Did I hear that right? Busy Realtors don’t have time to cook? This no-time-at-all delicious fish might cancel that comment. And multi-tasking is always doable.

Fish isn’t just reserved for Fridays. This easy recipe will be a welcome quick and easy meal any day of the week.

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Allow refrigerated or frozen fish to come to room temperature on a large platter or plate. Drain off any liquid. You could save the liquid and freeze to add to homemade fish stock from saved and frozen seafood shells. No waste.

Start by preheating the oven to 475 F.

On the centre rack, pop in a rimmed metal baking sheet so the pan is sizzling hot when you add the coated fish filets.

Pat the fish dry with white paper towels after you have drained. Dredge the fish in seasoned all-purpose flour. Add kosher salt to the flour along with your favourite herbs and spices. Easy on the cayenne unless you want pepper-hot coating. Garlic salt and a little garlic powder add a taste enhancer. I use a little nutmeg, a pinch of dried crushed sage if I have it, definitely a little crushed dried fresh thyme (lemon thyme if I have it), a pinch of sweet paprika powder and minced or crushed dried parsley.

Using tongs, dip the flour-coated fish into an egg wash, covering completely. You might like to add a spoon of Dijon, or even white truffle mustard to the egg wash and whisk in just a little maple syrup (or any leftover sticky marinating jus from your rum-plumped golden raisins from another recipe).

If making the fish for adults only, stir into the egg wash a teaspoon of Bacardi Fiero vermouth and a spritz of fresh lemon juice.

Cover the fish in fresh homemade fine artisan olive breadcrumbs that you saved as leftovers, frozen, to which you have added just a little fresh lemon zest. The breadcrumbs thaw quickly.

Turn down the oven to 450 F.

Slide the hot pan rack forward and carefully spritz the sheet pan with Mazola Corn Oil or use a baking brush. Using your malleable fish turner spatula, position your breaded fish filets onto the hot pan. Don’t move the fish once it is on the hot pan.

Slide the fish pan back into the very hot oven. Set your smart watch timer for five minutes. By the time you reopen the oven door, six minutes will have passed and your fish filets will be flakey and perfectly cooked.

Slide your fish flipper under each filet and move the fish to a waiting hot-water-heated dry plate. Spritz with just a whiff of Bacardi Lime (you don’t want to make the crispy breadcrumbs wet). Sprinkle with just a flutter of Amagansett sea salt finishing flakes and eat while hot.

Offer a dipping bowl of my Hendricks gin tzatziki (cucumber) or my special citrus tartare sauce: seafood gourmet dipping sauce (see below).

Served alongside my battered deep-fried vegetable salad, you have covered the food groups wonderfully. Make plenty. Beyond delicious.

The battered vegetables are even okay refrigerated and eaten at room temperature the next day as nibble treats. You might like to add a little fresh salt to any leftovers.

Seafood gourmet dipping sauce

Consider this a different sort of tartare sauce perhaps…

Stir together two generous cups of equal parts full fat sour cream and thick homemade mayonnaise. Add a half cup of citrus sugar from your pantry candied citrus rinds jar. If you have just a single citrus in your jar that’s fine. Add a quarter cup of red wine vinegar. Stir in a quarter cup of Bacardi Lime.

Mince a quarter cup of homemade candied citrus rinds from your pantry sugar jar using your mini food processor and stir into the sauce. Add a few turns of fresh ground pink peppercorns and a bit of kosher salt or Amagansett finishing sea salt.

Using a handheld blender or a two-whisk handheld mixer, whiz just a little to marry all the ingredients well.

Refrigerate in a sterilized covered glass jar until ready to use.

Use my unique seafood gourmet dipping sauce on a fresh homemade lobster-filled roll, or in a pan-fried or grilled split lobster roll bun filled with the following: pan-seared in unsalted butter bay scallops (that’s the little scallops); flambéed with amazing Bacardi Fiero vermouth that has an orange citrus perfumed undertone; my garlic cognac cream shrimp; and meat from an Alaska king crab leg bought pre-cooked, frozen.

Perhaps think about all the other uses for my special dipping sauce (try it on my deep-fried battered oysters); or maybe drizzled over a pulled pork or pulled chicken taco filling or even over mixed raw vegetables and fruit such as tomatoes and or avocado. And it’s also good as a dip or drizzled over my deep-fried vegetable salad.

The vegetables are crunchy, barely cooked. Sort of like having been blanched except they are battered in my light Chinese tempura-like batter made with or without Belgian Stella Artois beer or Molson Export Ale, then deep-fried in 350 F Mazola Corn Oil.

