Saturday, October 1, 2011

Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish

I have a paid subscription to America's Test Kitchen's website.  I'm glad that I do, because had I not watched the episode that shows the fish being made-- well, I might have skipped trying this recipe.  Other than salmon, my husband doesn't get excited about eating fish.  My son, on the other hand, loves fish. 

Last weekend, my husband left for his annual camping/hiking trip in the Sierras.  My son was home, on a rare night off. I took advantage of the opportunity to make a seafood dinner for him. Fortunately, wild-caught Pacific Cod was on sale. I'll jump ahead and tell you, that we both loved this dinner.

To make the crunchy coating, start with three pieces of white bread.  In a food processor, season them with salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter. Pulse until they are coarsely ground.

Transfer to rimmed baking sheet and bake (at 350F) until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. Cool crumbs to room temperature, about 10 minutes.NOTE: The bread crumbs can be made up to 3 days in advance, cooled, and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

While the crumbs were cooling, I set up the breading station for the fish.  In a pie plate, add about 1/4 flour.
In another pie plate, whisk eggs, horseradish (if using), mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), and ¼ teaspoon black pepper until combined. NOTE: I didn't add the horseradish, though I love it. My husband and son despite horseradish. 

Whisk in  5 tablespoons flour until smooth.  The batter becomes quite thick.
The cooled breadcrumbs are seasoned with shallots and fresh parsley.  NOTE: I don't recommend substituting yellow or white onion for the shallots. Shallots have a milder heat, and are a shade of sweet. I think onions would overpower the flavor of the coating. 

 Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a  rimmed baking sheet, and turn the oven up to 425F.

 Dry fish thoroughly with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. 

I have my breading station ready-- flour, the egg/flour batter and the seasoned bread crumbs. 

Dredge a piece of fish with the flour, and shake off the excess. 

With one hand, coat the fish into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs, coating all sides. With the other hand, gently press the coating mixture. NOTE: Doing this, and photographing it, was a true challenge.

Transfer breaded fish to wire rack. Repeat with the remaining  fillets.


Bake fish until and instant-read thermometer inserted into centers of fillets registers 140 degrees, 18 to 25 minutes. NOTE:  I should have checked these about about 15 minutes, as they cooked a bit more than I wanted them to.

Dinner at home, with my son, is served.  We both enjoyed a glass of white wine, and one-one-one conversation,  with our meal.

VERDICT:  While the fish was baking, the aroma made us really hungry.  I think that this recipe is kid-friendly. Seriously. The fish coating had a perfect "crunch" to it, and no sogginess at all.  The flavor of the shallots had transformed to a sweet note, with a very mild flavor of onion.  We both agreed that we did not need a tartar sauce, but just a generous squeeze of fresh lemon. I thought the fish was a teensy bit dry, but my son didn't. My advice is to watch the temperature of the fish very closely!  The crispy oven-roasted potatoes were a perfect side dish that I made along side the baked chicken.  Here's how I did it:

I par-cooked new potatoes until just barely fork tender (about 7 minutes), then drained them. While the potatoes were boiling, and the bread crumbs were toasting, I heated my cast iron skillet in the oven.  Once the potatoes were drained, I drizzled a little olive oil, salt and pepper and tossed them evenly.  Once I removed the skillet, I added a small pat of unsalted butter, added the potatoes and roasted them at 425F (along side  the rack of fish).  I had some left over chopped parsley that I added at the very end.  The spuds were crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside.


My son had a second helping, and raved how good this was.

I had to agree.  This is as good-- if not better-- than deep fried fish.  It's also a lot less fattening, too!  I am very tempted to try this coating with zucchini sticks.  I think it would make delicious baked zucchini.   A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.

Who is the Fairy Hobmother?  Fairy Hobmother's home is Appliances Online who sell dishwashers and other white goods”.  The Fairy Hobmother saw me leave a comment on "My Carolina Kitchen's" blog and I was given a lovely gift card from Amazon.com!    All you need to do is leave a comment on my blog, and you could receive a surprise!  Thank you Fairy Hobmother, because I love cookbooks and I have a long wish list on Amazon.






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33 comments:

Ally said...

This looks delicious. I may try and make it for the kidlets, they like fish if it has that "crunchy" outer coating. :)

Shawndra said...

This looks wonderful - I have a freezer full of fish from a trip to the coast this summer, and having a new way to prepare it will probably be greatly appreciated by my family!

pamm said...

Looks amazing!

Susan said...

What a great looking recipe. Umm...I could just sit down and eat. By the way, love your new photo.

