Vicki and I have great chats about our weekly cooking adventures. The conversation usually end how we wish we could be more like the other. Vicki can be described as the A+ chef. Instead of barely reading a recipe, Vicki reads it three times. If a recipe calls for an exotic spice, she refuses to skimp. Vegetables are cut perfect, presentation is everything, serving dishes are used and garnishes are added. Vicki goes all 9 yards. Her recipe looks like the magazine example. I, on the other hand, tend to be the unpredictable cook. I barely read the entire recipe, add three spices in substitution instead of buying a new spice, my vegetables are cut to various sizes, and additional strange ingredients are added. My finished product looks nothing like the published picture. My husband is asking, "What did you make?"
Let me explain why I needed more "Vicki" in me this week. I decided to make the popcorn-crusted tilapia from Lorna's book. I already freak out every time I make fish due to it turning about bad. My husband insists he's not a huge fan, I insist he is! Popcorn fish sounded like the perfect dinner.
The recipe called for 2 cups of "POPPED" popcorn, flour, and spices. Here's where the #1 Vicki rule comes into place....read the recipe again. I GROUND whole popcorn kernels in my Magic Bullet. What the heck was I thinking? I battered the fish in hard kernels and proceeded to then brown the fish. The kitchen started stinking like burnt popcorn, the coating turned black, my fish was still raw, and small pieces of popcorn were popping everywhere. At this point, I panicked and put on my safety goggles (jk). Not once did I think to reread the recipe, I just kept on cooking. Finally I had blackened fish with a gravel-like texture, all fans in the kitchen were on high, and bits of popcorn pieces covered my stove.
"Shoot, I ruined another fish night!" I resorted to the taco fish idea and scraped some of the kernel crust to dispose of the burnt evidence. I layered small pieces of fish on the bottom of a tortilla and turned to my fridge to add every taco-like ingredient I could find on top. Ben's seemed to not notice, and recipe was completely edible. (For viewers sake, no pictures will be shown.) Vicki, I can't wait for you to cook this recipe the correct way!!
For a fast snack Ben and I enjoy popcorn in the Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper with lime and salt or fresh popcorn with nutritional yeast and salt. Enjoy. -amy w.