Mamma Miaʻs Fish Dish - Food as Medicine
Mamma Miaʻs fish of choice these days is tilapia. She says "You can pan fry any fresh fish ths way - even chicken for Chicken Parmesan."
I am in Momʻs kitchen again. I write things down, creating a recipe . . . a black and white account too narrow for Momʻs culinary rainbow. Her patterns change every time she cooks.
"You have to stay alert . . . you have to go with how you feel," says Mom.
Mamma Miaʻs fish memories date back to her Carrie Street house on Goose Hill in Schenectedy, New York. She was five or six years old and Grandma Josephine, a devout catholic had fish on her familyʻs table every Friday.
"I never remember Mom racing off to church," says my mom regarding her momʻs faith. "but she loved Jesus and she loved going to bible study. She went with a friend we called Bible Rita. We kids only went to church on Christmas and Easter, and for our confirmations and stuff. Our father never went. Still, every Friday we had fish."
- 6 fish filets
- 2 lemons
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp or to taste salt
- 1/4 tasp or to taste pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over fish filets and surround with ice in dish to marinate.
- break eggs into bowl and mix well with fork.
- Put flour, bead crumbs, salt and pepper in quart size plastic bag. Shake to mix.
- Heat EVOO over low heat in large frying pan.
- Dip the two fish filets in eggs then transfer to flour bag and shake, coating the filet.
- Fry over medium low heat until golden brown on both sides and transfer to dish.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 two times.
- For a colorful dish add green veggies and pasta or rice, to each dinner plate of fish. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley.
Sauté Vs Deep Fry
Mamma mia prefers pan fryng to baking when it comes to fish. She says it tastes better and I have to agree. Mom always sautés her fish filets in EVOO. To sauté means to quickly fry with a little bit of fat. This is much healthier than the breaded fish that is deep fried in who knows what kind of oil/fat, for who knows how many repetitions. Different oils have different smoke points . . . smoking oil degrades flavor and nutrition due to the production of free fatty acids and glycerol. Oil brought over itʻs smoke point creates free radicals . . . the bad guys that cause cancer.
Low acidity, EVOO, is 75% good/monounsaturated fat and has a smoke point of 405 degrees F and 207 degrees C. Mamma miaʻs fish filets are easily browned over medium heat, well below olive oilʻs smoke point. Mayo Clinic recommends regular olive oil over EVOO for frying because it has a higher smoke point. Some high acidity EVOOs could have smoke points as low as 320 degrees F and 160 degrees C. Mamma Mia uses EVOO almost exclusively . . . she is unconcerned by my research. She unscrews the cap to her bottle of Bertolli EVOO, takes a whiff, then nods in approval.
"As long as it is fresh" Mom says.
EVOO - Verdict is in.
EVOO is good for you . . . incredibly good for you if you go by recent research. A myriad of studies comparing mediterranean diets and demographics to western diets and demographics, have long shown that olive oil consumption enhances health and longevity. Uncooked EVOO has the most nutrients and antioxidants, the best way to add it to your diet is as a salad dressing - check out Mamma Miaʻs salad dressing!