Diehard "American Idol" viewers will remember Sarah Sellers as the geek-chic food blogger who made it to Hollywood Week last year. (Watch her Season 10 audition here.) Sarah has since continued her food-blogging, and has been cooking up scrumptious snack suggestions for any "Idol" viewing party and posting them here in Reality Rocks each week. She was also my special guest on a special South By Southwest version of "The Day After" in Austin recently, which you can watch HERE!
So last night, the top five Idols sang songs from Great Britain. And Sarah was definitely inspired by this theme. "Of course you can't have English food without fish 'n' chips," she says. "So I decided to make some fish nuggets instead, with steak fries and a summer slaw--because it's already hot as hell here in [Sarah's home state] Texas!"
I'm sure British-born, Texas-based Hollie Cavanagh would approve...
Fish Bites with French Fries & Summer Slaw
▪ 1/4 head red cabbage (around 1 cup), thinly sliced
▪ 1/4 head green cabbage (around 1 cup), thinly sliced
▪ 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
▪ 1 mini-red bell pepper, thinly sliced
▪ 1 mini yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
▪ 1 mini orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
▪ 1 avocado, sliced
▪ 1 tsp kosher salt and pepper
▪ zest of 1 lemon
▪ juice of 1 lemon
▪ 2.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
▪ pinch of sugar
Fish and Fries
▪ 1 12oz can Shiner Bock
▪ 2 cups flour
▪ 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
▪ canola oil for frying
▪ 2 russet potatoes, cut into steak fries
▪ 1 lb cod, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
▪ kosher salt and pepper
▪ cocktail sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Soak the cut potatoes in a large bowl of cold water.
To make the slaw, combine the red cabbage and the next 8 ingredients, through the lemon zest, in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and dash of sugar. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Pour over the slaw mixture and mix until well-combined. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
In a large bowl, whisk the Shiner Bock, 1.5 cups of the flour, and the old bay until smooth. The batter shouldn't be too runny, but make sure it's not too heavy for the fish. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
Fill a large Dutch oven with the canola oil around 2 inches from the bottom (roughly 3 cups). Using a candy thermometer, heat the oil to 375 degrees. Drain the potatoes and make sure to thoroughly dry them. Fry the potatoes in badges. Remove from the oil and place on a cooking sheet lined with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in the oven.
Season the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with salt and pepper. Working in batches, dip the fish in the beer batter, shaking off any excess batter, and dredge in the flour. Drop in the hot oil (using a slotted scoop) and fry until golden-brown. Put the fish on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
To serve, make little cones out of parchment paper and place in highball glasses. Fill with the slaw, a few French fries, and 4-5 nuggets of fish.
The perfect bite: a giant fork, some slaw, a piece of fish, and dip it into your favorite cocktail sauce!
Check out Sarah's food and music blogs at http://sarahsmusicalkitchen.com