the perfect summer dinner of fried fish (tilapia or flounder) with homemade tartar sauce, cole slaw, sliced Jersey tomatoes, and Jersey farm corn on the cob, french fries or baked stuffed potatoes!

This is one of my favorite summer dinners to eat and make.  When my parents were alive, I loved to make this for them (with french fries, too) because they loved it to the nth degree.  And what I loved was how much they loved the meal and how they commented with almost every bite about how delicious everything was.  My mother Shirley Fried’s comment would be, “How do you make everything so perfect, dolly?”  My daughter Randi loved the meal too, and she recently asked me to make it.  I invited her father in law and his wife, because I really have fun with them- they are great people- and because they like my food.  As my daughter says, “They are good customers.”

I bought the fish at Whole Foods and it was super fresh. The only other place I’ve bought fish that’s been this fresh has been at the Keyport Fishery.  The corn I bought at an amazing farmstand in Pennington, NJ called Kerr’s Kornstand. The corn is brought right in  from the field while you are there- and it is perfect corn- there is none fresher or sweeter!  I also buy modafinil got my tomatoes there, and they were sweet, dark red, and juicy.

for the fish (tilapia, flounder, or other mild white fish):

My recipe for the fish harkens from the recipe used at Klein’s Fish Market in Belmar, NJ.  I once asked them for their recipe, and they readily gave it to me, I think because they sell the coating mix right there in the market. For the coating they use 1 part McCormick Golden Dipt Tempura Seafood Batter Mix  to 2 parts McCormick Golden Dipt Fry Easy All-Purpose Breading Mix. What a breeze to make.  Simply put the mix into a 9 by 13 baking pan and whisk together to get any lumps out.  Put some cold water in a separate mixing bowl.  Dip each fillet into the water on both sides of the fillet, then dredge the fillet through the coating mix on each side of pharmacy online the fillet, using your hand to sprinkle some extra coating over the fish to cover the fillet completely.  Then heat your oil (about 1/2 inch deep)  on a high flame in a nonstick frying pan till it’s really hot.  Fry about 2-3 minutes till underside is beautifully browned.  Flip with spatula and cook till underside is browned.  No need to drain- the fish doesn’t pick up excess oil if it’s hot enough to start.

For each pound of fresh fish fillets, use about 1 cup of the all purpose breading mix and 1/2 cup of the tempura mix.

Use canola or light olive oil  in a large non-stick fry pan, and get the oil nice and hot before putting the fish in.  Fry till underside is brown, flip and brown the other side. This should take about 5 min. altogether.  Serve immediately with tartar sauce and/or cocktail sauce and lots of fresh sliced lemon.

judy’s homemade tartar sauce:

  • 1 cup of Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or Minute Maid frozen lemon juice from concentrate 
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated onion
  • a few tablespoons of chopped dill pickle (I use Claussen dill sandwich slices)
  • a dash of kosher salt 

After you taste, adjust by adding a little more lemon juice or chopped pickle to your liking.

my simple cole slaw:

  • 2 bags dole cabbage for cole slaw
  • about 1 cup of Hellman’s mayo
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk (you could substitute plain Greek yogurt or sour cream)
  • about 4-5 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • about 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • about 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • about 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • about 1 tablespoon of the BEST herbs- Litehouse dill 

Mix together in large mixing bowl at least a few hours before serving.  Add more or less of any of the ingredients to your taste.

fresh corn on the cob:

Cover shucked corn in a large pot with water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer on low boil for 8 minutes.  Serve.

french fries (Be careful with this recipe- although it’s easy, only experienced cooks should make this!)

Heat a large pot of oil (corn or canola) till oil starts to shimmer, but is NOT yet boiling. You don’t want your oil to come to a boil before you put the fries in, because the oil could catch on fire!  Carefully place your fries in and stand back a bit so you don’t get burned if oil splatters a little- I use either Whole Foods Crinkle Cut Fries or Nathans Crinkle canadian pharmacy Cut Fries.  Leave the fries alone, do not mix them in the oil.  Fry on a rolling boil till fries are browned- the time may range from 15 min. to 25 min.  Drain in paper towels, sprinkle with kosher salt, and serve.

baked stuffed potatoes:

  • Idaho organic potatoes
  • salted or unsalted butter
  • paprika 

Pierce potatoes with a fork.  Bake at about 375 degrees to 400 degrees for at least 1 hour till a fork goes in easily and potatoes are soft inside. Slice the tippy top of potatoes off.  Scoop out the potato being careful not to break the skin and put in mixing bowl.  Add butter to taste, salt to taste, and a little pepper to taste.  Mash potatoes.  Scoop the mashed potatoes back into the potato shells.  Sprinkle tops with paprika.

Note:  I usually make these in advance, so I refrigerate them, covered, and then I heat them up in a baking pan or sheet pan at 375 degrees for about 45 min. to an hour, till piping hot.

Apple, Strawberry, Lettuce, Peppers, Red Onion, Cucumber Salad

This is a light, fresh, citrusy salad that’s great in any season.

  • a combination of romaine, green leaf, and baby spinach
  • peeled cucumber , cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
  • about 2 slices of red onion, cut into small pieces
  • about 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 5-7 sliced strawberries
  • 1 apple cut into bite sized pieces
  • a handful of broken by hand Whole Foods Sea Salt Pita Chips

citrus vinaigrette

  • 1 lemon juiced  (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons country Dijon mustard
  • pinch salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Greek Pasta Salad

I took my homemade dressing which has a Greek vinaigrette taste, and I added some pasta, and some veggies to create a pasta salad that tastes similar to a Greek salad.

It’s a little heartier than just a salad, and it makes a great leftover lunch.

