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Cooking pollack

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am a stay at home mom and our budget is pretty tight as a result of that. I have to watch the sales and can't buy the more expensive cuts/types of meat and fish that I'd like. I found some pollack on sale last weekend and bought a package of it to cook this week. Les told me the only way to cook it is battered and deep fried. Otherwise it isn't very tasty. I have had it fried but was wondering if anyone had some suggestions on other ways to cook it.
TIA!
post #2 of 12
No, Les is wrong. There are numerous ways of preparing it.

Pollack is a firm-fleshed, very mild-tasting fish. It is, in fact, the basic ingredient for artificial crab meat, and used to be used to make "poor man's lobster" because it's flavor is said to be as delicate as that.

What it does do is take on the flavors of whatever it's cooked with, serving more as a platform for those tastes than a major contributor of its own.

Here's just one non-deep fried method:

Pollack with Cucumber Sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients:
1 small cucumber
salt
5 medium-size radishes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 pollack fillet, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon salad oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Directions:
Cut cucumber lengthwise in half; with tip of spoon, scrape out seeds. Coarsely chop unpeeled cucumber and place in medium bowl; toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside. Coarsely chop radishes; set aside.
On waxed paper, combine flour, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Dip each piece of pollack fillet in flour mixture to coat. In nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, in hot salad oil, cook cod 10 minutes, turning fish once, until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
With hand, squeeze cucumber to remove excess liquid. Into bowl with cucumber, stir radishes, mayonnaise, and white wine vinegar. Place pollack on 4 dinner plates; top with cucumber sauce.

Enjoy!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
MMM, that sounds wonderful! Thank you! Too bad, I really have to cook this tonight (nothing else on hand as grocery shopping is tomorrow). Otherwise, I'd love it! I'm thinking of maybe some lemon juice and lemon pepper cooked in foil packets in the oven? Those are things I have on hand! The pantry is getting low right now. lol

I love fried fish but I'm trying really hard to watch what I eat and fried foods are not that great for cutting the fat!
post #4 of 12
Just about any thick fish fillet is good baked: I like to oil a baking dish, put in the fish, pour a can of stewed tomatoes over it, and bake. Very simple, very economical, and always good AND healthy. You can gussy it up with spices, grated lemon zest, sliced olives, extra vegetables -- but start from that and you'll have a nice dish.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
That sounds really good, too! I love anything with tomatoes!

I ended up breading it and frying it. Maybe not the best solution but one my family would eat. Sometimes they are so picky about their food. The kids will eat better than Les will. He can not bear the thought of fish not being fried. I prefer it grilled or baked.
post #6 of 12
Tell Les he needs to set a better example for the kids! :p Make him at least taste the stuff -- he might discover how good it is.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I wish! I told him last night that I am just going to start buying chicken breasts for him and buy fish and seafood for the kids and me. We all love it and they'll eat it cooked anyway I put it in front of them.

It's not just fish or seafood! He's that way with vegetables. I have eaten so much corn, green beans, and peas, just the thought of it almost makes my stomach turn! I have started cooking one of those for him and something else for us. lol
post #8 of 12

some ideas

I have three boys and am always on a tight budget.

cooking frozen fish on a budget, and make it taste like 1m$:

Frozen fish fillets:

cover with jar salsa and bake
serve with rice and rosted zuchini (I usually buy from the produce "sale" rack and cook within a day)

dust with lemon pepper and bake
a side of pasta with tomatoe sauce and salad

brush with olive oil, garlic, chopped tomato and some capers or olives (black or green, whatever your taste) and broil
roasted potatoes with onions

brush with mayo and dill broil or bake
chop salad, iceberg, cucumbers, radish etc.

Soy Vey, a family fav for the best terriaki fish
frozen store brand stir fry veggies and cucumbers with soy vey and imitation crab, can't keep it in the house

BBQ sauce and broil when it's so cold out, we just want a taste of summer!
serve with corn

My rules for shopping:
Store brands
Sale with coupon
Buy in season
Cheap cuts of meat mean good stew, pot roast, long marinades and a tasty challange.
:bounce:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for those tasty ideas!

