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If you’re one of those people that refrains from eating meat on Fridays during Lent, you may be wondering about options out there for you. If so, then you’re in luck. It’s time for the 2nd Annual Wedwand Fishy Fast Food Fare review.

Wedwand will rate seafood menu options on a scale of 1 to 5 fins. (Scale, fins, get it?)

Burger King Extra Long Fish Sandwich.

Their description: 100% White Alaskan Pollock, breaded with crispy panko breading and topped with sweet tartar sauce, tangy pickles, all on top of a warm toasted hoagie bun.

Burger King shook it up a little this year with the “extra-long” fish sandwich, which is also described as a “delicious golden-crisp catch.” Fishermen prone to the usual fish stories apparently came through this year catching many of the rare “extra-long crispy fish” otherwise known as the “long Pollack” indigenous to the Alaskan waters.

It’s moderately tasty and while a generous hunk of fish, there’s still too much bun. (Gotta give BK credit though for mixing up their fish fare names with the Extra-Long which is not so much different from the Big Fish or Whaler previously purveyed.)

Wedwand Rating: 3.5 Fins.

McDonald’s Filet O Fish (FOF)

Their description: Wild-caught fish from our sustainable fishery, topped with melty American cheese, tartar sauce and served on a soft, steamed bun

Invented in 1962 by a McDonald’s franchise owner off the wild waters of Cincinnati, Ohio, the FOF may be the longest running fish sandwich out there.

Again, the description still mystifies me a tad. “Wild-caught from a fishery” still sounds like something you’d get from a fisherman’s dude ranch and I continue to look for an adequate description of “melty cheese.”

But, if you get a hot and fresh FOF, it remains a time honored treat to eat.

Wedwand cautions you to beware of the attack tartar sauce which slowly oozes out the opposite side of the sandwich with the potential to leave an embarrassing splotch on your trousers.

Wedwand Rating: A consistent 3.5 fins. Possibly as high as 4 fins if you catch it fresh and hot from the drive through window.

Wendy’s Premium Cod Filet Sandwich

Their Description: Wild- caught North Pacific Cod, hand-cut from a whole fillet lightly coated in a crispy panko breading and topped with a creamy, dill tartar sauce and crunchy dill pickles.

My wife still loves her some Wendy’s Fish Sammiches in this limited release offering. It’s still the only fast food fish from the Pacific Ocean offered at such establishments.

This year again, I was asked to pull up in the drive through as there would be a short wait on the fish. I presumed this would mean it was fresh, but on this particular trip, it only meant it would be slightly over-cooked.

Wedwand Rating: 4 Fins based on tradition, but only 3.5 fins this trip.

Culver’s North Atlantic Cod Filet Sandwich

Their Description: Caught in the icy North Atlantic, our cod is hand cut, hand battered and cooked to order. Topped with a Culver’s family recipe tartar sauce featuring olives, capers and sweet relish, crisp lettuce and Wisconsin Cheddar. Served on a lightly buttered, toasted hoagie roll

They also have a Northwoods Walleye sandwich which is said to be mild and tender from crystal clear Canadian waters.

In addition, Culver’s is still the only establishment reviewed that is bold enough to also serve their fish as a dinner without the bun. Both the Cod and Walleye are available as a dinner.

Further, they also have a Butterfly Jumbo Shrimp Value Basket, which is one of the best three word oxymoron’s out there. Jumbo Shrimp Value.

Is it any wonder that a franchise from Wisconsin, the home of perpetual Friday Night Fish Fry’s logs in with the best selection of tastily delivered fish options?

The Wedwand Favorite Fish Sandwich award again goes to Culver’s. (Although, I am still seriously disappointed to have received no response from Culver’s corporate office when I gave informed them of this award last year.)

Wedwand Rating: 4 ½ Fins 5 on a good day.

While Castle Fish Slider

Their description: Lightly breaded, sailor-approved Alaska Pollock, served with a slice of cheese between two fluffy buns.

It’s not that bad, but Wedwand still has a couple problems with the product.

One. I understand they don’t put condiments on their sandwiches, preferring to offer a package on the side. But, while your average sailor can meticulously bait a hook, I wonder if the old salt can pry apart the fish slider to add the tartar sauce in a sailor’s approved process.

Two. I still can’t get the image of a goldfish out of my head when a fish sandwich is described as a slider.

Wedwand Rating: A generous 3 fins. If you get that late night crave, stick with the burgers.

However, White Castle has a NEW item on the menu. Sriracha Shrimp Nibblers. (See cover photo.)

Sriacha is the new chic culinary hot spice. So new that my daughters still laugh at me when I pronounce it “seer-ee-acki” since I originally considered its origin to be from an island just east of Sri Lanka. (-Sri meaning island, -racha meaning east.)

