Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ellie's Crispy Fish Fingers and Ina's Outrageous Brownies

This week's CEiMB recipe, Crispy Fish Fingers, was chosen by Rainforest Recipes. I've been totally confused all week about what day it is, and almost didn't get to this. But frozen fish sticks are one food (or at least "food-like product") that my kids will eat, so I thought there was a chance that the real thing would go over well. These are pretty easy to make - throw a couple of slices of wheat bread in the food processor to make bread crumbs and then toast the crumbs in a dry skillet; dredge strips of flounder in a mixture of whole wheat flour, salt & pepper; then eggs; then the bread crumbs, and bake. I used Aggie's trick and baked them on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet, which really helped make them crisp all around.


I served the kids' with ketchup, and David's and mine with Ellie's dipping sauce (greek yogurt, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of cayenne). Verdict? My littlest one loved these. My second born took a couple of bites of the fish, but was mainly distracted by the broccoli that she wanted removed from her plate. My oldest looked downright sullen at the prospect of having to eat the fish. He tried to negotiate his way to a frozen waffle with peanut butter, but we showed him who's boss and told him to focus on the sides if he didn't like the fish. David and I had a similar opinion of these - like many of Ellie's recipes, the fish fingers were very good, if maybe a little bland. But the sauce was really flavorful and pretty much took care of any bland fish problems.

The Barefoot Bloggers recipe this week is Ina's Outrageous Brownies, chosen by Eva of I'm Boring (note to Eva: No you're not!). I've had problems lately with raw brownie innards, so I was happy to see Ina's baking method for these brownies -- they get baked on a large baking sheet rather than in the usual 9"x13" pan. This worked out fabulously -- these were not thin brownies by any means, but they were baked all the way through. I should note that the full recipe makes an obscene amount of brownies. I needed a nap by the time I cut through all of them. This is definitely the brownie recipe you want to break out when you find out that the army of a small nation, an NFL team, or Kayte's 16 year old sons are coming over for dinner.

Here are the brownies. I took them out of the freezer to photograph, so they look kind of frozen in this picture:


I told the kids to scoot while I took a couple of pictures, and then they could have a brownie for dessert. Here they are, scooting:


These brownies are not just outrageous, they are "pound-of-butter-two-pounds-of- chocolate-two-plus-cups-of-sugar-half-dozen-eggs" outrageous. They really do shock the conscience even if you bake every week like I do. But if you are going to go all out in the brownie department, this is a great one to go all out with. My one mistake: the recipe calls for instant coffee powder, and I substituted an equal amount of espresso powder, which is what I had on hand. I think the coffee powder would have just enhanced the intensity of the chocolate, but the espresso powder (at least in the amount I used) gave these brownies an unmistakable coffee, or mocha, flavor. They were still very good, just not exactly what Ina (or I) had in mind.

Be sure to check out the Ellie and Barefoot blogrolls to see some fabulous versions of these!

36 comments:

Debinhawaii said...

Yum--the fish looks good and so do your brownies. I like how you stacked them. I was just going through my photos thinking how hard they were to get a good picture of. Your look great!

Engineer Baker said...

Love the scooting kids :) I really would love to try these, but can't countenance how, well, outrageous they are! And I adore espresso with my chocolate, so maybe I should just bite the bullet and make them - yours look wonderful!

Pam said...

Yum on both accounts!

I have seen Ina make those brownies on her show and have always wanted to try them.

I loved the fish fingers - yours look great!

applecrumbles said...

Your recap of the opinions of your two kids who weren't crazy about the fish sounded quite like my husbands. He would've taken the frozen waffle with peanut butter if the idea had struck him.
Cute - cute - cute.

spike. said...

I kind of like the sound of the brownies with more coffee flavor. I needed to halve the recipe to feel better about the butter situation. Love the picture with the kids running in the background

Peggy said...

I knew you would succumb to making the fish Cathy! We didn't like it so much. Too bland. But the brownies were excellent. Yours are beautiful. Mine fell apart a little but still tasted so good!!

Audrey said...

My cousin and I made these brownies together and we decided (silly us) to weight the baking pan before we put it in the oven. I'm pretty sure I remember 10 pounds, but maybe that was the increase on the scale after we tasted one (it's a little fuzzy). But they WERE good, and yours look great. And I wouldn't mind trying the fish - I want to cook fish more at home, now that it's easier to buy good fish locally! - especially with that sauce. I'm glad you had slightly bland fish and outrageous brownies, tho, instead of the other way around!

Bridgett said...

I love that last pic of the brownies with the little ones playing in the background. How sweet...literally! The fish fingers were such a yummy savory treat when I made them a while back. This reminds me I need to make them once again. You are so good about your cooking clubs!

pinkstripes said...

Those brownies are outrageous--with all that butter and eggs. They must be very delicious though.

