While I can’t claim to create recipes from scratch (although I'm heading in that direction), at least not main courses, one thing at which my wife and I have proven particuarly adept is adapting a favorite dish from a restaurant.
One of our most successful restaurant-rip-off meals is a grilled fish sandwich, which we adapted from Cafe Deluxe, a popular, family-friendly restaurant with several locations in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s relatively easy to make, fairly sloppy to eat, and genuinely enjoyable. All it takes is some good bread, some small filets of trout or flounder, lettuce, tomato, maybe some avocado or bacon (or both!!), and, most definitely, a thick slathering of a really simple remoulade sauce.
This is enough for two fish sandwiches.
- 2 small trout filets
- 4 slices of fresh, rustic bread
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Few dashes of cayenne
- Few dashes of chili pepper powder
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons of mayo
- A few dashes of hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon tarragon
- 1 garlic clove, smashed with the side of a knife
- 2 tablespoon of capers, chopped
- Salt and pepper
Light a grill, get it to a moderate heat.
Combine all of the ingredients for the remoulade in a bowl and stir well. Remember: taste and adjust! I like it with some heat and some tang.
Sprinkle the fish with cayenne, chili pepper powder, salt and pepper, and then drizzle the olive oil over top. Grill the fish over moderate heat (we usually do it on foil – don’t get the grill marks, but don’t get the fish sticking to the grill either!) until it starts to flake.
Put 1 filet on a slice of bread, add the toppings, put a generous slather of remoulade on the other slice of bread and, by Jove, you’ve got it!
Again, you can add some bacon or a few thin slices of avocado to this sandwich and it’s all the better.