Go fish!

This time of year, good, solid comfort food is the only thing that will do for the moment. We ride this guilt-free train until the new year when we all collectively awaken from our dreams of pilgrims and sugar plums and auld lang syne and let the scale tell us where we stand. But now is not that time. Now is the time for crispy panfried snapper (from this cookbook) and waffle fries.

What I love about this recipe for panfried fish, other than the simplicity of it, is that it pan-fries saving me from wondering what to do with a big pot of fishy cooking oil after I’m done. Speaking of that leftover cooking oil… In the past we’ve just jarred it up and thrown it in the trash, but did you know you can recycle used cooking oil? I’m not a tree-hugger or anything, and I don’t anticipate ever having a zero-trash household, but I believe in doing what I can to take care of the home God gave us without going overboard. This is a small way I can do my part. Head over to Earth 911 to find out how you can recycle your cooking oil!

(Note: We don’t throw out all grease. Bacon grease is great to cook with when you’re short on butter. You can even save it in this cute Ayesha Curry Enamel on Steel Bacon Grease Collection Can found at Target!)

Last week there was a special ladies’ night service at church where they serve delicious refreshments afterwards, so the Mr was excited to come home to find a warm, comforting meal for his solo night at home! I had been busy all day and only had time to fry the fish, so he sweet enough to bring home some waffle fries to swim alongside the crunchy fish. Plenty of fish was leftover, so lunch the next day was extra special!

The recipe was great on its own (and good for those wanting a simpler fry), but was slightly lacking in seasoning. The fish is dusted with salt and pepper prior to dipping and dredging, but I recommend adding simple spices or seasonings (such as paprika, chili powder, or seasoned salt) to the flour/cornmeal/breadcrumbs to add depth and complexity of flavor. I enjoyed mine with generous dashes of malt vinegar.

If you haven’t tried malt vinegar on your fried fish, you’re missing out! Swap out your tartar sauce for malt vinegar next time. Fish dishes usually need a bit of acid to awaken their best flavors, so this vinegar complements beautifully. My favorite is Sarson’s Malt Vinegar and I save it just for when we have fried fish and some form of potatoes. It can be found in many regular grocery stores and I usually see it at World Market for a better price than Amazon! I allow the salty, briny flavors to transport me to a tiny, crowded fish-and-chip shop in London!

What is your favorite, simple comfort food that always transports you somewhere else?

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