I read this novel recently and enjoyed both the story and the recipes included in the book. It's the story of a young chef sorting her life out on all fronts: romantically, professionally, and her place within her family. The town Stephanie moved to reminds me a bit of Eureka Springs, AR so the book felt cozy and homey and like getting to know people I would like.
I'd definitely recommend the read and the recipes. Gene and I both enjoyed the Fish Balls (although I flattened mine out slightly and added my mom's homemade tartar sauce) for dinner last night and the Gingerbread Trifle is next on my list to make. I'll be storing the book with my cookbooks for sure.
From Promises to Keep by Jane Green
1 1/2 lbs haddock filet, skinned
1 1/2 lbs cod filet, skinned
1 1/2 medium onion
3 tsps salt
Pinch of white pepper
3 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs or matzo meal
Wash the haddock and cod and leave to drain.
Peel and chop the onion into 1 inch chunks. Put into a food processor with the eggs, salt, pepper, sugar, and oil. Process until the mixture is a smooth paste.
Pour into a large bowl, add the bread crumbs, stir and leave to swell.
Cut the fish into 1 inch chunks and put them into the food processor half at a time. Process for 5 seconds until the fish is finely chopped.
Add to the onion puree and blend by hand.
The mixture should be firm enough to shape into balls about the size of large meatballs. If it is not firm enough, add a little more of the bread crumbs. If it is is too firm, add a little water.
Add enough oil (about 1 inch deep) to a frying pan and heat. Carefully lower the fish balls into the oil and fry, turning often over a moderate heat until they are an even brown. Remove when cooked and darin on paper towels.
Serve hot or room temp.
Cook's note: I halved this recipe and it worked well, making about 10 2 oz fish balls. It's a nice recipe that I'll use again and dress up to fit whatever I'm serving it with. Gene and I talked about that we'd like it with crumbled cornbread instead of breadcrumbs to make sort of a fish hush puppy, or loaded with minced jalapenos, different kinds of fish, or even with a little kernel corn and pimento. I think it's one of those recipes you could play with and make your own.
Karen's Tartar Sauce
recipe from my Mom taught me when I was a kid
Juice of half a lemon
2 Tbsp minced onion
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 heaping Tbsp sweet pickle relish
3 heaping Tbsp real mayonnaise
Mix all ingredients together and let stand for about 20 minutes before serving so the flavors can mingle.