May 8, 2013

Pan Fried Kingklip with Quinoa Salad

Any good chef will tell you to go to the market without a real plan in mind for dinner.  It opens you up to using whatever they have that looks best that day.  Let's be real, most of us don't the time to think about food this way, or a market for that matter, but when it does happen, it can be a great thing.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store with no plan in mind except that I really needed to make something delicious since William will be leaving for field school soon.  I started at the fish counter, where I spotted a gorgeous white fish that I had heard of but never cooked with before--kingklip.  From there I picked up some fennel, a couple of oranges, and a bottle of white wine, and I had a plan.

Pan Fried Kingklip with a Shallot, Lemon, and White Wine Pan Sauce
First, pull out your fish and let it rest outside of the fridge for a while.  You don't want to throw cold fish into the skillet.  While this is warming up a bit, get your dredging station ready.  I used GF all purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper, a basic egg wash, and lastly GF breadcrumbs which I seasoned with red pepper flakes, grated garlic, and lemon zest.  After the fish is dredged, again let it rest for about 10 minutes.  This will help the coating really stick to the fish when it's cooking.

During this time you can get the ingredients ready for the incredibly easy pan sauce.  Just slice a shallot finely, cut a lemon into wedges, and open a bottle of white wine.

Next, we'll fry the fish.  Depending on the thickness of your cut, turn your burner onto medium high, and get your pan and canola oil nice and hot before adding the fish to it to ensure nice, crispy breadcrumbs.  Flip once everything is golden brown, and you're pretty much done.  Just remove the fish and let them drain on a paper bag while you make the sauce.

If there is too much oil left in the pan, pour a little out.  Then add a nice amount of white wine to deglaze everything at the bottom.  Add the shallots, and let them start to wilt.  Finish with a big squeeze of lemon juice and butter or olive oil, and you're done!  William Loved this!

Quinoa Salad
Until now I have only ever liked quinoa for breakfast, but now I'm a believer.  I think the trick for me was going the extra mile and cooking the quinoa in chicken stock instead of just plain water.  Here's how:  first make sure you wash your quinoa.  Measure it out, add it to a bowl, and fill it up with water.  Then give it a good shake around and drain it slowly.  Then add your quinoa and your chicken stock (1:2 parts quinoa to chicken stock) to a stock pot and let them come to a rolling boil.  Then cover them, and reduce it to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Finally uncover it, and if there is an liquid left or it just doesn't seem quite dry enough (it should be similar to rice) then let it cook at a very low temperature uncovered until it is just perfect.  Then set your quinoa aside to cool.

While that is cooking, get your other ingredients ready.  I added shaved fennel, shaved red onion, toasted almonds, orange supremes, mint, and a little squeeze of lemon juice, and it was AMAZING!!!  Seriously, I haven't stopped eating this stuff, which is fine because you can't get anything much healthier than this!

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