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

I was so obsessed with looking at your "Goulash" again, I neglected to write my comment, the original reason I came here... and when I saw this, I said "YUMMY!" For the fish AND those potatoes! I will have to try baking fish like this, instead of frying and I will have to try these potatoes like this. They look delicious!
Best,
Gloria

bellini said...

This is making me really hungry as well Debbie. I happen to love cod. I really do believe in the fairy Hobmother as well. I am so glad that she has skipped across the ocean and visits us here in North America. If she were to drop in I would love to have a Blegian waffle maker. When I make waffles I have to go to someone elses home:D

Carole said...

Debby,
Thank you. I don't care for fried foods, but I'd love to try this baked fish; it looks delicious!

Btw, love your adorable new hair style. You look so cute.

Joanne said...

Does ATK ever fail to please? I doubt it. The breading on that fish sounds amazing...I really would have thought that it was deep fried!

Faith said...

that sounds good and I dont even eat seafood!!!! YUM! COngrats on getting the gift card! I can only imagine your wishlist rivals my own!

Christine said...

Thank you so much! I love "fried fish" but fried foods do not like me at all. Haven't had fried (especially deep fried) anything in 20+ years :( I cannot wait to try this!!

Frieda Loves Bread said...

A great reminder to eat more fish...did you know we're supposed to have it 3 times per week?!? I love the tip to cook it on a rack to get crunchiness all around. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Bonnie said...

I love the crunchiness of this fish. I also like that it is baked, not fired. Thanks for the chance to win this great giveaway.

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Yummy! I love breaded fish. This looks amazing!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Debby, I really like your fish recipe. We have a SIL who won't eat anything but fried fish and therefore she is always a challenge as a dinner guest at our fish-loving table. Thank you and I really like that it doesn't need (high calorie) tartar sauce.

I'm so pleased the Fairy Hobmother visited you. Don't you love it when wishes come true.
Sam

Carolyn said...

I love fish and this looks like a wonderful way for me to try it next.

LaMagicaZucca said...

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I love your recipes and presentation of dishes.
I'm  your followers in google friends connect now!!!!
If you want, come and visit me, you're welcome
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Ciao Chow Linda said...

As soon as I saw that crispy crunchy fish coating, I knew I was going to make this. And I will. By the way, that is a really neat little whisk you have with the balls at the end.

Cheryl said...

Wow I am a hater of Fish so my hubby is always looking for ways to get me to eat it. Great recipe!

Heather said...

You're a girl after my own heart! If I had a Amazon giftcard, it would be spent on cookbooks too. I love cooking AND eating my creations.Love your blog!
heatherspooner1981 at gmail dot com

Pat R said...

My husband and I are both fish lovers.......this looks like a winning recipe to asurprise him with.....THANKS!

psrrn@aol.com

Wave Watcher said...

I am so glad to have found your blog. Will have to try this soon as well as your wasabi & honey glazed salmon. We need to eat more fish! Two recipes to get me started. Thanks, Debbie.

Seana said...

OH my goodness! I LOVE fish and I really like cod, but sometimes it's hard to find a really really tasty recipe for it (I use it in cioppino a lot and it's perfect). This looks SO delicious and I love that it's baked in the oven and still comes out moist (if you watch the temp.). I can't wait to try this and am hoping it will be something I'd like to serve for a group dinner! I laughed when I read the part about trying to prepare the fish and take photos with it; I know when I'm flouring, eggwashing, and breading, BOTH hands are a mess, so I can't even imagine trying to photograph it too! Thank you for such a fantastic looking recipe!

Kim said...

So glad you got a visit from the Fairy Hobmother! Congrats.

This fish looks incredibly crunchy - perfection! In fact, I'm in love with the whole meal. It just screams comfort food w/out guilt, which is such a hard combination.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Crunch crunch crunch! I love everything about this Deb!

BuyRiftAccounts said...

Mmmmmm... Everything looks good! The photos, the recipe! It sounds yummy!

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Annabanana said...

I'm always looking for fish recipes that my whole family will love...this looks great ! How thoughtful and fun to get a gift that way !

Krystle C. said...

I am not a fan of fish, but may be willing to give this a try. It certainly looks good!

Diane said...

Looks delicious and what I will be making this weekend!

Diane said...

Looks delicious!

Beth said...

This looks delicious. Congratulations on your win!

8383WB said...

Will save this fish recipe for company coming in a couple of weeks. It looks yummy! Thanks

Shante said...

This is going to get made before the month is over! Thanks for sharing.

Olgak7 said...

My husband and I love this recipe! This fish is amazing - crispy coating and moist fish inside. I also subscibe to America's Test Kitchen. It is definitely worth the investment:)