and a pat of melting honey butter. Mmmmmmm.

White Bean and Chicken Chili - Bakerlady

I love all forms of chili, but my favorite is this chicken and white bean version. It comes together quickly for a great weekday meal, and is a nice departure from the typical beef and kidney bean variety. A little lighter for the transition from summer to fall. Full of tender chicken with a good strong kick of chilis and cumin swimming in a fragrant broth. As it simmers away, it fills your home with a rich spiced aroma that will have you counting down the minutes until a steaming bowl hits the table. Dinner should announce itself and draw all your family from the corners of the house, sniffing the air asking “What’s cooking? It smells amazing!”. This chili does exactly that.

White Bean and Chicken Chili - Bakerlady

You’ll be the homegating MVP if you whip up a batch of this chili for a football party. Does your blood run cold as your team gives up a 4th quarter lead? This stuff will warm you back up. Stress eating as your gridiron boys mount a seemingly too last-minute comeback? Fill your belly with this chili and hang on for the ride! Go Hawks!

White Bean and Chicken Chili - BakerladyPrint Recipe for White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean and Chicken Chili
a Bakerlady Original

3 (15 oz.) cans white beans, rinsed and drained (any white bean will work just fine)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large chicken breasts (2 1/2 pounds)
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (4 oz.) cans roasted green chilies, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Garish: sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese

1. Cube the chicken. In a large saucepan, brown over medium high heat in a little olive oil. 2. Remove the chicken to a plate and in the same pan, saute the onion until just softened. 3. Add the garlic until fragrant (about 60 seconds). Add 1 cup of the broth and use it to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
4. Puree one can of the rinsed beans with a little bit of broth and add to the pot. Then add the other two cans of beans, the broth, the cooked chicken, corn, all the spices and chilies.
5. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer 1 hour.
6. Serve topped with sour cream, cheese and sliced green onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knock Out Panda’s Orange Chicken

You know it. I know it. Orange chicken is absolutely delicious. This is not exactly earth shattering, breaking news. It’s tangy and sweet, with a little hit of spiciness. Mmmmm buddy. Try not to lick your screen.

Not a Knockoff...It's a Knock Out Panda's Orange Chicken - Bakerlady

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Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

I came upon this recipe while trying to find a way to use up some leftover potatoes. Often I chop them up a little and throw them into a saucepan as hash browns to have with breakfast. Or I use them to make Bubble and Squeak. I found this recipe, calling for baked potatoes strained thru a ricer, mixed with egg and flour to make a dough, and was intrigued. But with no idea how to actually say the name of the thing I was making.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

If you had been a fly on my wall listening to my pitiful attempts to pronounce “gnocchi”, you’d have been horribly embarrassed for me. I pronounced the “g” sound, and instead of saying “key” for the cchi, I said “chee” like the start of cheese. It was really sad. My husband laughed right in my face and asked what on earth I was saying. If you are interested, here’s how it is supposed to sound. And, how my kids responded when I taught them how to say it. Talk about blind leading the blind.

 

Gnocchi comes in many varieties and have been around since the days of the Romans, when soldiers would mix a semolina porridge-like dough with eggs.  Since I’m fairly certain the Roman legions didn’t go around with ricers in their tunics, I thought I could probably figure out a way to make these without one too. Even if it is a potato variety. Romans didn’t own Cuisinarts either…but I do! I tossed my leftover potatoes in there and started whirling away.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Pulse until no lumps remain. Then with your clean hands, combine the potato mash with  two egg yolks, some salt and flour.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Until you have a firm, but still a little sticky dough.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Cut into four even pieces and roll each into a long rope.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Using a pastry cutter (or knife) and a fork. Cut into small pieces and then press with the fork to make ridges.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. These can be boiled and served immediately, or frozen on a cookie sheet then transferred to a plastic bag in the freezer for up to a month. At this point, they reminded me of butter mints.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

You need two burners going to cook these babies up. One for the water so you can boil your little potato pasta gnocchis. And one for everything good in the world to get down in. Butter, garlic and Italian parsley hanging out. You know that’s gonna be good. Let the butter melt, then toss in the garlic and parsley just as the gnocchi dumplings start floating.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Dunk your gnocchi into the pot of boiling water. They’ll bob up to the surface as they cook. Let them go another minute or two (no longer!) and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

And transfer them to your butter/parsley/garlic pan. Swish the pan around to get them all coated nicely (this should take under a minute).

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Slap those gorgeous babies into a bowl, sprinkle some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and go to town. Every little nugget is perfectly soft and wrapped in flavor. Like a cheesy, fragrant pillow of buttery goodness.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

The original recipe said this makes 4 servings. They must be serving dainty little princess eaters. I ate half the recipe single-handedly. If you are serving this as a first course, you could probably get away with a smaller portion. But as a main dish, you’d need to double the recipe to get 4 servings, unless you’re friends with really tiny people. Or, keep it simple and just eat all of these yourself. I won’t judge.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese
adapted from Food and Wine

2 pounds leftover potatoes (about 4 – enough to yield about 2 cups flesh)
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Garlic, minced finely
Italian parsley, chopped

Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes (or in your food processor). Transfer 2 slightly packed cups of riced potatoes to a bowl. Stir in the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the 1/2 cup of flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges; transfer to the baking sheet.
In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Toss garlic and chopped parsley into the butter just before adding the gnocchi. Using a slotted spoon, add the gnocchi to the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Make Ahead The uncooked gnocchi pieces can be frozen on the prepared baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Here’s the chicken noodle soup I made with my homemade egg noodles. It is full of celery, carrots, onion and chicken. Perfectly homey and delicious. It was incredible.

Chicken Noodle Soup - Bakerlady

[Read more…]

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