Tonight was fish night for me so I pulled out a frozen flounder fillet and grabbed the standard whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs. Than I put them back and grabbed the not-so-standard Panko, Japanese style breadcrumbs. I bought these not too long ago and have never tried them in my cooking. I figured I would give it a whirl – why not? Perfect chance to get a blog post in.
Meanwhile the I had carrots boiling were just about ready: I strained them, threw them right back in the pot, topped with a large handful of baby spinach, covered the pot, and let the spinach steam. (This technique worked WONDERS! – much better taste than the microwave!)
By this point the fish was cool enough to taste. I took a tiny bite and realized that it needed something – a sauce or dip.. just something. The Panko is great in Japanese fare and especially as crunchies on sushi, but it was bland here. I decided to make a brand new take on tartar sauce.
- 1 tablespoon Light Mayo
- juice from 1 lime (about 1/2 tblspn)
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- pinch salt
- pinch fresh cracked pepper
Stream-of-Consciousness Recount of the Process:
Tartar sauce is good, I think, but not so elegant, so I decided to go a slightly different route. I grabbed the light mayo and a lime and started there. Then I looked around the spice rack and grabbed the Old Bay Seasoning! – the Baltimore-born seafood spice! Yes, this was going to be great… AND BOY, WAS IT!
I added the Old Bay, a little salt and one turn’s worth of fresh cracked pepper from the pepper mill. I whisked it together , tasted it, and was so excited! I didn’t know if I’d be able to make a dipping sauce for fish – a food I ADORE but have little experience with – but I did it!
The sauce was creamy but light from the lime juice, and bold and zesty from the old bay. The balance was great! The lime I think is important as opposed to the lemon because of the sweetness – but a lemon would work if you didn’t have a lime or are that partial to lemons.
I am very happy with this, and am excited to make it for the man the next time he’s in town and I make us fish!
Those of you who fear tartar sauce: the mayo is the only ingredient that is the same, so fear not! It really isn’t all that similar!
Mayo-haters: I don’t know what to say other than.. get over it! Or at least I hope you will to give this a try (maybe not keep eating it, but at least a try!)- it’s worth it!
This post was supposed to be about the Panko, which was good, but not very exciting. This dip, however… AMAZING!
It needs a name though, any suggestions?!
If I get at least 15 different suggestions (by 15 different people, but you can suggest as many as you want!) I will pick the winner and send the winner their own container of Old Bay Seasoning!