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Fish Fry dinners during Lent


heidih
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I was just hanging over the fence talking to a neighbor and she mentioned that her church does a great fish fry dinner on Fridays during Lent. She said it was hugely popular (they do over 350 dinners in their tiny church) and that it was "better" than the one in the swankier neighborhood that the Knights of Columbus do. My son used to get in some of those mandatory high school community service hours at the latter one and said the food was pretty good so I am planning to grab someone and hit this other one before Easter.

Is this a popular seasonal production in your area? What do they serve? Is it good? Tell all.

I love fried fish but not done by me at home. Pictures would be droolworthingly welcome.

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A friend mentioned the Lenten Friday fish fries in his parish and my wife and I went a couple of years ago. We go once or twice each year now. The particular Catholic church where we eat (Holy Family in Marietta, Georgia) offers both fried and baked fish along with the predictable sides. For $6, it is a great meal and the proceeds go to a church. I inquired on a local board and determined that several (maybe most) Catholic parishes around here have Lenten Friday fish dinners.

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How timely! I haven't heard much about these around here in the past but saw a sign when pulling out of the parking lot of the grocery store this morning for this one. This church is right down the road from me but the sign for the fish fry is easily missed; I'm looking forward to trying it.

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It's not a fish fry, but this is something that I've never seen anywhere except in Memphis. Every year we get the Waffle Shop at Calvary Episcopal Church. Yes, there are waffles, but there's also chicken hash, fish pudding, and their famous tomato aspic. People cry during the summer because you can only get the aspic during Lent, and no one has ever been able to get it come out the same as the church.

It's a beautiful thing.

http://www.calvarymemphis.org/news/waffleshop.htm

And for pictures, a friend went last week and posted these.

http://www.eatlocalmemphis.org/2011/03/30/call-in-the-calvary-its-waffle-shop-time/

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Catholic fish fries (no baked fish 'round here, LOL) in my area: usually mustard-battered catfish, with a little cornmeal in the coating. These catfish dinners are pretty heavy on the bland starches, with sides of potato salad, white beans cooked w/shrimp over rice, hush puppies or cornbread or a dinner roll, some sort of sweet (frosted sheet cake, cookies, cupcakes). Seafood gumbo (shrimp & crab) is usually available for a separate fee. I get a to-go plate and re-purpose the fried fish into fish tacos.

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Milwaukee restaurants,regarless of cuisine, are well known for Friday fish fries. My favorite is at Lakefront Brewery. Its a fun evening of beer, polka, and fried food.

http://www.cafevecchio.com/palmgarden/fishfry/

Dan

My Catholic church here in Missouri (St. Pius X) does fish fries every other Friday in Lent with witness and music. They do a soup supper the other weeks. Side dishes for both include cole slaw and fries. But I went to college at Marquette in Milwaukee and those are where my Fish Fry Heart lies. :wub: I miss the potato pancakes most of all. I worked on the committee that cooks the fish fry one year and when I suggested potato pancakes over fries ("C'mon, we can even use instant mashed potatoes! It'll be so easy!"), they looked at me like I was crazy. Applesauce with fish, puh-leeze! :blink:

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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The local Catholic churches always have fish frys around this time of year. Fried catfish is usually what is served with sides of cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans. Here is a photo from a fish fry we had last year.

fish fry.jpg

Is that meat in the baked beans? I always wonder about that. Seems to defeat the point of the fish on Friday. One of the Lutheran churches in my town does that, but we joke that it's just to keep the Catholics from overrunning them!

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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The local Catholic churches always have fish frys around this time of year. Fried catfish is usually what is served with sides of cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans. Here is a photo from a fish fry we had last year.

fish fry.jpg

Is that meat in the baked beans? I always wonder about that. Seems to defeat the point of the fish on Friday. One of the Lutheran churches in my town does that, but we joke that it's just to keep the Catholics from overrunning them!

