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Tag Archives: lent

Fishy Friday – Lenten Round-Up

The kids have been home from school this week for their mid-winter break, which I’m now convinced is some sort of cruel joke on parents. I mean, seriously…whose idea was it to schedule a week off from school in the middle of winter, leaving me stuck inside with three very loud, very active, and very needy children?? I’ve been jumping through hoops all week trying to keep everyone sufficiently content, which has left little time for things like thinking or writing…hence the lack of blog posts this week. Even now, as I attempt to type, the baby is grabbing at my fingers, while the other boys are playing a game which seems to center around making an unusually loud and abrasive growling sound.

This morning I took the boys to meet up with some friends at  a local bounce house, followed by lunch (which turned into second breakfast, since we vacated the bounce house sooner than planned) and ice cream at Friendly’s. It was a feeble attempt to encourage the kids to burn off some of their excess energy so that I had a small chance of a calm afternoon. Though I think the ice cream may be working against my plans. Ugh…this parenting thing is hard!

New recipes coming up next week, but for now here’s a round-up of fishy recipes, which may come in handy for any of you who are observing meat-free Fridays during lent.

Pan-seared Scallops with Pina Colada Salsa and Coconut Rice

Pan-seared Cod over Bean and Basil Puree

Creole Fish Tacos

Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Salad

Asian-style Fish Tacos

Lobster Pot Pie

Lobster BLT Sandwiches (skip the bacon)

Salmon, Cucumber, and Orzo Salad

Codfish Cakes

Shrimp Scampi Flatbread Pizza (and last year’s Lenten recipe round-up!)

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Fishcake Friday

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During this time of year, when many people choose to abstain from meat on Fridays, pizzerias and fish fry shops revel in the boost in business. You can often tell it’s Lent simply by counting the number of billboards advertising the best fish fry special in town. Suddenly, every restaurant’s specialty is fried haddock.

For my family, Fridays during Lent usually meant one of four things; pizza, fish sticks, my Daddo’s tuna burgers, or fishcakes. Fish sticks have never been a favorite of mine and I didn’t really learn to appreciate pizza until my college days, when my upstate New York classmates taught me to dip it in bleu cheese dressing. For me, my Friday favorite was always a toss up between the tuna burgers and the fishcakes.

The fishcakes, which my dad prepared for us, came from a recipe passed down from my grandmother. As my dad explains it, this is a meal which was designed to stretch the food budget for a family of eight. One pound of salt-preserved cod is combined with mashed potatoes and a few simple seasonings to form a dozen delicious fish cakes! Served over a heaping pile of spaghetti, this budget-friendly recipe makes a hearty meal for a big family!

Salt cod, or baccalà, can usually be found near the seafood section of your grocery store. Try asking at the seafood counter if you don’t spot it!

Codfish Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound salt cod (baccalà)
  • 4-5 potatoes, chopped*
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Additional salt, if desired
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Shortening or Vegetable Oil

*You can adjust the quantity of potatoes based on how fishy you prefer your cakes.

Directions

Soak the salt cod in cold water (refrigerated) for 6 -24 hours. Change the water once, about halfway through. (The longer the fish soaks, the less salty it will be.) Gently simmer the fish for 10-15 minutes. Remove the fish from the water and set aside to cool. Save the water. Add the potatoes to the hot fish water. Boil until fork tender. Strain and mash the potatoes with the butter. Flake the fish, while carefully checking for bones, and add to the mashed potatoes. Add the onion, parsley, black pepper, paprika, and additional salt (if desired). Knead the mixture until well combined. Form the mixture in large 2-3″ balls, then flatten into thick patties. Coat both sides with flour. Heat shortening or vegetable oil* over medium heat. Cook the patties in the oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve over spaghetti with tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes.

*My grandma says it should be shortening, but I admit to using vegetable oil. Shhh…don’t tell my grandma!

Makes 10-12 Fish Cakes


Pork with Pork, Pork, and Pork

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Happy Fat Tuesday! Put those Lenten resolutions of abstinence and chocolate deprivation on hold for one more day. Tomorrow, we fast. Today, we feast!

Recently, during a particularly lucid early-morning shower brainstorm, I developed a recipe which is either my most genius creation or proof that I’ve completely gone insane; pork stuffed with pork and pork, wrapped in pork. I’m calling it The Whole Hog. We’ll start with boneless pork chops, then stuff them with a sweet and savory filling made from bacon and sausage, and wrap them in prosciutto for the final touch. This is a dish to send the three little pigs running for the hills.

In honor of Fat Tuesday, I proudly present you with The Whole Hog: Pork with Pork, Pork, and Pork.

Genius or insane? You decide.

The Whole Hog

Bacon, Sausage, and Apple stuffed Pork Chops wrapped in Prosciutto

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 4-5 slices applewood-smoked bacon, chopped*
  • 4-5 breakfast sausages, removed from casings**
  • 1 granny smith apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • Salt and pepper

* Regular bacon can be substituted

**Use an apple flavored sausage, if available

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and sausage. Cook until bacon begins to crisp and sausage is fully cooked. Use the side of a spoon to break up the sausage as it cooks. Add the apple and cook for a few minutes longer, until softened. Add the panko and stir until the panko crumbs absorb the excess fat and pan juices. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper, as desired.

Split each pork chop almost all the way through, to create a pocket for the stuffing. Generously stuff each pork chop with the bacon and sausage mixture. Scatter any extra stuffing on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the pork chops on top of the extra stuffing. Season the outside of the pork chops with salt and pepper. Wrap each pork chop with prosciutto. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked.

Serves 2

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