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Classic Fish and Chips with Homemade Punchy Tartar Sauce

This recipe/video is the third of my Iceland Inspired dishes Series. I am excited to share this tasty recipe because it is perfect for the summer season of easy entertaining.

I just had this conversation with my husband over an early bite before an evening flight at a seafood bar… he said “you always order fish and chips when it’s on the menu and often are disappointed.”

Well, maybe that is the case because often the portions of batter to fish are way off with to much batter and not a lot of fish which causes OR aka “order regret.”

This recipe that I have whipped up will not disappoint. The tempura batter is just enough to satisfy the crispy factor but main attraction is the moist fish.

And never say never, I used to say tartar sauce is one of the few things I dislike. And then I started making my own. It is savory more than the sweet and perfect to dip most anything in.

And salt and vinegar chips might be my favorite salty vice. If I had to have one chip on a long road trip–hands down I would be packing salt and vinegar chips. But these are effortless to make and round the whole dish together.

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1 pound of cod (3-4 oz. pieces of fish), or a white flaky but firm fish

Vegetable oil, for frying


1 cup of All purpose flour

1 teaspoon of cornstarch

1 1/2 seltzer

A pinch of kosher salt

A pinch a smoked paprika

Tartar sauce:

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 cup Capers

1/2 cup Cornichons

1 tbsp dijon Mustard

1/4 cup organic Mayo

Hot sauce, a few dashes

Black finishing salt, optional

A lemon, cut in big chunks

Simple Salt and Vinegar chips:



NOTE: If you have extra tartar sauce,  mix it into your left over chicken or fish and make a salad for sandwiches. 

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In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat oil to 365 degrees. Season the pieces of fish with salt and pepper, on both sides.

In a small bowl combine mayo, dijon mustard, cornichons, paprika, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce.

In a separate bowl, combine the all purpose flour, corn starch, remaining paprika, kosher salt, pepper, and pour in seltzer water.

Carefully place the fish into the oil for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. With a spider or a slotted spatula, remove fish and season with black salt.

On a big platter, place the pieces of fish, the chips, a bowl of tartar sauce and chunks of fresh lemon. And serve!


Watch this video to see the full process!


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A perfect recipe for Memorial Day Weekend. 😉

Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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Mushroom and Barley Arancini

Barley is one of my favorite grains.  I love the wholesome texture and the nuttiness… and I feel healthy just eating it. I spotted mushrooms and barley on the menu a few times in Iceland and I imagined recreating arancini, traditional Italian rice balls with this barley and mushroom combination.

Dill is a popular herb in the Icelandic cuisine so I thought it would add brightness and balance to the decadence of the arancini. I’ve never made arancini with brie, but when I was testing the recipe the week before, I tried it, and it added such a creamy component to this dish. This dish is perfect for a passed hors d’oevre, a make ahead dinner with a side salad, or even just a tasty snack!


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1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of mixed wild mushrooms, finely chopped (I used gemini and shiitakes)

1 cup of cooked barley

1/4 cup of fresh dill and parsley, finely chopped

1 organic egg

1/4 cup of Fontina, shredded

1/4 cup of Brie, 1/4 inch cubes

1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated

1 cup of Panko

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper for seasoning

Vegetable oil for frying

Finishing salt, optional


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-In a medium pan, heat oil and add mushrooms

-Sauté for 5-7 min., season with salt or pepper and set aside

-In a large bowl, combine barley, herbs, mushrooms, egg, and season with salt and pepper

-Fold in cheeses

-Form golf size balls of the rice mixture and place on a parchment paper lined sheet tray

-While forming the balls, heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a large pot or  dutch oven to 365 degrees

-Roll each ball into the Panko

-Carefully drop three to four Arancini in the oil for a few minutes or until golden brown

-Remove with a spider or mesh spatula on a paper towel lined plate

-Immediately season with finishing salt or kosher salt

-Repeat in batches

Serve Immediately…Mangia

Click here to see the video!


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Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

Related Posts:

Golden Door: A wholesome food line…Heartfelt cause

Golden Door Spa Food line

Golden Door balances its luxury and zen aura making it one of the most elite spa sanctuaries in the world, focused on the trifecta of mind, body, spirit, located in southern California amongst some other wellness heavy hitters. I was introduced to their food line curated by the Executive chef, Greg Frey Jr. and I decided to whip up a meal based around the rice medley.

It is fun for me to try different products especially when I don’t often use “pre-packaged” mixtures. Chef Frey is dedicated to sourcing the finest ingredients…and conveniently combining textures and flavors so you, the home cook can easily prepare a nutritious meal.

Scallops and rice medley rice

“My culinary background has been focused on providing a healthy mindful presentation and building a strong food sourcing base with relationships with local farmers, fisherman and ranches. The focus is on sustenance rather than deprivation.” says Chef Greg Frey Jr.


The rice medley I used was the Zazen Rice with Shiitake Mushrooms and silvered almonds. I cooked the rice as directed on the packet with organic broth. I seasoned it with salt and pepper, folded in some vegetables and added some brightness with the fresh lime juice and cilantro.  I topped the rice with curry crusted scallops and a quick pickling of red onion. The earthiness of the mushrooms and almonds in the rice medley married well with the pop from the citrus and herbs… and of course the tang of the vinegar from the pickled onions (I love all things pickled).

