Double trouble. The next marathon is in 5 days and Mrs. Chili365 views many of the recent incantations in the “grand chili experiment” to be little more than mildly-spiced junk food. A hangdog look uncomfortably adorned her overwrought face, “You have more cooking talent than this AND you need to take better care of yourself.” Talent, as I have begun to reconcile, is a subjective virtue. How else could you explain Kid Rock selling 1 million albums? Regarding the goad to improve my diet- if a few better meals will quell the angry little monsters that are gnawing away at my right hamstring, I’m all for it. I guess. (You know that this will mean having to wait a couple of weeks to find out the secret to feasting on a dinner consisting entirely of roasted chili s’mores.) So begins a foray into healthier chili.
2 T peanut oil
1 lb cut up cod
¼ C corn meal
1 T chili powder
1 t coriander
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
2 dried New Mexican chilies, seeds removed and soaked to rehydrate
3 C grated cabbage and carrot mix
1 C fresh peas (edible pod type) diced
- Mix cornmeal and seasonings in a small bowl
- Coat the fish with corn meal-seasoning mix.
- Heat oil (on high) in a wok.
- Add coated fish and fry on high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chilies and vegetables, stir and heat 2minutes longer.
- Serve over cooked rice with a splash of fish sauce.
The chili jacketed fish-bits tasted quite delicious. Prepared in this manner, they were in both flavor and texture similar to spicy fried shrimp. I could easily see these served as an appetizer or alongside some chips drizzled malt vinegar. Paired with the stir fried vegetables, they offered a flavorful oasis. As the vegetables were not seasoned, a boast of fish sauce was necessary to bring out their vegetal essence. The ITP appreciated the meal a good bit, with Chili Jr. likely presiding over any resultant fan club. I can’t blame him, there was much to like here, even if it was healthy (and low fat, which is hilarious, because I’ll be downing bacon triple cheese burgers on the nights leading up to the race,… ahem…)
The coolest part of the meal prep had to be using the wok. I imagine that we’ve had this quaint little piece of cookware for years. To my recollection, we’ve used it only a couple of times. On the heels of this successful recipe, I may be using the wok with far greater frequency. In fact, I may become wok-a-khan.