Friday, November 10, 2006

Fried Fish Provencal Style



There are some recipes that at first sight seem just a bit ordinary - or so you think when you look at the list of ingredients. It takes a second look to change that first impression. Because you realize the simplicity of the recipe has big taste attached to it.

That is what I thought when I first saw the recipe for this fish. We really enjoy our fish and it is important to me to show Soeren that there are plenty of tastier and healthier ways to enjoy fish as the ever so popular fish fingers. For some reason the first time I looked at the recipe I missed the big herb bit. When I went through it again the combination of the herbs and the garlic from the Aioli just sounded too good to pass up. I adapted the recipe by making my own herb mixture from fresh herbs.

This recipe uses Herbes de Provence, a herb mixture of aromatic plants native to the beautiful Provence region of France. The fresh herbs are gathered from the mountain sides and used in traditional dishes. These are sold typically (but not always) dried and in larger bags than the regular sized bags for other herb mixtures.
Traditionally, Herbes de Provence contains a mixture of rosemary, marjoram, bay leaf, basil, savory and thyme. You might also find lavender flowers and fennel in the herb bag too. You can also use other herbs like tarragon, chervil and sage. The flavor of thyme is most dominating in this mixture.

Commonly it is used with grilled foods like fish and meat, but it is also often found in vegetable stews as well. The reason this mixture is best made with dried herbs is due to the fact that the fresher variety will lose their flavor if cooking for longer than 20 minutes.

As I was using this herb mixture blended in the coating I made a mixture using fresh herbs from sage, marjoram, rosemary, basil, thyme and tarragon. I also added a bit of dried orange zest to my mixture giving the entire mixture a tangy aromatic flavor.

For those of you who give this recipe a try will straight away realize that it is quick and easy to make and you will presumably replace those fish fingers. Nothing against fish fingers, but why settle for frozen processed sticks with more batter than fish, when you can enjoy a healthier and tastier fish big on taste.



Don't forget to send in your warming and soothing dishes to the next Monthly Mingle - Give Thanks

Deadline: November 16, 2006
Please note: I will require a 75 x 75 picture of your dishes too.


Music while cooking:

Robbie Williams - Lovelight - This is such a hot single and the video is ohhhh just gorgeous, a major distraction while cooking. New on my iPod
Album: Rudebox

*Artwork and music courtesy of iTunes



Ingredients:

For the fish
400g - cod filets
6 tablespoons fresh Herbes de Provence mixture - finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 egg - beaten
2 tablespoons milk
100g bread crumbs
Salt
Pepper
Oil

For the Aioli
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 lime - juice and zest
1-2 garlic cloves - mashed





Method:

To make the Aioli
In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, lime juice and zest and the mashed garlic together. Keep cool.

To make the fish
Place the flour in a deep plate. In another mix together the egg and milk and in yet another mix the breadcrumbs and the herbs together.

Cut the fish filets in 2-4 pieces and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Take each fish piece coat each side first with flour, then soak with the egg mixture and finally completely coat with breadcrumbs and herb mixture.

In a large pan heat the oil and fry the fish pieces on each side for 3-4 minutes. Set on some paper towel to soak excess oil.

Serve with the Aioli and some fresh lime wedges.

Alternative ideas:
You can use different types of herb mixtures for a new flavor each time. Try my Italian Herb Mixture.



Verdict:
Hmmm! This was a pleasure from beginning to end. While preparing the dish the kitchen was filled with a wonderful herby aroma. My men just could not wait to get to the dinner table. At the table, the full flavor of these herbs and the crunchy coating combined with the garlicy mayonnaise was a delight in every bite. It's one of those recipes that lingers on your tastebuds long after the meal is over and you just do not want to eat anything else, because you do not want that flavor to dissolve. Do you know what I mean?

I am the host for this weekend's Weekend Herb Blogging created by the lovely and currently a bit under the weather Kalyn so do two things: first go over to Kalyn's blog and give her a huge get well soon hug and then send me your recipes for the event!

Roundup will be on Monday.



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15 comments :

  1. Meeta, this cod fillets look very good, must be really aromatic from the herbs :)

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  2. I've been kickin' around the idea of putting a "Music while cooking" link on my site...I think I might just do it now seening yours :D

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  3. I'm going to have to try this, Meeta, as we have been eating more fish lately. I love your aioli recipe! I alternate the acid part - sometimes lemon, sometimes lime. I also like to add chipotles sometimes to give it a smoky flavor...

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  4. Beautiful job on this recipe. Everything on your blog is looking first rate. Plus, you're using some of my favorite colors. This would be an easy recipe for me to make South Beach friendly just by using 100% whole wheat bread crumbs and whole wheat flour. And I love Herbs de Provence!

    Thanks for the get well hugs! I'm staying home from school today, after four very grueling days of teaching until 1:30, then conferencing with parents and students until 6:00 every night. I do love getting to talk to the students one-on-one though. It's rewarding but quite exhausting so I'm happy to have a day at home. I'm looking through cookbooks deciding what soups to make for my family tomorrow. My dad has requested clam chowder, so that will be one of the choices, and I want to choose two others that I haven't already made for the blog.

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  5. I don't eat fish , looks delicious though!:))

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  6. Gad, that looks like real heaven. I really love fish. And gosh, quick, easy and a "pleasure from beginning to end." Sounds like a total winner.

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  7. I love herbs de provence. A real "must try" recipe!
    thank you

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  8. oh meeta, those herby fish fries(or whatever its called) looks lovely!

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  9. Wonderful photo and recipe..ur note on Soren is tempting me to try it on my son.:)He eats fish in all ways, but looking to make a change.

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  10. ohhh this sounds so good! I have a nice big tin full of herbes de provence, now I just need to buy some fresh cod! Yummy :D Love the pictures, just gorgeous!

    I also love Robbie Williams too.. well, I love to watch him especially. *swoon*

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  11. Hi Meeta,
    First time to your blog, this is so beautiful, the pics and the colors look great.
    The fish recipe is also very refreshing as I do it the same way but minus all the aromatic herbs. Shall put in the herbs next time
    --sandeepa

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  12. Meeta,
    the crust looks just irresistable! The way you describes the place of origin and the mixed herb itself so beautiful! Fish fingers? nope! I don't think I have more than two of these in my life.

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  13. Thank you all for your kind comments. If you like fish then this a must try. The flavors are so wonderfully intense and aromatic. Hope you enjoy it.

    Jeff, cool idea. I love music and enjoy sharing it with my blog buddies too.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta