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Fried Cod With Diced Watermelon Chutney

Serves4
IngredientsFish
Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAmerican
fried cod with diced watermelon chutney

Chef Rebecca Peizer

Culinary Institute of America

St. Helena, Calif.

Fried fish is a popular preparation during Lent, but chef Rebecca Peizer of the CIA freshens up the dish by pairing it with two housemade condiments: watermelon chutney and tartar sauce. She uses cod fillets, but any firm-fleshed, flaky white fish fillets can work.

Ingredients

Fried cod

4 (5 oz.) cod fillets

Salt and pepper, to taste

1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating

1 cup cornstarch

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 to 2½ cups sparkling water or club soda

1 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar

2 qt. vegetable oil

Watermelon slices

Chutney

¾ cup finely diced red onion

½ cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup sugar

2 cups diced watermelon

1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced and seeded

1 tbsp. slivered fresh mint

1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Tartar sauce

½ cup grated watermelon rind

1 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup capers, chopped

1 tbsp. whole grain mustard

Steps

  1. Cut each fish fillet into two pieces.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In shallow bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt for the batter; set aside.
  3. For chutney: In large saucepan, combine onion, vinegar and sugar. Cook over medium heat until reduced by three-quarters.  Add watermelon and Fresno chile; continue to cook for 5 more minutes until thickened. Cool; stir in mint and cilantro. Strain any excess liquid as needed.
  4. For tartar sauce: Squeeze any excess water from watermelon rind. In bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until needed.
  5. For fish:  In mixing bowl, measure sparkling water and lemon juice. Stir in reserved flour mixture until just blended; do not overmix. Dry fish well, coat with flour, and dip into batter; set aside.
  6. Into deep fryer or saucepan, pour oil so that it reaches halfway up sides; heat to 350°F. Place fish into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt while warm.
  7. Serve fish with tartar sauce and the chutney. Garnish plate with watermelon slices.

Photograph courtesy of National Watermelon Board

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