Dads will be back soon!
I have been exploring how to make quick and delicious breakfast meals after my friends requested me to prepare my lemon buttermilk waffles. This was a variant of the orange buttermilk pancakes I prepared for the June 1 blog, only that I realized that using lemon for buttermilk is best for waffles. Incidentally, the recipe was also featured in the July 2014 issue of Appetite magazine.
(Photos courtesy of Toots Manuel)
In any case, I checked Food Network to look for Eggs Benedict, a rich breakfast sandwich consisting of ham or bacon, poached egg, and Hollandaise sauce. Apparently, it was allegedly made as a cure for a hangover and the first Eggs Benedict was made south of the border in New York City (it’s American after all!). Checking the trusty old Wikipedia, Eggs Benedict has a lot of variations based on the meat that goes with it: Eggs Blackstone (uses steak instead of ham or bacon), Huevos Benedictos (uses Mexican chorizo). Interestingly, I also read that the dish is called Eggs Benjamin in some parts of Canada (uses smoked salmon) and yes, a Filipino version of Eggs Benedict (replacing the English muffin with a Pinoy sweet bread called ensaymada)!
To give the dish a Canadian twist, I thought of using Canadian Peameal Bacon (which an American friend of mine refers to as ham) and I stumbled upon Tyler Florence’s recipe, which includes Hollandaise sauce that’s easy to make. I did not alter the recipe, except I thought of adding lemon zest to the Hollandaise sauce. It took me about 20-30 minutes to prepare two dishes, assembly included! And the Hollandaise sauce was almost perfect! Not bad for a first timer! 😀
What about my kids’ verdict? Well, one of my daughters said she wished I prepared two sandwiches for her. Here’s Tyler Florence’s link to the Hollandaise sauce recipe and how to assemble the Eggs Benedict. Check it out and enjoy!
Food appears to play a significant role in one’s major life events. People gorge on food during
the holidays, birthday parties, or any life event. But defining a life event, especially for a Filipino
varies. Food usually finds its way to a wedding reception, a baby’s baptism, a despedida
(farewell party) and even a relative’s lamay (wake). When I was a Jesuit volunteer in far flung
Malipayon, Bukidnon, I remember attending a wedding reception where the chicken used in
the tinolang manok dish was literally picked (sinungkit) from the tree’s branches and the
tapang kalabaw (water buffalo beef jerky) was air-dried near the straw hut’s ceiling!
For most Filipino Catholics, the season of Lent means an abstinence from meat during Fridays
and days of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In Pampanga ( a province in Central
Luzon, Philippines) where my family and I used to spend Good Friday (the day Jesus Christ is
believed to have been crucified), food consisted of inihaw na dalag (broiled mudfish), mongo
(mung bean) soup, steamed eggplant and ampalaya (bitter gourd) leaves, sukang nipa (vinegar
from the nipa plant) and bagoong (anchovy) or taguilo (fermented shrimps with rice)! Despite
the meatless diet, my relatives still found ways of making the kids’ Good Friday meal fit for a
celebration of life!
The Lenten sacrifice was not lost on us and each year, we still try our best to abstain from meat
on all Fridays of Lent even if we have moved to Ontario where fish is usually frozen and
expensive! The recipe that we’re featuring in today’s blog is Basa fish fillet, which can easily be
bought from most supermarkets. The taste of the fish is very similar to the fish and chips snack
so enjoy! Come to think of it, you can add spuds to this dish if you like! 😀
CAJUN STYLE FISH FILLET WITH LEMON BUTTER SAUCE
1 pack of Basa fish fillet
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of bread crumbs or yellow corn meal
1 tbsp, mild chili powder
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
2 cups vegetable oil
Optional: Sazon Goya con cilantro y aciote
1. Towel- dry the thawed fish fillet and slice into finger – size pieces.
2. Marinade the fish with fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper for about 14 hours to a day.
Add 1 tbsp. of Goya powder if available.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine and mix the bread crumbs or corn meal (highly
recommended), mild chili powder, Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste,
4. Beat the egg in a separate in a bowl.
5. Spread the bread crumb mixture on a cookie sheet.
6. Dip the marinated fish fillet with the eggs and coat it with the bread crumb mixture.
7. Deep fry the fish for about 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat. Once the fish turns
golden brown, remove the fish from the pan and remove any excess oil.
8. Serve with lemon butter sauce and steamed rice or warm bread. Enjoy!
*Lemon butter sauce consists of 3 parts melted butter, 1 part fresh lemon juice, salt and
pepper to taste. My daughter, Lia, suggested that Kraft’s Three Cheese Ranch Dressing
might be a good substitute.
*Using cornmeal gives the fillet an extra crunch that my kids love.