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Suck it!
7.26.2002 by JP, every Saturday.

Now that I've got your attention my column will be appearing saturdays from now on except for today which is friday because I'm going to the cottage for the weekend. Today I'm gonna tell you about my favorite food sites on the web but first the dead-easy recipe.

Asian Crusted Sole with Orange-Maple sauce

Ok this doesn't sound like the simplest recipe in the world but I assure you that it's not as bad as it sounds. My brother came over with some sole fillets and his whitefish hating wife. The challege, make her like whitefish, here's what I did:

  1. Make a marinade from oil, roasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, salt, pepper and maple syrup (real is best but I used some fake stuff 'cause it's all we had. Put the fish in the marinade and in the fridge.
  2. Make the crust. We had an old baguette that had sat out on the counter for way too long so I broke it up and put it in the food processor, you could use premade breadcrumbs or those japanese breadcrumbs would be pretty cool. Google informs me that stuff is called “Panko”, I knew that... Anyway, mix breadcrumbs with some basil in the food processor and mix in some sesame seeds by hand so they don't get all chopped up.
  3. Make the sauce. Take the fish out of the marinade and pour it into a small pot, add OJ and soy sauce to taste and boil that sucker till it's reduced and thickened a bit, you could add cornstarch for a thicker sauce if you're that type of person. Don't even think about using the marinade as the sauce without boiling it, it's totally full of nasty raw fish crap, boiling it kills the crap.
  4. Fry the fish. Dredge the fish in flour, then through some egg, then into your crust. Fry the fish in a hot-oiled pan till golden on both sides. Plate it up with some sauce and you're set! Sweet! Your sister-in-law will love it!

This whole marinade as a sauce thing is awesome, you should try it, sometimes you can just use the marinade as is (after boiling) and sometimes you'll want to fortify it with other things. I imagine this recipe could be done with the soy and orange juice in the marinade but I didn't think of doing the sauce up like that till after the fish had marinated. I really didn't know what I was making until it was done!

Ok, you twisted my arm, here's the recipe for a cool salad you could serve with it.

Last week I learned how to make couscous, actually my brother taught me while he was over for the fish. I can't believe I didn't know how to make it but that's what you get when you life with your parents. Here's the secret recipe: Mix equal parts couscous and boiling water with a bit of oil to prevent sticking, cover and let rest. That's it! This is definitely my new favorite starch, nothing's as easy and wholesome. Anyway, the salad:

Spicy/Sweet Couscous Salad

1.Make couscous and let cool, I had some from a couple of days earlier in the fridge.
2.Make a vinegrette in the bottom of a salad bowl from hot sauce, rice vinegar, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of sugar. Add the couscous to this and toss.
3.Add some raw veggies, I used green pepper, cucumber and broccoli.
4.Add something sweet, I used raisins but you could just as easily cut up some apples, pears, dried apricots, whatever you've got. You're done! Woohoo!

Some people don't like sweet salads (generally I'm one of them) but if you combine the right mix of heat, acidity it can be really awesome.

Ok, here they are at last:

JP's Favourite Food Sites:

There might be a couple missing because I lost all my bookmarks recently but here are the ones I visit on a regular basis:

For Recipes you can't beat Epicurious, it's home of both Gourmet and Bon Appettit magazines and has excellent search capabilities as well as some cooking tips and editorial content. Epicurious is where I got the recipe for the caramels I made for my family at christmas (Martha Stewart, watch out!). I also like Allrecipes for its large selection of user contributed and rated recipes. Both sites feature user-comments with each recipe, really useful.

For more editorial food-type content stuff I surf over to The Making of a Restaurant where Sandy and Luke dish up their comments on food trends and information while linking to interesting articles on the restaurant industry. Sandy and Luke want to open a restaurant someday but neither of them are cooks, perhaps there's an opening for little old me. Guys, call me when you get funding ok? For a more discussion-based site most people like Chowhound but I've never really gotten into it, for that sort of thing I prefer eGullet. eGullet has lots of foodie chat but they also snag some pretty impressive guests and original content. They've had interviews with Anthony Bourdain and some stuff about that Fat Guy dude and they've also got a cooking school diary from someone who went insane, quit their job and became a cook (at least I assume they must be insane, they had a nice desk job with a chair and everything). Another blog I like to visit is SauteWednesday which has great comments on food and the food industry as well as an AMAAAAASING list of food links down the right sidebar.

Well, I'm off to the cottage, until next time,

“Git in the kitchun 'n make me uh sammich!”

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