Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tempura seafood with salad and potato fries

It has been a sad day for my DIL Sherrilee today, as her mother Beryl passed away early this morning after a short illness. She was surrounded by her loved ones when she passed away, in her own bed at Mike and Shez’s home where she had resided through the past few months, she would have loved that, just as I know she would have loved having her gorgeous granddaughter Reggie singing songs for her in her last few hours on this earth, Rest In Peace Beryl, you have earned it.  We love you Sherrilee and we are very proud of the way you have cared for your dear Mum through her illness, you have been amazing, love Dad and Jo xx

I searched high and low today for a recipe featuring fish that I could put with a nice salad, but nothing I found really jumped out at me or took my interest enough to want to cook it, then I left work a little early as I wished to visit my son and his beautiful family, before I cooked, so I decide on something not to complicated.

I came up with tempura seafood with salad and potato fries, nothing overly exciting but tasty all the same and cooking it tonight took me back close to thirty years, when I ran a fish and chip shop, I don’t think what I produced back then was quite as nice as tonight’s meal and the fact this was cooked with vegetable oil over fat, it was probably a lot healthier too.

I used a tempura batter, as it is by far my favourite, nice and light and does not overpower the seafood. Back in the old days the fish and chips would have been smothered in salt and vinegar, and in fact salt and vinegar featured in this meal though not directly on the fish, instead I used white wine vinegar in the salad dressing and I accompanied the meal with some freshly baked Green Olive Ciabatta Bread which provided a little saltiness, this worked great and the meal was very enjoyable.

The tempura batter is best made just before using, I was cooking for two and this made the perfect amount for 500g fish fillets and 10 prawns. Combine the following ingredients in a bowl, ¼ cup plain flour, ¼ cup cornflour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, then pour over ½ cup iced soda water, mix the soda in gently but don’t make too smooth leave a few floury lumps in it. The oil has to be at the right temperature, the best way to judge is to drop a drip of the batter into the oil, if it skates across the top real fast sizzling, the oil is too hot, add some fresh oil to cool it before trying again. If the batter sinks and stays sunk then slowly starts to bubble the oil is too cold, heat it a little longer. If the drip sinks then pops up a split second later and gently sizzles your oil is perfect, the fish will cook through and the batter will not burn. Tonight, I dusted the fish fillets in rice flour and then dipped into the batter, then straight into the hot oil, I just dipped the prawns in the batter and then into the oil, if I was to cook this again I would not dust the fish as I prefer the tempura a little thinner with crunchy bits and that is just as it was on the prawns.

For the salad dressing I combined a half teaspoon of French mustard with 3 teaspoons of white wine vinegar and 6 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, add a little salt and whisk, then spoon over the salad.

The only thing missing was a few sheets of the “Daily News” now that should keep anyone younger than 30 guessing!

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