Trader Joe's supermarkets cause quite a stir wherever they open. If people aren't wowed by the $1.99 wine (which cost $3.00 most places and is pretty awful), they're impressed by the huge bins of frozen food.
I prefer to buy fish fresh, but in Chicago, it's just not an option. Most fish these days is frozen at sea, and unless you're standing at the dock waiting for the fishing fleet to come in ("Hey, sailor!"), you're probably buying formerly frozen fish. Ask your fishmonger - he'll tell you.
At Trader Joe's, there's no pretense. At the store, you can hammer a nail in with your haddock, but once the fish has thawed, it's not half-bad.
I purchased some inexpensive cod filets from Joe's and decided to use them in the sandwich shown above. I'm adding a recipe to this post to demonstrate some basic 'wich-craft, but to sunmmarize - cook the fish, add some lemon and spices, slap some stuff on a bun and chow down.
I liked this sandwich quite a bit, and I'll be buying more frozen finny friends for frying in the future.
3-4 oz. thawed cod filets
1 tablespoon olive oil (that's all, enough for two or three sandwiches)
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
pinch of salt
half an avocado
2 tablespoons olive tapenade
1 small tomato, sliced
Split the french roll in half lengthwise. Leave a hinge if you can. Spread the olive tapenade on one half of the roll. I don't recommend toasting the bread for this sandwich, but you can if you want.
Cut slices in the half-avocado and remove with a spoon. Place on the non-tapenaded side of the split french roll. Lay the tomato slices on top of the tapenade.
Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic. When the oil starts to shimmer, toss in the filet and sautee for about 3 minutes. Add half the lemon juice, then flip and sautee the other side. Just before taking out of the pan, drizzle the rest of the lemon juice on the fish and sprinkle the tarragon over it. Salt to taste, if you like.
Remove the garlic and fish to the bun, close, and eat.
Do NOT bring this sandwich to the office to reheat. No one likes anyone who nukes fish in a small shared space.