Cooking with someone else in the kitchen is not something I am used to, but the other day I had the pleasure of sharing the kitchen with a crazy skydiver and fellow culinary student. Meet Michael:
I have to admit that I am a pretty big control freak when it comes to sharing a kitchen with someone, but since he passed his fundamentals class practical final, and is nearly as big of a food nerd as me, I gladly welcomed him into the kitchen.
We started off our day with a drive to the dollar bookstore to browse the cookbook section and pick out a random recipe that sounded somewhat appealing. After spending a long enough time sorting through old diet books we finally stumbled upon this hidden treasure…
Inside this fashionable 80′s style Bon Appetit cookbook was this little gem of a recipe:
Macadamia Nut Crusted Sea Bass with Thai Red Curry Sauce
Fish in a Thai red curry sauce? Yes please. We headed over to the market for a few ingredients and got started in the kitchen.
Michael got started on cutting up some zucchini that would end up being encrusted in cornmeal (organic of course ) and pan fried in some coconut oil while I got started on the red curry sauce.
I really enjoyed the sauce in this recipe. It packed a lot of flavor, but it was mild in the curry department. If you are used to Indian curry’s you might find this sauce a little weak, but resist the urge to add more curry and just enjoy as is. Taste the coconut, and the curry paste–love the flavors, and accept the differences.
Here is the Recipe
Thai Red Curry Sauce
1 Tbs. Coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbs. Thai Red Curry paste
2 Cups chicken stock
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbs. fish sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs. of water
1 Tbs. cornstarch
10 large fresh basil leaves
Heat the oil in a heacy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add curry paste and stir 1 minute. Add stock and coconut milk. Simmer 5 minutes and stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, and garlic. Simmer until reduced almost half. ( about 20 minutes ). Mix together the water and the cornstarch in a separate bowl. Slowly add the mixture to the sauce a little at at time until it has reached your desired thickness. You can puree the sauce in a blender first or serve as is.
Now for the fish.
We couldn’t find Sea Bass so we subbed it with Cod. It worked really well. We did follow the recipe and used regular flour but I would love to revise it and make it paleo/gluten free friendly. You could probably get away with grinding the Macadamia nuts down making them as fine as possible and soaking the fish some milk first or just dipping them in egg to get the nuts to stick to it. I think I will try this soon and see how it works.
Here is the original recipe:
Macadamia-Crusted Sea Bass
1 cup toasted macadamia nuts ( About 4 ounces )
2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg beaten to blend
4- 6 ounce sea bass fillets
Thai Red Curry Sauce
Chopped fresh basil
Finely chop nuts with 1 cup of flour in processor. Transfer the mixture to medium bowl. Place remaining 1 cup flour in another medium bowl. Place beaten egg in shallow bowl. Season fish with salt and pepper. ( Season your breading too.. it always helps ) Lightly coat the fish with plain flour; shake off excess. Dip fish into egg, then into macadamia nut mixture, coating completely and pressing nuts firmly to adhere to fish.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add fish and cook until crusty and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. ( Or less )
And the end result:
We served it over a bed of rice and with the zucchini as the side. Finding old, cheap cookbooks is a new hobby of mine and everything turned out delicious. It will be intriguing to see what we cook up in the kitchen next…Tamales anyone?