During the days leading up to 2011’s Hurricane Irene we did what all New Yorkers did – planned a party. The news warned of apocalyptic flooding and power outtages. Told us to stock up on supplies and provisions. I raced to the grocery store to stock up on the necessities. Except that I was really puzzled by what those were. I watched other shoppers – all of whom looked equally confused as to what to buy.
No power? In New York, we just don’t lose power (save the blackout of 2003). And restaurants aren’t really ever closed. So, trying to wrap your head around no food and no power isn’t easy. I grabbed what I thought might be ok to sustain me and went home.
That night as we gathered at the apartment of a friend to hunker down for the storm, we all compared what provisions we had procured earlier that day. You have to love New Yorkers….Some of us bought canned tuna. Some bought large jugs of water. Some of us bought toilet paper and paper towels. Some of us emptied out our bank accounts – you know in case we had to use stacks of cash to buy transport off of the island.
All of us bought wine, beer or vodka. And, my favorite: All of us bought canned artichoke hearts. Because, like, if there was biblical flooding and no power, we would totally need to make an artichoke dip.
Even when not faced with the storm of the century, we might all want to have emergency food in the fridge. Something that can be whipped up pretty quickly and lasts a long time in the freezer.
Before I cooked so much, my freezer always held an emergency frozen pizza. Since then, I’ve evolved and now you can always find a package of frozen tilapia fillets from Whole Foods. I love these – $2.99….last a year and easy to prepare.
Plus – tilapia is a totally non-polarizing white fish.
Last night, there was no emergency, except that I didn’t want to venture out for supplies. And I hit up the Whole Foods emergency tilapia and made…
Egg Batter Fish Fry (Serves 2)
Heat about 1.5 inches of oil in a pot over medium heat. Oil needs to heat to 375 degrees
1. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, beat two egg whites to stiff peaks
NOTE: I love my Cuisinart hand held mixer. It has this plastic case to hold all of the accessories AND the mixer itself. It’s apartment perfect!
2. In a second, smaller bowl, combine 1 egg yolk with 1 1/2 tsp of flour and 1/4 tsp of salt
3. Mix about 1/2 of the egg yolk/flour mixture into the whipped egg whites
4. Carefully fold the remaining egg yolk/flour mixture into the whipped egg whites
5. Gently fold in 1 tbsp of fresh lemon thyme leaves into the batter. If you can’t find lemon thyme, substitute 1/2 tsp of lemon zest and 1 tsp of thyme
6. Cut two tilapia fillets into 4-6 pieces each
7. Pat the fish dry on both sides and lightly coat each in a flour mixed with a little salt and pepper
8. Dip each floured fish fillet piece into the Egg Batter – You will need to use a spoon or spatula to help cover the fillets with the batter
9. Carefully place each piece into the oil and allow to brown – about :03 mins
10. Flip each piece to brown the other side – about another :03 mins
11. Using a spider transfer the fish to a brown paper bag to drain
12. Make a dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp of sour cream, 1 tbsp of mayonnaise, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, the juice of one lemon and 1/2 tsp of Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt
13. Serve while warm
I don’t generally like to fry in the apartment – because the apartment will now smell like fried for a couple of days. But, this was really good. The lightness of the egg white batter and flakey white fish is a nice contrast to a typical heavy fish fry.
And, I’d eat this emergency or not! Off to Whole Foods to restock the tilapia now.