I really wanted to say fishy so my title would rhyme. I am such a nerd.
I was pretty skeptical when I first saw this recipe over at Cooking with the Big Dogs. It looked delicious, don’t get me wrong but I just wasn’t sure about how something battered would get crispy in the oven. The secret is definitely in the rack that you cook on and in the outer coating. This was, just as the title says, super crispy and really delicious! The shallot on the outside of the fish, which I initially thought would burn added such a lovely flavor to the crust. I guess I should stop being so skeptical! The more you can prep ahead of time with this meal, the better. Giving about 20 minutes to prep the breading station and about 20 minutes for baking, this fish still qualifies as a good weeknight meal. Especially if you make your breadcrumbs the night before. Which is what I’ll do next time.
Super-Crisp Oven-fried Fish
4 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 (6-ounce) cod or haddock fillets (we used cod because it was on sale) 1-1 1/2 inches thick)
lemon wedges, for serving
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form (about 10 pulses). Transfer the crumbs to a baking sheet and stir in the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper, each. Spread the crumbs over the baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry (about 10-12 minutes)
Remove the crumbs from the oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and spray a wire rack with vegetable oil spray well (or if you don’t have any, simply brush the rack with oil, like I did). and place the rack over a cookie sheet
Transfer the cooled crumbs into a shallow bowl and mix in the parsley and shallot. Spread 3 tablespoons of flour into another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together. Then whisk in the remaining flour until a smooth, thick batter is formed.
Pat each piece of fish completely dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Working on one fish at a time, dredge into the flour, then dip it into egg batter and finally coat it with the bread crumbs, pressing on each piece to adhere. Lay the breaded fish on the prepared wire rack.
Bake the fish until the coating is golden and the fish flakes easily when gently poked with a fork, about 18-25 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on your fish if it isn’t too thick, like mine, as it will be done a lot quicker. Gently transfer the fish to individuals plates and serve with lemon wedges.
Serving size: 1 fish Calories: 290 Fat: 8g Saturated fat: 1.5g Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 1g Protein: 35g