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Fish fry satisfies a Friday night appetite

Lucette Moramarco

Associate Editor

The Knights of Columbus at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church are back in the kitchen for their Lenten Friday Fish Fry which started March 3. Only 166 people showed up for that first dinner, but the word was slow to get out this year. Nonetheless, the knights were prepared for a bigger crowd this second Friday.

They bought about 100 pounds of cod, 20 pounds of shrimp, 40 pounds of salmon and 300 pounds of potatoes. A team of at least 12 men worked in the kitchen, some of them rotating out to the bar as the constant line of customers made their way up to the serving window.

On arrival, I discovered the price of the fried fish dinner has been reduced from the previous week; it now costs $10 a plate. Overall, the lead cook, Jeremy Ridgeway said, "everything is the same (as last year)."

There was one difference, though, which he told me when I visited him in the kitchen. Ridgeway was frying shrimp in a small countertop fryer, dipping them in a special batter created by the late Scotty Lenz who died last year after Lent. The fried shrimp plates are dedicated to his memory.

Ridgeway said that despite the addition of a big new fryer, they could use another one to speed up food service, but there is no room for another one, which is why he was using a small fryer for the shrimp.

He told me how they prepare the french fries, using russet potatoes which they blanch in oil earlier in the day, then let them cool down. While dinner is being served, the fries are put into the fryer to finish cooking. Like a twice-baked potato, they are twice as good!

Being a fan of french fries, I ordered my salmon plate with fries and coleslaw instead of veggies (potatoes, carrots, onion and bell peppers). The salmon came in a nice big size, moist and skinless. I don't care for tartar sauce, so I squeezed lemon juice on it. The best thing was that it did not taste fishy like some salmon does.

The coleslaw had a poppy seed dressing and bits of cucumber in it which gave it an extra fresh taste. All in all, it was a big plate of food that filled me up. If only I could have had some of the spumoni ice cream the youth group was serving for dessert, (I'm lactose intolerant) it would have been a perfect meal.

The volunteers at the ticket table didn't have an exact total of diners when I left, but they were sure it was over 200. I also got to talk to some friends there, some fellow parishioners and some not. All are welcome to come whether they observe Lent or not.

The Fish Fry is served from 5-7:30 p.m. in the hall at 450 S. Stage Coach Lane, every Friday night through March 31. The shrimp, combo and salmon plates are $15 each and children's plates are $6, cash or check only.


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