For the dressing:

  • juice from 1 large lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup olive oil (I use a combination of light and extra virgin)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sun dried tomatoes (in oil) minced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated

In a mixing bowl, whisk the lemon juice, the oregano, the salt, the pepper, the red pepper flakes, the optional sun-dried tomatoes, the lemon zest, and the garlic. Then add the oil slowly as you continue to whisk. You can make this earlier in the day, and put it in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Then when you are ready to use it, give it a few good shakes, and pour it over the salad right before you serve the salad.

for the pasta salad:

12 oz. rotelle or penne

1 1/2 greenhouse cucumbers, cut into 1/2 in. chunks

about 12 kalamata pitted olives, cut in half

a few slices of red onion, diced

1-2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 in. chunks

1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half

about 1 lb. of good feta, cut into 1/2 in. chunks

Cook the pasta till al dente.  Run under cool water.  Place in large serving bowl, and add all the veggies.  Then pour vinaigrette over salad and mix.  Put in fridge until ready to serve.

Fried Chicken with Fresh Peaches and Strawberries and Homemade Ranch Dressing

I wanted to make a light summer dinner salad, so I cooked my recipe for “Delectable Fried Chicken Nuggets” and I made a salad of green leaf lettuce, cucumbers, sliced strawberries and peaches, slices of the nuggets, drizzled with this very light and summery dressing.  In the fall, I’ll substitute slices of apples and add some cranberries and toasted walnuts for the summer fruit. The best part of the salad was the dressing though,which I couldn’t get enough of.

for the chicken:  See my recipe for Delectable Fried Chicken Nuggets.  You can refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.

for the salad:  green leaf lettuce, sliced cucumber, sliced strawberries, sliced peaches.

for the dressing:  In medium bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons Hellman’s or Kraft mayo, 1/2 cup Fage plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar, pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, zest of one lemon, and about 3 tablespoons of chopped fine or snipped chive.

Note:  This also makes a good dipping sauce for the nuggets.

Fresh Tossed Salad With Light and Tasty Vinaigrette

The Lemon Vinaigrette Makes This Salad Outstanding!

When I gave a bridal shower for my daughter Randi in May of 2006, of course I went all out. Randi is the sweetest, most wonderful daughter to me, and as far as I’m concerned, nothing I can ever do for her is enough. I held the shower at my friend Jim’s house in Bricktown, New Jersey. We had about 40 people as guests. Anyway, it was a wonderful day. The weather was beautiful, and the guests were able to sit out by the pool. I had worked hard for weeks before doing as much as possible in advance. Most of my preparations, though took place during the week of the shower, which was a little difficult since I didn’t take one day off from work. The food spread was incredible! Here is the menu: macaroni and cheese casserole, french toast bread pudding, noodle kugel, mushroom, spinach, and Gruyere egg casserole, a strata (which I really didn’t like), lime jello mold, tossed salad with vinaigrette, tuna salad and egg salad, sliced cheeses, bagels and assorted cream cheeses, and finally, incredible smoked fish platters from the amazing Jerry and Harvey’s Delicatessen in Marlboro, NJ (their appetizing stuff is the best!). Luckily, I did get a little help. My Aunt Sally Hindes made the egg salad, and my mother, Shirley Fried, made her lime jello mold. But you have to understand, that I’m not complaining. I loved making everything for the shower. I live for these family milestones, and I love every second of the preparations involved. Of course, we had dessert, and everything was homemade (by me). I baked cheesecake, carrot cake, my vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, chocolate chip cookies, jam diagonals, oatmeal cookies, and rugeluch. The food was wonderful, but the real reason the shower was so outstanding was because of how sweet and incredible Randi is. How lucky I am to be blessed with Randi as a daughter.

for the vinaigrette:

  • juice from 1 large lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup olive oil (I use a combination of light and extra virgin)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

For this particular party, I made a huge salad so I doubled the recipe for the vinaigrette as follows:

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 1 cup olive oil (combination of light and extra virgin)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a mixing bowl, whisk the lemon juice, the oregano, the salt, the pepper, and the garlic. Then add the oil slowly as you continue to whisk. You can make this earlier in the day, and put it in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Then when you are ready to use it, give it a few good shakes, and pour it over the salad right before you serve the salad.

for a really big salad:

a combination of romaine and green leaf lettuce

2 English cucumbers, sliced lengthwise and then cut in half

2 pints of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red onion, sliced thinly

2 large red bell peppers, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 large green bell pepper, cut into ½ inch pieces

Note: Possible additions to the salad include black or green olives, radishes, 4-8 ounces of feta cheese crumbled, good croutons

Grandma Fried’s Cucumber Salad

When I was a little girl, my father, my brother, and I  would visit his mother, my Grandma Fried, on the weekend.  My grandmother was a wonderful, wonderful person who had come over from Hungary sometime around 1910.  She was a good European cook, and I loved eating her foods.  Sometimes, she would make one of her specialties, her cucumber salad, and give my father a jar to bring home.  My mother and father loved these.  When I got married, I started making this recipe, because I knew how much my parents, but especially my father appreciated it.  I like to make this recipe instead of salad especially for a big holiday dinner .  People have so many different things to put on their plate, and it’s easy to squeeze some of these cucumbers on their plates.  This dish is refreshing and it’s nice for a change instead of salad. 

  • 5-6 large cucumbers (the greenhouse cucumbers are best)
  • Water
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Peel and slice cucumbers very thinly and place in colander.  Sprinkle them with the Kosher salt and put a heavy plate directly over the cucumbers; press down.  Let sit for about an hour.  Rinse salt off with water, drain well.  Put in serving bowl.  Pour the vinegar and sugar over the cucumbers.  Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.  

Note:  You can make these a few days in advance.  The cucumbers shrink in size, so you will need more than you think.  Besides, they are great to go with holiday leftovers.