Since either pairs well, if you should decide to imbibe, don’t forget that real beer drinkers always put a speck of salt in their glass before pouring.

Any way you enjoy my seafood gourmet dipping sauce, it’s one delicious sauce. It keeps well, refrigerated, for a few days. If you are serving on the deck or patio, keep anything made with mayonnaise out of the sun. Perhaps keep a cooler, with frozen gel bags in a separate container, on your patio or deck where you can hide and protect the sauce.

Paprika spicy butter coins for fish

Prepare a butter log for your compound butter coin reserve, using unsalted butter mash in a generous amount of sweet paprika and smoked paprika. Sprinkle in a little cayenne pepper. Add just a very tiny dab of your golden homemade oven-roasted garlic purée. If you enjoy jalapeño, mince a tiny bit and add to your butter log.

Sprinkle a little Atlantic Ocean hand-cultured sea salt and a small grind of pink peppercorns. Mince a little fresh fragrant basil or use LiteHouse brand fresh freeze-dried and add to the spicy butter mix. If you really love it, mince a little fresh rosemary and crush a little fresh dried deep-fried sage from your pantry storage jar. This is a powerful compound butter that has many uses. You might even baste a split grilled sweet rock lobster tail, letting a couple of your butter coin frozen reserve melt over the tails when cooked. Serve immediately.

You could add a coin or two in a mix of sour cream and Celebrity goat cheese to make a spicy dip to serve with fish fingers or nuggets.

You could even melt the spicy compound butter coins and drizzle over a generously mounded lobster roll, or a lobster loaded panna cotta mold, or on a slice of plain polenta topped with large shrimp or mixed seafood (use my chicken broth recipe).

Wrap the incredible spicy compound butter in a log shape. Nearly freeze but not rock hard. Cut the log in half and half again until your have coins, leaving plastic wrap on. Rewrap and freeze solid. Add to your frozen coin reserve collection.

This mix is ideal for bathing a whole fish of your choice in a preheated 450 F oven on the middle rack or grill in a rimmed baking sheet on your barbecue. Test for doneness after five minutes. The fish should just begin to flake – it depends on fish thickness. Tent and rest for several minutes; the fish will continue to cook in its own heat. Never overcook fish. You might like to serve my marinated medjool date gremolata on the side.

You could use my painted salmon in papillote recipe, topped with this compound butter for a spicy version of the dish.

When serving, perhaps sprinkle the cooked fish with a drizzle of dill sour cream.

© Lady Ralston’s Compound Butter Coin Reserve ~ because Butter makes it Better. 

The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.


  1. During Lent, preceding Easter many people increase their consumption of fish. Here’s a quick way to add fish to your menu. Try my:
    ”Beer-Battered Fish with Heart-healthy Cardamom and Cornstarch”

    To help keep your batter-fried fish crisp, dredge in a mix of half and half flour and sifted cornstarch. Instead of regular flour consider using cornmeal / semolina and cornstarch. Add a generous sprinkle of heart-healthy cardamom to the flour mix.

    Then dip your dredged fish in my beer-batter made using my light Chinese tempura-like batter recipe. Make sure the beer is cold. Let the batter rest, refrigerated, briefly. Have your hot oil ready and you can enjoy your battered deep-fried fish in about five minutes. Spritz the ready to eat hot fish with fresh squeezed lemon. Flutter with sea salt finishing flakes.

    You don’t need a deep fryer. Use an enamel coated cast iron pot. Test that oil is about 350 F by dropping in a teaspoon of the cold batter. The dropped batter should come to the top of the oil immediately and be a pale golden colour.

    When the deep-fried fish is just the right shade of gold, remove immediately using a fish turner spatula or a spider, and rest the beautiful fish briefly on a rack to release any excess oil. It’s best to eat this fish right away but you can keep it warm for a bit in a 250 F oven on a parchment covered sheet pan.

    You might enjoy serving my Deep-fried
    Vegetable Salad alongside the fish, and if you love them, add battered deep-fried artichokes to the group of vegetables. So easy: use drained artichoke hearts that come in a jar, bottled in oil. Save the oil always to add to many dishes. Covered the original jar will keep, refrigerated, for months.

    Dredge the drained hearts in a mix of cornstarch and flour, garlic salt, sweet paprika, and any other dried herb or spice you enjoy, then dip in my tempura-like beer batter.