However, diligent research did reveal that the name does in fact come from the actual city of Si Racha in Thailand, which is about a 10 day trip to Sri Lanka across the waters of the Bay of Bengal.

In any event, it has now come to White Castle. My wife and I indulged ourselves with an order of these “pop-able, crave-able butterfly shrimp” when we visited our local Castle for Valentine’s Day.
Yes we did.
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They were delicious. They were smartly spicy with a kick, but not too much and served hot and crisply battered to our table. We enjoyed them immensely. So much so that Wedwand will award the Rookie of The Year award to this entrée.

Wedwand Rating: 5 stars. Maybe it was the romance of the evening but my Valentine and I both liked them a lot.

OK, readers, Wedwand is looking for your favorite fish fare from either these franchises or perhaps one I missed, Batter up.

Source: COLD WEATHER CACCIATORE

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In this world, there are three kinds of bacon. Prosciutto, pancetta, and Oscar Meyer. I lied. I knew it the minute I typed it. There’s Canadian Bacon, turkey bacon, slab bacon, real bacon, fake bacon bits, quite possibly literally hundreds of styles of bacon.

People, there are Baconfests that abound in these here United States. A quick Yahoo search revealed Baconfests in Milwaukee (Surprise surprise), Atlanta, Indianapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Little Rock, Des Moines, Monterey, and even Belling freaking ham Washington. And I stopped at page two of the search. America LOVES bacon.

There’s great soliloquy by George Burns in the movie Grumpy Old Men about long life and bacon consumption that I share with you. It’s only 45 seconds I urge you to watch it:

So it is not without surprise that I was allured to a recent recipe I found from British chef, Jamie Oliver that involved pancetta. For a fleeting second, I thought pancetta was an exotic island fruit. It’s not. It’s bacon and it gives a pizazz to the recipe. The ingredients looked healthy enough so I modified it a bit and gave it a whirl.

When I started cooking, my wife chuckled because I was actually following a recipe. Usually, I modify a couple recipes and throw stuff in that I got in the house. Actually, I wasn’t trying to follow the recipe so much as I was trying to figure out what a tin of tomatoes and a rasher of welfare pancetta involved since Jamie is a British chef.

Here’s what I came up with and by all reviews in this household, it was delicious.

INGREDIENTS
Olive oil
2 onions
1 leek
4 garlic cloves
1/3 pound Pancetta
Sprigs of fresh Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
4 bay leaves
1 butternut squash
3 sweet potatoes
1 yellow pepper
8 Oz package portabella mushrooms
3 15.9 oz cans tomatoes (2 diced, 1 whole cut up)
1 6 oz can of Italian seasoned tomato paste
1 can jumbo black olives slices in halves
8 boneless Chicken thighs, trimmed and sliced into 2 inch strips
3/4 cup Pinot Noir

PREPARATION
Preheat over the 350 degrees.

You’ll need an over proof pan like the one in the cover photo.

Uncork the wine and have a glass to make sure it’s OK.

Peel the onion and cut into eighths. Peel the leek and garlic, chop and simmer all in the olive oil. Finely slice the pancetta and add to the mix with the rosemary, bay leaves and Italian seasoning. Simmer while stirring until the bacon, uh pancetta starts to brown.

Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and squash. (I found cutting the squash in half, removing the seeds and using a paring knife to remove the outer shell worked for me). Chop both into one inch cubes.

Slice the mushrooms into thirds so they are thick slices. Slice the yellow pepper into strips as well. Add to the simmering mixture, stir it around for a bit so the pancetta mixes with the veges and spices.

It will look like this:
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Layer the chicken thighs on top of that. Pour the wine over the thighs and simmer maybe 5 minutes or so. If you must, refill your own glass with more of the Pinot Noir and chop the black olives in half.

Pour the 3 cans of tomatoes over the top of the thighs and veges, stir them around a bit. Mix in the black olives then place the pan in the oven.

IMG_0905 It’s now ready for the oven.

Cook uncovered for 30 minutes or so. Remove from oven, check to make sure the potatoes and squash are cooked but not mushy and stir in the tomato paste then cook another 15 minutes.

Your dinner is ready. I’m not a fan of “enjoy” or “bon appetite” so just dig in.

You don’t really need to serve it over anything since there’s potatoes and squash in there, but a few slices of whole grain bakery bread makes a good accompaniment. I served it in a big soup bowl looking thing.

FOOTNOTE:
Wordpress tells me the TopTtwo most visited posts for Wedwand in 2015 also involved food. Here they are in case you missed them.
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/sundays-wtf-ii/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/wtf-part-i/

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