Monday, September 3, 2012

Lemon-Garlic Fish Fingers and Custard

You're allowed to break your own rules. This week, I'm breaking my book rule, because this post is definitely not about a book.

It is about my favorite television show, whose return I have awaited for a full year. Do you watch Doctor Who? I absolutely love it, and have spent the last month rewatching old episodes to prepare myself for the new season that started this weekend.

I can't talk about it because spoilers!, but I can tell you that it was worth the wait. The first episode of the new season was somewhat heartbreaking, and really quite fantastic.

Do you hear that vworp vworp sound?
It's either my telephone or the Tardis.
If you don't watch the show, I can tell you it's about traveling through time and space or it's about the greatness and weakness of humanity or it's about relationships. There are episodes in the past, the future, and the present (the latter usually in London, as this is a British show), and of course they are beautiful and sad and hilarious and glorious. You may already have realized that I am a proud sci-fi dork (I will talk Who with you all day long if you let me. But right now I am going to stop.

Two season premieres ago, the Doctor was desperately searching for a new favorite food combination. Through trial and error and making a mess in the kitchen (sound familiar?), he chanced upon fish fingers and custard.

On one hand, that sounds disgusting, because I don't think fish and vanilla sound like they'd mix very well. On the other hand, fish fingers are crispy and crunchy and salty, and custard is light and sweet... just like my favorite fast food tradition of dipping my french fries into my milkshake (don't judge!). In conclusion, I have determined that I would willingly sample this combination someday.

But this is not that day. This day, I baked some un-breaded tilapia with some lemon juice, garlic, and butter, and made a bowl of fresh custard for my dessert. This was my first time making custard (I did not even practice this recipe. Oops), and let me tell you guys: it was fabulously easy.

Your assignment this week is to log on to Netflix, catch up on all 6 seasons of Doctor Who, make fish and custard, and then begin watching the 7th season with me. You have a week. And don't you tell me it's impossible! Nothing is impossible.

Lemon-Garlic Fish & Vanilla Bean Custard

Lemon-Garlic Fish

3-4 servings of fish (Like I said, I used tilapia. I bet some other white fish would be great as well)
Juice from 1 lemon (give or take, depending on your level of citrus devotion. I used more.)
2 cloves of garlic
¼ c butter
Celery salt

1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190.6 C).

2. Chop up the garlic into itsy bitsy pieces (I suppose the proper term is "minced", but I prefer my description).

3. Put the garlic and the butter into a microwaveable container and melt them together.

4.  Rinse the fish with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Put it into an oven-safe dish.

5. Pour lemon juice and garlic butter over the fish.

6. Sprinkle the fish with celery salt, pepper, and parsley.

7. Bake for 20-30 minutes. When it flakes/pulls apart nicely and isn't transparent inside, it's done!

Vanilla Bean Custard

2 c milk
2 T cornstarch
c white sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

1. Crack the eggs and beat them (just a little) in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Whisk together the milk, cornstarch, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Wait until the milk scalds (tiny bubbles on the edge), but don't let it boil. Whisk so it doesn't burn/clump/etc.

3. Remove from heat. Take out a couple of tablespoons of the milk mixture and whisk it into the egg bowl.

4. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking constantly.

5. Immediately put the saucepan back on medium heat, whisking gently until the mix thickens (2-3 minutes). Don't let it boil!

6. If you want, pour the now-thickened custard through a strainer, to get rid of the eggy chunks. Add vanilla and mix well.

7. Let it set! You can eat it while it's still somewhat warm (I only let it cool for about an hour) or you can chill it in the fridge.

This meal is best enjoyed with a cup of tea and a good book… or television show.


  1. I've seen Dr. Who a few times but I really need to sit down and watch them all. I'll need longer than a week. I remember well the days of french fries and milkshakes :)

    Love you,

  2. Yay Doctor Who!
    I have to agree that at some point I want to see how fish fingers and custard taste together; you're not alone.
    And the french fry thing, so delicious.
    I'm really glad to see you're custard recipe, I've been wanting to try some. This seems like a sign to do so now.

  3. when i am channel surfing i pass by dr. who, but i never stop. i do think of you as i am passing by. i have been wanting fish lately, i think i will try your redipe tonight. somewhere i have a recipe where you add parmesan cheese to the fish before you bake it. yum, yum. to my brilliant granddaughter, i love you, nani j.