    Let the deep-fried artichoke hearts rest on a rack so air can circulate so they don’t collapse due to moisture in the hearts no matter how carefully you had patted them dry. If you haven’t tried them, the battered deep-fried hearts are beyond amazing. Spritz with fresh squeezed lemon and sprinkle with sea salt finishing flakes. I have been making deep-fried bottled hearts since the 1970s and the jar packaging has never changed I believe. Unico is a good label brand. And always a staple in my pantry.
    You can even pop them into my Po’Boy Oyster roll or serve alongside a bite size piece of battered deep-fried fish in a fresh warm buttered Parker House dinner roll for a simple treat.

    A crisp cool glass of the everything old is new again in popularity Black Tower white wine that was on many tables in the 1960s and 1970s pairs well with the vegetables and fish.

    Compliments of manuscript(s):
    © Taste the Sea ~ Seafood from Lady Ralston’s Canadian Contessa Kitchen: Crustaceans, Fish ~ lobster, shrimp, crab, mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, salmon, sea salt and more… Fruits de Mer: Jewels of the Sea


    © Lady Ralston’s Canadian Contessa Amuse Bouche Hors D’Ouvres Collection ~ a Bite of this and a Nibble of that…

    Carolyne Lederer-Ralston

  2. Everyone loves a compliment… November 2020 after checking out William’s new easy on the eye REM website recipe collection link, Pat P in Pennsylvania wrote this nice comment emailed to me; previously she had said I had taught her about a whole different lifestyle: (her uppercase)


    I’m thinking I will have to hire help as an editor, not to edit per se, but to organize the various manuscripts as there is quite a bit of overlap referencing REM columns over the past decade. I don’t know where the time went.

  3. When the NYC house is finished the current massive undertaking here is a list of manuscripts I’m currently working on that might be part of a series, or stand independently.

    Thank you to our readers, some who are REALTORS, others, members the public, for all the private and on-site kind comments I receive. So much appreciated.
    I will share here on REM recipes chosen at random from my retrieved collection of now more than two thousand, updated and amended original recipes I began writing in 1976. There’s cooking for one, cooking for potluck and get togethers, family-style, formal and not so formal; barbecue, roasting, toasting, braising and boiling; purée and sauté. Complicated and not so complicated. Whatever suits your fancy or lifestyle, some time-consuming, others ready in minutes or prepared ahead of time.

    When completed, these five of series of my titles (maybe additional titles over time) will be available in this order:

    © “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”
    Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience

    © Lady Ralston’s Compound Butter “Coin Reserve” ~ because Butter makes it Better : a different kind of currency…

    © Spirits in My Kitchen: Lady Ralston – Canadian Cooking with Bouquets and Aromas – Good Food Made Better Adding Spirits

    © Lady Ralston’s Amuse Bouche Hors D’Ouvres Collection ~ a Bite of this and a Nibble of that

    © From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen to Canadian Expats: Inspirations and Ideas ~ from back home. Speaking to Canadian Expats home cooks the world over…

    Re Kitchen Expats: For many reasons it’s the year of the expat, not just for those living abroad but for those returning home due to the unsettled environments the world over, for a multitude of reasons, including the new real estate term “nesting.”

    Our Toronto area in particular, but our country as a whole in general, is a true melting pot of international peoples, customs and cultures unique as clusters live in peace enjoying and sharing lifestyles.

    There is no such by definition “Canadian Cooking.” Just historical diaspora borrowings turned into something new and delicious. Changing as new languages evolve in the mix, as linguistics creates new words eventually accepted in additions to new and dictionary updates. I was fortunate to have been a participatory editor for “Dictionary of Canadianisms” and others of their dictionaries by Gage Publishing back in the 1970s. So many new words since then. And certainly not just in the food world.

    The secret to gourmet cooking is often in its presenting, entrenched in the use of foreign word titles and masterful engagement terms in processes. But really anyone can offer gourmet food to their families and friends or even just for the cook alone. Sometimes even no recipe is needed. Just start and build as you go along, using whatever is at hand and make my recipes your own, changing up this or that. It’s fun to play with your food as we were told as children not to do. To others it’s just fun to read about gourmet cooking.

    Noted in Expat MS précis:

    Google says:
    “The Canadian diaspora is the group of Canadians living outside the borders of Canada. As of a 2010 report by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and The Canadian Expat Association, there were 2.8 million Canadian citizens abroad (plus an unknown number of former citizens and descendants of citizens).”

    Thanks again to REM editor Jim for carefully checking each of the “Recipes for Realtors” columns material and choosing appropriate pictures for each one. This fish picture is an example of “it’s nearly edible.”


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