Two nights ago the husband and I made what I like to call “grown-up fish sticks.” We love cooking fish and soaking up all those healthy omegas. I am all about texture and flavor, so frying them was a no-brainer.
Ever since I started eating gluten free, I have been experimenting with different NON-GMO baking and frying options, such as corn meal. Bob’s Red Mill has many great options from corn meal to brownie and cake mixes! Recently, I’ve been using their blue corn meal, which kids would love because it turns what you’re frying a bluish-purple!
Along with the fish sticks, we cooked up some brown basmati rice and sauteed kale with bacon. Love, love, love bacon! Always have, always will. Moving on! One thing I’ve learned since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, is to be wary of goitrogenic foods such as kale, broccoli, cabbage (and many more) because they can actually inhibit proper thyroid function and can enlarge the thyroid gland, forming a goiter. The good news is when these foods are cooked, many of the goitrogenic enzymes are destroyed, so cooking and eating them in moderation is safer than eating them raw.
For this meal I didn’t use a recipe but played around with measurements and ingredients. I’m going to try to make this into a “recipe” for you! Here we go:
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bunches of kale, chopped
- 2 lbs cod, cut into strips
- 2-3 strips of bacon, crumbled
- 1-2 Tbs paprika (or to taste)
- 5-6 Tbs coconut oil (or frying oil on hand)
- 2 Tbs butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cooked brown basmati rice (or any rice on hand)
- 2 cups blue corn meal
- 1/2 cup milk
Go ahead and start your rice, following the directions on the label. The brown basmati rice we used has to cook for 45 minutes, so we started it before anything else. Rinse and chop up your kale (only use the leaves, not the stems) and mince your garlic.
Cut your fish into long strips. Here’s the husband, with his game face on.
Cook the bacon in a skillet and set aside. Once it cools, crumble it into small pieces to scatter into the kale for later.
We used two small bowls, one for the milk and one for the corn meal. Into the corn meal I add the paprika and S & P to taste and mix it around. I usually add more S & P once it’s all fried up as well. You want to take each piece of fish and first dredge it into the milk then into the corn meal, making sure it’s fully coated. Shake off the excess, then place it to the side on a plate. Repeat that process until all the fish it coated!
We always use a cast iron skillet when cooking meat because it gives the meat such a flavorful, smoky touch. Heat up your cast iron skillet (or any skillet will do!) to about medium high and let your coconut oil (or oil on hand) heat up for a few minutes.
After the oil is heated, start cooking your fish in batches of about 4-5 sticks so the oil stays nice and hot. Cook the fish for about 2 minutes on each side and wait for the corn meal to turn a golden brown (or in our case a darker purple!), then transfer onto a plate covered by a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Purple fish for days!
If you’re like us your smoke detector will go off, every time. Love using the cast iron skillet, but we haven’t mastered how to prevent that from happening! For the time being, we just trade off wafting!
While the fish are cooking or are already cooked, melt your butter over medium to medium high heat in a different skillet and add garlic for about 30 seconds to a minute (those suckers burn really easily). Add in your chopped kale in batches, stirring frequently, until it all cooks down. It won’t look like it will all fit in the skillet, but just give it a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. After it’s cooked down, throw in the bacon and mix that in.
Once your fish sticks, kale and rice are all done, taste check one more time to see if you need more salt or pepper, then it’s time to plate them! We love mixing flavor combos, so we like to lay the kale on top of the rice, then lay the fish to the side.
There’s the final product! I would say it makes about 4-5 servings. It’s kind of hard to tell in our household because the husband eats about 2 servings per meal! If you have any for leftovers, make sure you toast the fish sticks so they crisp back up!
Hope you enjoyed my first gluten free recipe!