Yes, that's ground beef in the baked beans. It's okay, though -- we're Baptists! :laugh:

Mom started cooking her baked beans like this way back when. Here is the recipe:

1/2 lb bacon

1 cup finely chopped celery

3 cups finely chopped onion

2 pounds ground chuck

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans Bush's Best baked beans :rolleyes:

1 cup catsup

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 can consomme :biggrin:

salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in large cast iron skillet. In drippings saute celery and onion. Drain excess grease. Cook ground beef with garlic until meat is brown. Drain well. Combine beans, consomme, the onion/celery mixture and ground meat with catsup and mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Add crumbled bacon. Bake 1 hour at 375 deg F.

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I now can recall that my father and grandfather visited the Catholic church a few blocks from my grandparents home in the east side of Joliet, Illinois on lenten Friday evenings to return with deep fried fish. They were small and the color of mahogany with accompanying mayo-pickle sauce. Thanks for this thread. It was at least 65-70 years ago.

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The one I will be attending tomorrow will have fish, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and slaw. You can buy bottles of beer if you wish - and somehow it is the only time that Budweiser tastes good to me. The star attraction, though, is the vast and various selection of homemade desserts. I will be there early, to be assured of getting a slice of pie.

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The Friday fish fry is big here.

Just about every church has one, every bar runs their Jumbo Fish Sandwich and even the local grocery sets up a fryer at the front of the store. They will be 30 deep by 4:00.

Sides are fries, coleslaw, mac and cheese, but pierogies are big as well. Many churches will also sell different varieties by the dozen.

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Sent a note out to some friends to see what their churches are serving. St. Hedwigs in Los Alamitos, California serves: baked fish, macaroni and cheese, green salad with choice of Italian and some type of fat free dressing, along with donated pies for dessert. They do not have a fried option because their fryer caught fire years ago and was never replaced. They do the fish in a convection oven. There is wine with a donation basket since they can't technically sell it. They do quite well on the wine. The meal cost is $8 per person and no more than $25 per family (in case you have a lot of kids)

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Just got another response from a friend. The Knights of Columbus in Redondo Beach, California serve: cod baked or fried, a choice of french fries or roasted potatoes, green salad with a "topping bar", and cakes and pies for dessert. Coffee, tea and punch are included. Cost is $11 per person. They have a license to sell alcohol so you can purchase sodas or booze at the bar.

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They won't give the Lord a liquor license in Iowa so if you want an alcoholic beverage with your fish fry your choices are limited to every: tavern, pub, diner, restaurant, gas station and lodge hall. In a nearby town of 160 there are three choices tonight.

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I think the Knights of Columbus is kind of like a lodge hall? It is their building where they hold all their fundraisers etc. and have thus pursued the license.

Got the word back from another friend from Nativity church in Torrance, California. They do cod as well, baked or fried. They bought new fryers recently and she says the fish is awesome. You have a choice of fries or baked potato and also get a roll and cole slaw. Cake or pie is included along with punch, hot chocolate, coffee, and tea. $8 per adult, $7 for seniors, and the kids she thinks are $6. I am going to try to hit this one before Easter and try to get some pics.

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Did Cod tonight..

Breading:

Ritz crackers

Parm cheese

gran garlic

cayenne pepper

Pepper.. Malbar

Salt

F-E-B method:

fried in Canola @ 350

Side dip : of Hellmans meyo with dill pickle and sirracha

Veg: zucchini , onions, serrano pepper, lemon squeeze .. s and P

Its good to have Morels

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So.. I took Daniel Bouluds recipe and added my take:

http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/DBoulud/sea_scallops.shtml

I added lobster tail cooked in the confit onion butter oil, finished with squeeze of lemon and parsley. The combination of mashed potatoes and seafood ( scallops and LObster ) was killer!!

5622575095_6943d31ecd.jpg

Its good to have Morels

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Western NY is big on Fish Frys on Friday nights already. But now I will have to start looking for a church one before Lent is over.

For lunch today we stopped at a Texas style BBQ (along the Erie Canal no less) but I gave in to fish fry. $8.95 for a really nice piece of battered fish, choice of 2 sides.....I had smashed potatoes and mac and cheese, and a great corn muffin. The mac and cheese did not have a baked crust but did improve a lot with a squeeze of their killer hot sauce. Plus this place always has 2 soups, free, with a donation jar to help out a local cause....nice New England Clam Chowder.....or pinto beans. DH had pulled pork sandwich with a side of deconstructed blooming onion.

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