Easy healthy recipes

The best news I haven’t even mentioned yet is that all the profits from the Golden Door artisan food line go to charitable causes which makes purchasing the Golden Door products extremely rewarding and a “Feel Good”–all around. Bon Appetite!


RECIPE: Curry crusted Wild Scallops with Cantor and Lime Zazen Rice Medley


Curry crusted scallops with Rice medley


1 packet of Zazen Rice Medley
2 cups of organic low sodium broth
1/2 colored bell pepper, thin 1/2 inch strips
1/2 pound of wild fresh scallops
2 tablespoons of curry powder
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, small chop

For Pickling:
small red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup of white vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon, of peppercorns

small bunch of cilantro leaves
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, for seasoning



In a pot, bring two cups of broth to a simmer and add the rice medley. Cook as directed on package. Take off heat, season for taste and fold in the peppers, lime juice, and cilantro.

While rice is cooking, in a small pot bring white vinegar to a boil with bay leaf and peppercorns, and a pinch of salt.  Lower to a simmer, add onions and let cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit in the vinegar mixture for another 7-10 minutes. Drain the onions from the liquid and set aside.

Dry scallops with a paper towel and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Dust them with curry powder on both sides. Heat a large skillet, make sure it is hot and add oil. Cook scallops 1-2 minutes on each side without moving the scallops so you get some nice charred color.

To plate, add rice mixture, top with scallops and finish with pickled onions and cilantro leaves.

Packing party

I served this dish at a packing party for our lunch break and I received raved reviews. Order your Golden Door products and please share your creative dishes you whip up in your kitchens!

Healthy Scallops dish








Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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Iceland Inspired Dishes: Roasted Beets with a Yogurt Dip

Preparing Dish













Food is such a an essential part of travel and it is also such a prevalent part of my day to day. Every time I travel I become more deeply inspired by the culinary and cultural roots. Returning back into my kitchen with a new perspective of the traditional fare and ingredients helps me hone my craft.


Visiting Iceland in the winter lends itself to less vegetables on the menus, or should I say, more substantial vegetables…Beets. And yogurt to Iceland is like Pineapple is to Hawaii.


The colored contrast of yellow and red beets adds a splash of color to any table set. The yogurt dip only gets better with time. Make it, serve it, and save a little for fresh-cut vegetables and crackers, or whatever you like to dip. It is creamy, bright, with a gentle kick.

Below is the video i shot in my kitchen— Bon Appetit!


Beets Prep














  • 1 1/2 bunch of yellow and red beets, peels and cut into inch chunks
  • extra virgin olive oil, dressing beets and finishing dish
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, for seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons of each spice: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup of yogurt
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons of jalapeño, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • the juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish


Beets Prep














Heat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and cut beets into 1 inch pieces. Spread out on sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then toss toss with cumin, mustard seeds and coriander. And roast for 30 minutes.

While the beets are roasting, make the dip. Mash the garlic with a pinch of salt to make a paste. then add the ginger jalapeño and garlic to the yogurt, Add the lime and the and season with salt and pepper.

When beets are finished cooking. Transfer from the sheet tray into a bowl. Swirl in the dip and op with cilantro leaves. And serve.

To watch the full video, click here!

Beets Final

Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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Pasta with Shrimp and Kale

I love experimenting with shrimp. There are endless combinations and this crustacean often guarantees one thing–a quick dish can be a reality.

This meal took maybe 20 minutes and I am pretty sure anyone would be happy if this was plated in front of them at a dinner party.  I did not have a recipe or this dish in mind, I was actually tooling with the shrimp taco direction. All I knew was that I had bought wild shrimp earlier and I was feeling pasta that evening. And so it began….

Whenever I am casually cooking for myself (and not for an event or on set) I rarely go by recipes. It is a little about once you get good at something you can then be casual about it because you have the techniques and the practice. When I starting cooking a lot in my early 20s I would play with flavors and ingredients. Well, point is, I made this by adding a little of this and a little of that. But I was asked by several people to post the recipe so I went back and wrote it down…It  is ideal for a quick week night meal or a dish for entertaining. Hope you enjoy!


  • 1 pound of pasta, strozzapreti shape
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing
  • kosher salt, for pasta water and seasoning
  • 1 pound of wild shrimp
  • 5-6 anchovies in olive oil
  • 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • small shallot, thinly sliced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar, white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon of dry vermouth, you can also use a dry white wine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Finishing salts, I recommend Urta flavored salts


Start with a pot of salted boiling water for the pasta. I used strozzapreti, but use any hearty shape of your choice and cook according the directions on the bag for al dente texture.

Heat a large sauté pan, add oil then add the shallots, garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes.  Add the kale and let wilt for a few minutes, deglaze with the vinegar. Cook another minute of two and remove from heat and set aside.

To clean and dried shrimp, season on both sides with salt and pepper. With the same pan, add oil and place your shrimp in a single layer in the pan. Let cook for 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Deglaze with the vermouth and cook for a minute or two until most of the liquid has cooked away.

Drain your pasta. (save a cup of the pasta water to use if the dish needs additional liquid.) Add the pasta and the kale to the shrimp. Let the flavors marry together for one minute on a low heat. Squeeze lemon juice. And plate and finish with the salts…

In Italian food you are not supposed to add cheese to seafood but I won’t tell. 😉 Mangia











Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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