I love the pic of your kids scooting.

Sara said...

The fish definitely needed to be sauced in some way, but they were good.

Your brownies look ah-mazing!

chocolatechic said...

I used espresso too.

I thought that these were fabulous.

nick said...

Aggie's sneaky trick really worked out well for us on this one too. I also liked the sauce, I don't know what else you could ask for flavor wise from something that has so little fat in it - but next time I'd definitely put some pickles in it.

Sara also had a mostly FAIL! on the uncooked chipster insides, so don't be so hard on yourself, K?

Megan said...

Shocking? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely.

Those are my #1 brownie pick.

Steph said...

I'm glad these brownies turned out better than the other ones.

Aggie said...

Ok...I love your tower of brownies photo!!! Wow!!

My son was hesitant about the fish too...but with a small threat of not being able to watch the Magic game tonight he quickly regrouped and tried them and actually liked them! My daughter...she's in an "ew" phase...everything is "ew"

Glad you tried the air baking technique and liked it!

Leslie said...

Yay fish fingers that the family will (mostly) eat!

Your brownies are making me realize I overcooked mine. Now I must make them again. Such a sacrifice.

What's for Supper? said...

Glad that you liked the fishsticks...even if they were bland. As for your child being "distracted by the brocoli on his plate", we have the same issue just about every night at dinner.

Why can't they just eat the other stuff on their plate without worrying about getting the stuff they don't want on there off?

Pamela said...

I love that last picture of the brownies with the kids "scooting" in the background. I've made that recipe before and they were very good. I even tossed some Oreos in there once and that was REALLY good. Didn't get to the fish this week, though. Maybe soon.

Barbara Bakes said...

Enough brownies for an army sounds perfect to me! Great pictures!

Suzie said...

You say obscene like it's a bad thing! These were incredible, although clearly not an every day indulgence. I will definitely make these the next time the clan gathers.

Natashya said...

A great day for eating at your place! I love homemade versions of the kids classics, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, etc.
And brownies! I love brownies, they look fudgy and delicious.

Tracey said...

I love Ina's outrageous brownies and I'm really intrigued by the fish fingers! The sauce sounds delicious! Great pictures.

Pam said...

Great photos - love the one of your kids "scooting". I think the fish looks great but my favorite part is the sauce. The brownies look like the perfect dessert.

Cakelaw said...

I like the look of the fish fingers, and the dipping sauce sure sounds tasty. LOL at the kids reactions (especially the vain attempt to have a waffle with peanut butter instead). Ina's brownies are very handsome - but man, I know what you are saying with those ingredients - Ina has even out-buttered, out-chocolated and out-egged Dorie!

Lady Baker said...

brownies look FAB!!! And I love the photo of the kids doing their 'scooting'! :)

Elyse said...

I think these fish sticks look fabulous!! And Ellie's dipping sauce sounds awesome. Although, I do understand the urge to grab a waffle with some PB. Those are pretty awesome! Of course, fish could never compare to these outrageous brownies. They look incredible!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I think if you eat the fish first and then the brownies for dessert, they will cancel each other out calorie-wise!

They both look fantastic Cathy. Brownies are my favorite, but I am really intrigued with the fish.

pigpigscorner said...

Baking is so much healthier! The brownies look amazing!

Melissa said...

Both look fantastic, Cathy! Your family must enjoy your assignments from all of the baking groups you've joined. Love that picture of your kids scooting!

Jacque said...

I could sure go for one of those brownies right now. Yum!

I'm not much of a fish stick fan, but might make an exception for these.

Nice work!!

Di said...

Mmm, I love brownies. I particularly like the picture with the kids in the background. =) I add espresso powder to brownies all the time and it's really good--how much did you use?

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Kayte said...

I need to get in on this Ellie thing...those fish sticks look truly wonderful and thanks for the rack tip to bake them on...makes a lot of sense. Funny about E not liking broccoli...I should own stock in broccoli, my boys would eat it every single day, seriously. When they were little they pretended like they were eating a whole TREE, and called them trees...it's a guy thing, I'm pretty sure. But, they love trees even now. We eat a lot of trees around here. Speaking of Ina's brownies...9 times out of 10, that is what I take for swim meets for the hospitality room, without nuts because of the swimming/breathing/nut thing, but still...it makes a ton of brownies and they are always all gone. Once I made two trays and they were all gone. Sure you don't want some teenage boys over there to help you out with all this baking...well, the eating part, of course, not the actual work part as they are not particularly good at that...although they are fun in the kitchen. All this food looks wonderful. Would be a big hit over here, that's for sure!

Me! said...

The expresso powder sounds good. I love a hint of coffee with my chocolate. That's how I drink coffee!

Tonya @ What's On My Plate said...

i'm totally in love with these brownies. i made mine a bit thinner and they were fantastic.

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