I do buy more store brands than anything. Lots of frozen veggies simply because this time of year in Indiana, there's not a lot available. In summer, I hit the local produce roadside stands and grow my own tomatoes, peppers, and yellow squash. I watch all the sales (have the local stores bookmarked) and plan menus accordingly. Coupons aren't a lot of help on the grocery end because most I get are for pre-cooked foods and I'm not into those at all! lol I enjoy cooking my own way too much!

For meats, we use a lot of chicken, particularly boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, a good bit of lean pork, and very little beef. It's just too outrageously expensive any more! My budget certainly doesn't allow for steak often. lol Some weeks, I can get by with around $50 in groceries while other weeks I got up to $100 or above. It just depends on how much work Les has (construction) and the bills we need to pay. lol
post #10 of 12
>particularly boneless, skinless, chicken breasts<

I don't know how things are in Indiana, but in Kentucky, right next door, boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost as much as beef.

Why are you paying somebody else to do that simple task?

Anyone who's on a budget really needs to learn how to break down chickens and large cuts of meat. It isn't difficult. And it's the only way to save money on meat protein.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've actually been getting them for anywhere from $1.49 to 1.99 per pound. Any more than that and I pass them by! At 99 cents a pound, or more in some stores, for the whole chicken (unless I buy Walmart's which are just gross, IMO), once you take out the bone, I don't feel I'm getting a very good deal. I do know how to cut up a chicken and when I find them on sale, I buy them and do it myself.

Beef, on the other hand, is rarely on sale at that price. Oh I can get ground chuck every now and then for $1.79 per pound but roasts and steaks run more $2.99 per pound and up with the better cuts being 6.99 or more!
post #12 of 12
I NEVER buy precut meats!

For inexpensive steaks, buy a beef chuck or shoulder roast. You can usually and easily get a 3 lb roast for under $10 on sale. The roast is actually 2 muscle groups from the beef shoulder. Separate the 2 muscle groups and slice 1/2" - 3/4" thick. You can get 6 "steaks" from 3 lbs easy and, depending on how thick the steaks are, some stew meat too. Which makes the cost of steak only $1.65 each for an 8 oz steak and "free" stew meat (usually only enough from one roast for beef & noodle or barley soup but...).

Buy Pork loin whole and slice for "chops" 1/2" thick. Premium meat, low fat, no bones, and fairly cheap. Buy the big thick ones and not the skinny lil bitty "yuppy" version. Should cost between $15 - $20 bucks each but you can get 25-30 chops out of one loin. They're packaged to look ugly. It's just the fatty side you see and you trim that off before slicing. No silver skin either. :)

Find a discount restaurant supply store like Smart & Final (don't know if they have 'em in Indiana) and buy a HUGE chunk of ribeye for $75 and slice THAT for steaks. Ribeye steaks for $6-10 each is better than $25 at the high end eateries for the same cut of beef. You can get sirloin at S&F for around $25-$35 and do the same. Beef has silver skin and you should read up on how to dismember for best cuts.

Next, consider buying half a beef cow and having it butchered. Ditto with a hog. You'll get a full ham instead of the half ham you get at the market. Also, find a local farmer who will sell you pre-plucked & butchered chickens or other fowl. Lots of organic small time farmers out there. Look in Mother Earth News magazine and the like for advertisers/farmers near you with offerings for sale.

Last, tell the hubby he needs to get hisself out there and hunt you up some vittles for dinner. Fish, duck, goose, venision, whatever, just go and bring back food which doesn't come on styrofoam or in plastic wrap.

I was raised on food gleaned from farm fields after the pickin was done. I know all about not having any gorcery budget. It doesn't mean you have to settle for less. It means you have to be creative with the food you can get.
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