F is for Fish & Fries – Halibut Po’Boys & Sweet Potato Fries #AtoZChallenge
Make room for a Po’boy with Swanky, Sexy & Spicy Slaw & Sweet Potato Fries!
Mama’s Kitchen Mondays is going to be blended in obviously with this one, and I am glad I had the cooking post fall on a Monday because I can share one of my favorite recipes creations ever.
Now when I say creation, I literally mean it. For those who are new to Cabin Goddess one of the things I am known for are my recipes. Sure I take note from the good ones that are written by famous chefs, but because of my geeky background I take cooking to a whole new level. My recipes tend to be based on the science of cooking. Why you use vinegar or citrus juices, why olive oil instead of peanut oil, why halibut instead of cod.. There is always a reason and it usually can be factored into the science of it all. Well… that and some damn fine eating!!
F was an easy letter, Fish and Fries, two things that can be found coming off the grill or the skillet any time of the year, yes we grill even when it is -40F here! But it is funny because people think since we live in Alaska gas and seafood is cheap and that is wrong on both counts. Shipping it from Valdez to Fairbanks is like bringing it in from the Atlantic to Ohio, it is not a small trek. It is a 12 hour drive at the very least!
So, the funny thing is that unless I buy, trade or go fishing myself fish is not as easy to get up here in Fairbanks. Living in the interior we are a long way from Valdez where most of us interior Alaskan’s go to get our halibut. We only need to catch one, and we will be set for the winter. If we are lucky we will also be able to a few early running silvers.
English: Halibut caught off Raspberry Island, Alaska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I love halibut it is good in anything. I have not been fishing or hunting in a few years but when I did we would trade some of our meat for fish or vice-versa. We also trade meat from the pig(s) we buy for fresh moose and halibut. Personally if I could eat halibut all the time I would be happy as a clam, oh…. clams! I love clams too but those are even harder to get up here!
But enough of that, let’s get to something that is a blend of all the places I have lived. By the way I was born in Seattle, raised on a beach, dug my own clams and caught my own salmon there and lived in Germany, Kansas, Massachusetts, Texas and Arizona plus did summers in California. I have a lot of different US cultural food to tie in and being married to a Sicilian and a former military wife I have learned to cook from all over the country and the world.
So after all that, with making shrimp, catfish and Cajun spiced po’boys I created this fillet based on my favorite halibut meals here plus the sour dough with everyone else? OMG!! Sweet potato fries? Well, they are not real fries… no don’t go their, they aren’t but man are they tasty and man do they go well with this dish! The coleslaw? Oh ya baby baby! You can bump up the sweet to what you want, you can make it spicy, but no matter what this one without mayo is swanky and sexy and spicy in more ways than just making your tongue tingle!
Halibut Po’Boys #AtoZChallenge
- Canola Oil for frying
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 long sourdough loaves (the Alaskan touch)
- 6 (6 oz. each) Halibut Fillets
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- big pinch of cayenne
- Sliced dill pickles & cherry tomatoes
- 1 recipe Swanky, Sexy & Spicy Slaw
- Tabasco Sauce (for serving)
- Lemon wedges (for serving)
- Pour about 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the smashed garlic and swirl the pot around to infuse the garlic flavor into the butter. Slice the French bread in ½ lengthwise and brush the top and insides with the garlic butter. Stick the bread in the oven for 5 minutes to warm it through.
- Salt and pepper the halibut generously. In a bowl wide enough for dipping the fix in, mix the milk and egg together, season with more salt and pepper.
- Mix cornmeal, flour, cayenne and more salt and pepper in a pie dish using a fork.
- Dip the catfish in the wet batter, then dredge in the dry; make sure you covered them completely. Depending on the size of the pan, gently add two to three fillets at a time so it is not overcrowded.
- Fry the fillets for 3 minutes and then drain on a platter lined with paper towels; sprinkle with a touch of salt while still hot.
- To assemble the sandwich, put the pickles across the bottom ½ of the bread, lay the fried halibut on top. Spoon a small mound of slaw on top of the catfish and add the sliced cherry tomatoes then close up the sandwich with the top ½ of the bread. Cut into portions and serve immediately with hot sauce and lemon on the side.
Serve with sweet potato fries or make a double batch of slaw.
Swanky, Sexy & Spicy Slaw
- 2 tbsp deli mustard mustard
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh red chili (you can use whatever you want up to habanero but this seems to work the best)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cups cored and shredded red & green cabbage
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, diced or julienned
- ⅓ cup chopped scallion
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the dressing, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl, along with the garlic and chili. Add the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while. You can also use a hand blender and it will actually cream like mayo, still less fat! Swanky and Sexy!
- Combine the cabbage, bell pepper, and scallion and toss with the dressing.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Let the slaw rest in the fridge for at least two hours. The cabbage will also soften a bit and exude some juice. It is best with the sandwich to use it within 2 hours.
- You can let it sit longer, up to 24 hours, if you like. If it looks like it, drain the slaw before continuing or use a slotted spoon. If you hand blend the dressing it won't be as wet).
- 4-6 large sweet potatoes
- corn starch
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt (fine ground)
- Cut your sweet potatoes until they’re a medium thickness. Not hugely thick cut and not shoestring.
- Let potatoes soak in water for an hour – half the day is what I would recommend, so cut the potatoes & if you are making the slaw, you can start the slaw after you start soaking the potatoes.
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Throw a Tablespoon or two of cornstarch with sea salt into a plastic bag.
- Dump a handful of sweet potatoes into the bag with the cornstarch. Don't pat them dry, just drain the water out, and give each handful of potatoes a good shake before dumping in the cornstarch.
- Twist the top of the bag so it forms a balloon with some air inside and shake the fries around until they’re lightly coated with the cornstarch. This is important. Too much water and too much cornstarch and you’ll end up with a goopy mess. Plus your fries will taste like salty cornstarch. EWWWWW
- Put your coated fries on a non stick cookie sheet. (I use parchment so it will be fine that way too)
- Drizzle 2 tbsp. of olive oil over the fries. This is if you want to be healthy.
- Any vegetable oil will work. I’ve used sunflower, canola, etc.. heck I have even used sesame oil! ZING!
- You can use as much oil as you want.
- The more oil you use the easier time you’ll have of getting the fries crispy but the less healthy they will be. Personally wing it and have fun, this is a huge fun lovely yummy meal to begin with! My trick is veggie oil with some sesame oil added in, just to flavor it and coat those puppies.. like GLUG GLUG GLUG!
- Using your hands, make sure the fries are well coated. (Don't be a wussy-butt just do it! However if you are like Geoff, use some gloves.. wussy 🙂 )
- Arrange them on the sheet again so they are evenly spaced. You may have to do a few batches because the less fries on the pan the better they’ll cook. Too many shoved together and they’ll never get crispy. They’ll just steam...ewwwwwww.
- Slide the pan of fries into your preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes.