A Very Quarantine Fish Fry

About one month into lockdown and things are settling down a bit. The rest of the household is totally locked down, and I’m fortunate enough to be working my off-farm job remotely. Now we’ve got all that figured out, the farm prep is in full swing, and it’s time for a little indulgence.

Enter fried food.

We do not eat very much fried food, as one might expect from hippie locavore farmers. In addition to the nutritional aspect, deep frying in your own kitchen tends to be a bit messy… and smelly… and greasy.

But oh, does it ever taste good, especially when you’re emotionally down and need a little caloric pick-me-up.

And if I ever fail to mention how glorious it is to be functionally common-law married to a chef, there are moments that bring that fact screechingly to the forefront of my mind. Like on a day where afternoon is getting closer to evening. When everyone is a little peckish and hungry and unmotivated and then, out of the blue, one member offers to make fried fish for dinner.


For this wholesome meal, Joe whipped up a quick beer batter. To test out its effectiveness, thick onion rings were quickly cut, dipped, and tossed into the oil. They met with approval, so the next step was to make a quick tartar-esque sauce of sour cream, lemon juice, pickles, and some mystery spices. Following that, there wasn’t much left to do but fry up the walleye and serve over a bed of fresh spinach with a side of roasted carrot fries (potatoes being a distant memory this far in the year).

Bon Apetit!

The only annoying part of the process is what to do with all that frying oil (no matter what the air-fryer claims, there is only one way to really make fried food). Not to worry. We will strain our used oil and store it in a glass jar in the fridge, using in place of vegetable oil anywhere the slight fishy hint won’t be too bothersome. Such as roasting more hearty, well-seasoned vegetables. Or cooking meat. Or wherever, really; there are times to have high standards and times to avoid food waste. Just maybe avoid using it to cook pancakes.

Shout-out to Blackbrook Farm for the spinach, carrots, and onions, Bodin’s Fishery for the walleye, and Roosterhaven for the… pickles, I guess. In addition, local flour from Sunrise Mill, local beer from Summit Brewery, and local sour cream from Kalona.

Isn’t it nice when doing the right thing tastes so good?

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