CRISPY FISH SCALLOPINI
2 garlic cloves
1 pound cod fillets or other white fish
¼ cup flour (1 more tablespoon later)
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sage
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoons Chardonnay or white wine
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon drained capers
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil (up to 2 teaspoons more)
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon parsley
Serves 3. Takes 50 minutes.
Mince garlic cloves. Pound cod fillets to ¼” thickness with clean cooking mallet. If you don’t have such a cooking tool, try putting a few sheets of wax paper on top of the cod and whack away with a blunt instrument.
Combine ¼ cup flour, pepper, sage, and salt in mixing bowl. Dredge the cod fillets through this mixture. Cut cod fillets into 6 cutlets. Put chicken broth, Chardonnay, water, lemon juice, capers, 1 tablespoon flour, and garlic in second mixing bowl. Mix sauce thoroughly.
Melt butter in no-stick frying pan. Cook on medium high and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place as many flour/pepper coated fillets as possible into frying pan. Cook for up to 5 minutes on each sides or until cutlets turn golden brown and crispy. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the pan each time you cook another batch of fillets. Remove cod.
Pour broth/caper sauce into frying pan. Heat on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Pour sauce over cod cutlets. Sprinkle Parmesan and parsley over the cod.
1) Early humans were hunter-gatherers. They liked crispy mastodon steaks. Baby-back mastodon ribs were a particularly liked delicacy.
2) Where delicacy meant a rib or hunk of meat cut of the mastodon with flint, then thrown on to the fire. If the went out early, the meat was cooked on the outside and left rare on the inside, trapping the juices inside. Thus, the culinary technique of searing was born. Well done, mastodon chefs! Well okay, except for the omnipresent layer of ashes on the meat. Mesquite wood provided the tastiest ashes. To this day, mesquite wood is the choice for all serious barbequers. I told you the prehistoric era was a hotbed of culinary innovation. Oh, and sometime the fires were put out by sand.
3) Indeed, a revolutionary recipe by Ogg, a caveman states:
Our People Entree
many pieces of mesquite wood
many handfuls of sand
Serves many. Takes time.
Skin mastodon with flint. Cut out chunks of meat with flint. Pile mesquite near a likely place for a likely lightning strike. Wait for lightning strike. Throw mastodon chunks on fire. Have sex with wife. If the love making is quick, the meat will be rare. If the foreplay is slow and sensitive, the meat will be well done. Put out fire with sand.
4) The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD wiped out the towns of Pompeii and Heraclaneum. However, a survivor, Quintus Cato, gleaned some good out of the bad days. He thought, “What if I flattened some fish with a mallet, breaded it, and gingerly dipped the fish into the edges of the lava flow just long enough for the sand to run through this timer? Why, I’d have some great crispy fish scallopini!”
5) Many fishermen met their end falling into the hot lava while making this dish. The lava method of preparing fish rapidly fell out of favor. People hated Quintus. His family was shunned.
6) Then in 112 AD, his grandson redeemed his family’s honor when he thought, “Oh feck, why not use mesquite wood or even wood from the olive tree?” And so, crispy fish scallopini became easy to make. We are forever grateful.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes will be available in just a few days. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, is already available on amazon.com