• www.mydrdennis.com

Tastes From the Kitchen – Principle Food & Drink

At Principle Food and Drink, located on S. Kalamazoo Mall in the heart of downtown, there is nothing more important than making sure that the foundation for every morsel of food that touches diners’ taste buds is rock solid. For Chef Matthew Pietsch and his staff, this means starting with superior ingredients sourced from local, seasonal and sustainable sources whenever possible. Matthew, his Chef de Cuisine Paul Parrish and the rest of the team work hard to develop relationships with the farmers and producers that provide the foundational elements of the cuisine at Principle. These relationships, so vital to the food that graces the table at Principle, have been nurtured since the early days of the Matthew’s other farm-to-table restaurant, Salt of the Earth in Fennville.

With fresh, quality ingredients in hand Chef Matthew and Chef Paul begin creating dishes that are rooted in classical preparations and techniques while simultaneously offering a fresh and creative experience. Chef Matthew notes “We take every opportunity to create all of our food from whole raw ingredients and cook from absolute scratch.” Guests can expect to find food that harkens back to a simpler time but still feels new and modern. Entrees like Country Fried Pork and Crispy Confit Chicken are familiar and approachable but boast twists that make them exciting and different.

An entire section of the menu is dedicated to veggies, making Principle a great destination for omnivores and herbivores alike. Dishes like Grilled Broccoli with spicy mayonnaise and almonds and Vegan Jambalaya guarantee that the vegetarians in the group will have an equally satisfying experience. Principle also has a vast selection of custom cocktails inspired by libations from around the world. Patrons can sip on a Smoked Sazerac or Vieux Carre and imagine they are in New Orleans or nurse a Negroni and mentally walk the streets of Florence, Italy. Whatever one chooses, it’s easy to sit back and relax in a venue that is crisp and modern and, at the same time, deeply reminiscent of the building’s storied past.

Chef Matthew is a West Michigan native and culinary school graduate who worked as an Executive Pastry Chef at a number of establishments in the area before relocating to Detroit. There he operated the famed Opus One kitchen and teamed up with Iron Chef Michael Symon to launch Detroit’s upscale steakhouse, Roast. When the opportunity presented itself, Matthew relocated to Fennville to open Salt of the Earth in 2009 with partner Casey Longton. Six years later, after the resounding success of the venture, he opened Principle in Downtown Kalamazoo.

Chef Matthew is a passionate eater who loves food, whether prepared at home or consumed with friends around the table at a local restaurant. He relishes the opportunity to facilitate connection and conversation over a plate of carefully and lovingly prepared food. The smile he sees on diners’ faces as they sample his workmanship makes it all worthwhile. It’s his hope that the recipe he’s shared with us for “Fish and Chips” will make you smile as well. Bon appetit!

Erica Shier is a married mother of four who loves reading, scrapbooking and thrift stores. When she’s not driving her small pack of children around, she spends her time volunteering, writing and trying to keep on top of the laundry.

“Fish & Chips”
Potato Encrusted Haddock with malt vinegar mayonnaise & crisp pickled salad

  • 6-8 Cleaned, skinned, trimmed haddock (4-6 oz. each)
  • 2 C All-purpose flour
  • 1 T Malt Vinegar Powder*
  • 6 Free-range or organic eggs, thoroughly blended
  • 1.5 C Potato pearls or instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1/2 C Potato Flour (optional)
  • Cooking Oil (vegetable, avocado, grapeseed, or alternate high heat oil) as needed

*Malt Vinegar powder is available online or from most high end spice purveyors – if not available, simply omit from the preparation.

Dredge the fish in three steps: first through the potato or all-purpose flour, then through the lightly combined eggs and finally the potato flakes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and pour in enough oil to thoroughly cover the entire surface of the pan. Heat the oil for 30 seconds or until a tiny sprinkle of flour sizzles upon contact. Then, using extreme caution, lower each portion of fish into the pan, leaving space between the fish pieces. It is very important to not over-crowd the cooking vessel, as it may cause your fish to steam instead of pan fry. Be well aware of your heat level, and moderate the burner to adjust the temperature as fish begins to cook. The crust will begin to take on a crispy and golden exterior within 30-40 seconds of cooking. Turn the fish very carefully and continue cooking process on all sides. Once thoroughly cooked to a golden brown and well crisped (internal temperature of fish should read 165) remove fish from cooking vessel, transfer to a wire rack or paper towel lined dish and sprinkle with course or flake sea salt.

For the salad:

  • 8 baby dill pickles, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 t salt packed capers (rinsed and soaked in 3-4 washes of water).
  • 4 medium/hard boiled eggs, split and quartered
  • 3 pinches of micro-greens, or alternate small leaf green such as watercress or arugula
  • 8-12 pickled ramp bulbs* (or pickled pearl onions)
  • Extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt (as needed).

Combine the first 5 ingredients into a small mixing bowl, and very gingerly distribute ingredients throughout. Drizzle the final components with a small splash of olive oil and a tiny pinch of salt, if necessary.

To Plate:
The dish is intended to be plated with a Malt Vinegar Mayonnaise; season your favorite grocery brand, or ideally make your own and season with a bit of malt vinegar, or malt vinegar powder. Place a portion of the fish over the mayonnaise and top with the salad components. Finish with the hard-boiled egg. Enjoy!

Erica Shier is a married mother of four who loves reading, scrapbooking and thrift stores. When she’s not driving her small pack of children around, she spends her time volunteering, writing and trying to keep on top of the laundry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>