Make my fish yummy!
February 8, 2011 5:49 AM   Subscribe

Feeding the Family Challenge! What to do with one single piece of perch & 3 hungry mouths?

Sooooo....managed to spend twice the weekly budget on food without actually coming home with any meat. Ooops. So it's check the freezer time! I've got some promising odds & ends (like tiny bits of ham & frozen cubes of chicken broth) which I can turn into meals, but what to do with one personal-sized piece of perch? It wasn't that great to begin with --they packed it in preservatives-- so I don't want to just cook it up with lemon & serve over rice.

Any suggestions for how to stretch it AND make it yummy? I am an indifferent cook tuned to meat & potatoes meals, so special utensils & mad kitchen chops are not available. I DO have most basic veggies (onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, that sort of thing --no mushrooms), tons of grains (barley, rice, a variety of noodles, couscous, lentils), some canned goods (tomato paste, canned corn, cream of mushroom soup), and some weird bits like 2 artichokes, frozen coconut milk, ginger root. I'm leaning toward artichokes as a side.

Thanks so much!
posted by Ys to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Filet, chop the veggies and bake it all in one big pyrex pan.
posted by JJ86 at 5:53 AM on February 8, 2011

Got any cream cheese or mayo? I'm thinking you could cook it, flake it and make it into some sort of dip/spread to serve with crackers or toast.
posted by jon1270 at 5:53 AM on February 8, 2011

Best answer: Fish tacos, stretching the fish out with sliced sauteed vegetables. This presumes you've got some tortillas floating around--if you don't, serve the fish and vegetable mess over rice.
posted by padraigin at 5:55 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

Combine with some of the ham and chicken broth to make chowder.
posted by Runes at 6:03 AM on February 8, 2011

Best answer: Fish cakes! Do you have breadcrumbs or cornmeal? Even flour could work. Break apart the fish meat, mix in cornmeal/breadcrumbs, add spices and egg. Shape and fry in a pan. That's just one way; is you google fishcake recipe, you'll find lots of different ways to prepare them.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:06 AM on February 8, 2011

Best answer: I have stretched out tilapia by turning it into ghetto "seafood fra diavolo": cook it halfway, bust it up into chunks with a spatula, toss a jar of pasta sauce on top, add some grated hard cheese, a good dose of balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, a few pats of butter and other seasonings of your choice. Serve over pasta. At worst, it will be good. At best, it is divine. In every case, it's great for using up leftover dribs and drabs of seafood.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:16 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Definitely a chowder. Dice the onions, celery and carrots and sweat them in a Dutch oven or similar deep cooking vessel. Sprinkle with a little flour, then add hot liquid (I would use 4 cups milk and 2 cups chicken broth), scraping up anything on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and add some diced potato and cook for about 7-10 minutes, then reduce heat. Add the fish, cut into small pieces, and also maybe the canned corn. Season with some thyme and a bay leaf and let simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Should serve 3 as a main course.
posted by briank at 6:17 AM on February 8, 2011

A variation on fisherman's pie perhaps? It's basically a thick milk-based fish stew (onions, celery, carrots, root vegetables, frozen vegetables, fish, with milk and thickener or cream of mushroom soup) topped with cheese and mashed potatoes and baked, like shepherd's pie. The recipe I linked is just one take on it, it's a very adaptable dish (read: whatever you've got in the pantry). Since you can make a tasty veggie pot-pie with no fish at all, don't sweat the amounts, just look at however much fish you've got as being a bonus.
posted by aimedwander at 6:37 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I did a fish fried rice last night with one small piece of fish (maybe 6 oz?) as I was also trying to use up some bits and pieces. Rice + onion + carrot + celery + 1/2 can black beans + 1/2 can of corn + fish + a couple of eggs if you have them + a bit of soy sauce (though it would be fine without). You can use a bit of the chicken broth to cook the rice and add garlic salt or whatever spices you like for more flavor if you don't have soy sauce. The beans and egg make it more filling by adding some extra protein--using one bag of boil-in-bag rice, we had plenty for two grown-ups and still had leftovers.

I boiled the rice while the veggies were sitting in big skillet with a little bit of butter and the fish was cooking in the oven. When the rice was done, I dumped it on top of the veggies to sizzle for a while, flaked the fish and threw it in, and then threw two eggs on top of the bunch and stirred them in. It's not a fussy recipe, so you can play it by ear and use up whatever you need to use up, throw in the whole can of corn, or whatever.
posted by BlooPen at 6:57 AM on February 8, 2011

Response by poster: Soooo many delicious ideas! I marked the ones I'm most likely to make tonight, but thank you all. Suddenly I'm excited about my little piece of perch :)
posted by Ys at 7:40 AM on February 8, 2011

My vote would be for kedgeree, which you can also do with smoked fish.
posted by yellowcandy at 11:50 AM on February 8, 2011

« Older Best little known or obscure love songs?   |   Strange doings in State College, Pennsylvania Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.