|Cape Cod Potato Chip Codfish|
I recently spent five days at my favorite place in the world: Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I am extremely lucky that my wonderful grandparents bought a modest vacation home in Harwich, MA back in the 1970s and the house is still owned by my family, namely my parents and my Aunt. There is only one summer of my life (when I spent 6 weeks in Italy, so no complaints there) that I haven't spent at least a week, if not more, vacationing at the home. One of the best parts about visiting the family homestead is seeing my kids enjoying the same things that I did thirty years ago with my brother. They are developing the same love and appreciation for and building memories of the place that brought me so much joy as a child.
It wasn't until this last visit, over Easter weekend with just my husband and the two kids, when I realized how much I still don't know about the area. My husband had to spend a great portion of the weekend working on the computer, so it was up to me to drive everywhere and keep the kids occupied without just relying on the beach (it was a bit cold and windy). I honestly have never driven alone that much before at Cape Cod and it was like I was rediscovering the whole place as an adult. I swear I could never get tired of it's pure beauty and totally understand what drew my grandparents to the area so many years ago.
As a child, one of my favorite non beach places to visit was the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory where you can literally peer down onto the factory floor and see the chips being made from start to finish. It is really fun to see, and of course it smells amazing in there and you get free samples at the end. We took my son there a few years ago and of course we need to make another trip soon for my chip loving daughter. However, being a health food junky, I don't often let myself indulge. But my parents had been at the house just days before we arrived so they thoughtfully left a jumbo family size bag of original Cape Cod chips.
Obviously, we could have eaten them straight from the bag without a problem, and did that with our lunch a few days, and on a hike at the Cape Cod National Seashore, which made me laugh because it seemed so perfect and so wrong at the same time... (junk food while exercising?) The second day we were there however, I was washing dishes and thinking of my grandpa and trying to decide what kind of fish to cook for dinner when the idea hit me.... what if I use chips instead of ritz crackers for the traditional codfish combination that my grandpa loved so much? I had brought a bit of thai red chili paste with me from home with the intention of sauteing some shrimp in it, but I scratched that idea as this recipe formed in my head. I did look up online to see if anyone had used chips as breading on fish before, and like I suspected, I am not the first. But the rest of the recipe is all mine. And without going into too much unnecessary description, let me assure you that this meal tasted even better than it looked. Honestly one of the best meals, and best fish dishes I have ever had. And it was purely, perfectly, Cape Cod.