Thursday, January 21, 2016

CRISPY BAKED FISH WITH HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE



Bob and I were both born and raised here in New England-an area of the country that has WONDERFUL seafood available.  My dad loved to fish and would go to the beach every summer weekend to dig clams. Family and friends couldn't wait to come over for a steamers feast. He would go ice fishing in the winter for smelt and caught fresh water trout in the summer which my Nana would flour and fry in a cast iron skillet. I've never had fish taste so good since. Those are some fond-and delicious-memories...the trout that is, not the clams. I never developed a liking for those. My daughter however?  Loves seafood of ALL kinds-she definitely takes after her Grampa.

When Bob and I got married, we soon found out that we shared the same likes and dislikes when it came to seafood. People rave about shrimp, lobster, clams-we say "no thank you". We do however love scallops, or good piece of cod or haddock. Back in the day, we would order fish when we ate out because although I had a few recipes to cook haddock at home that I liked, I knew there had to be one better out there somewhere-one that gave me a nice crispy crust on the outside of the fish without deep-frying it.

When this recipe arrived in my email box a while ago, I couldn't wait to try it.  Could it be? Is this the recipe I was looking for?

Our regular grocery store has a wonderful fresh fish counter, but also sells frozen vacuum packed fresh fish that we've always walked by.  With this recipe in hand, we decided to give a piece of cod a try.  Since there's only 2 of us, I look for packages of fish that are around 1/2-3/4 of a pound. That gives us plenty of fish without leftovers. Most times though, the packages hover around 1 pound or a little more. That's OK-we make the leftovers work for us.

The original recipe has you cut the cod in "fingers". I chose to keep the pieces whole.  If I have around 3/4 pound of fish, I cut back on the bread crumbs that I toast and also cut the flour amount down and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Otherwise, I use the recipe as written below.

I make the tartar sauce early in the day so that the dried onion has time to soften in the mayonnaise mixture. Using dried onion adds a nice flavor to the tartar sauce without watering it down like freshly chopped onion may have a tendency to do. I like cutting the mayonnaise amount in half and adding Greek yogurt-it lightens the tartar sauce without changing the flavor. I stir in the relish, salt and pepper, then give it a taste. Sometimes a dab more relish seals the deal.  That's what's nice about making your own tartar sauce-you can adjust the ingredients to what you and your family like-plus it's so easy to make.

I also toast the Panko bread crumbs early in the day. A quick trip-and I DO MEAN QUICK-under the broiler gets them nice and golden brown in no time.  Don't leave them in under the broiler and walk away-they toast FAST.  I stand right there with the oven door cracked open ready to grab the pan the minute they start to get brown. I give them a quick stir and then back they go for a few more seconds to finish toasting.

The fish is coated using the "FEB" method-Chef Michael Symon's rules. It's the perfect way to remember the order of coating-think about the abbreviation for the month of February. Feb-flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. The fish then hits the pan and into the hot oven it goes for 10-12 minutes total.

What comes out of the oven are beautiful golden brown pieces of fish with a crispy crust and a tender, flaky interior.  This recipe gives you the crunch of a piece of fried fish without deep frying it.  We absolutely LOVE it.  I've made it with cod and flounder, both with great results. We try to have this once a week with a small side of homemade oven fries and coleslaw or tossed salad.  I'm happy with a squeeze of lemon over the top of my fish-Bob has that and has to have the tartar sauce-he loves the stuff. This meal is such a treat-and a whole lot cheaper than eating fish out in a restaurant--healthier too.

Thank you so much, Georgia, for sharing your wonderful recipe.  This is now the ONLY way I cook fish.


Carol


CRISPY BAKED FISH WITH HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE
(Source: slightly adapted from Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking-original recipe found HERE)

FISH:
1 1/2 lb. boneless cod or flounder fillets
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs, lightly toasted
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
Lemon wedges, for serving

TARTAR SAUCE (makes 1/2 cup):
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. low fat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 heaping Tbsp. (or more) sweet pickle relish 
1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Spread the panko crumbs on a large baking sheet with sides.  Place the pan under your oven’s broiler for 1-2 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown. I leave the oven door open a crack and stand right there to keep my eye on them so they don't burn-they toast VERY quickly. Remove the pan from the oven, give the crumbs a quick toss and return the pan to the oven for a few seconds to lightly brown the rest of the crumbs. Set the bread crumbs aside while preparing the tartar sauce and fish.

For the tartar sauce, combine the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, relish and dried minced onion.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. I like to make this early in the day so that the flavors can blend.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a shallow baking pan with foil and spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Place the 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan and spread it evenly over the bottom.  Set the pan aside.

For the fish, in a shallow dish, combine the toasted panko bread crumbs, salt and cayenne pepper.

Place the flour on a sheet of waxed paper or on a large plate. Add the 1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper and toss them with the flour until well combined.

Beat the egg with the water in a shallow bowl.

Coat the fish with the seasoned flour, tapping off any excess-you just want the fish lightly coated with flour.  Dip the fish into the beaten egg, then coat it liberally with the bread crumb mixture, being sure to press the bread crumbs onto the fish to adhere them.

Place the fish in the prepared pan. Bake on the top oven rack @ 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the fish and bake for 5-7 minutes more, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. 

Serve with the tartar sauce and lemon wedges.  Makes 3-4 servings.

Featured 2/1/16 on Tweak It Tuesday

56 comments:

  1. Thank you for the many tips! I never thought to put Panko under the broiler, what a great idea! This looks like a great recipe to add to our meal plan. Thanks!

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    1. You're very welcome! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. :)

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  2. I love the idea of pre-toasting the Panko! It makes sure that I don't overcook the fish in trying to brown them - and there's nothing worse than overcooked fish!

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    1. Boy I hear you on that overcooking the fish to get the nice brown crust, Tammi...been there, done that before MANY times. I was so happy when I found this tip about pre-toasting the Panko-it works really slick. No more over-cooked fish! :)

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  3. This sounds so good, and tho I am not a fan of cod, I do like flounder. I haven't used Panko yet. I know I am so out of the ordinary. When it is just you, cooking is only a way to get out of the kitchen fast. I do like to make some good stuff tho, and I am going to try your method of getting the fish in the oven. Carol, you have a beautiful way of putting your words on here, and I enjoy your posts. Thanks for all your tips, and great recipe.

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    1. Thanks Myra-this would work fine on flounder. I've used it on halibut too with great results.

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  4. Oh, yum. Makes my mouth water. Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home.

    Jennifer

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    1. We love this fish dish, Jennifer....hope you do too. :)

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  5. That's it, i'm buying the house next to you. Your photo is so captivating. I would love to have this for dinner tonight. Can't wait until the first race of the season so I can make fish again. One day i'm going to get Randall to eat fish and I think he'd enjoy this very much. Thanks Carol LOVE the photo

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    1. Come on up....and over, Cyndy.....bring your wool sweaters and snow shovel! :) As you know, we're not big seafood eaters, but this fish is A #1 at our house-wish I could pass the plate your way.

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  6. This looks so good Carol. We need to eat more fish and Larry and I both like cod. I will definately be making this. I will make it Sunday. I need to go get the Cod. Gosh it would be great if I could go fishing for it. I used to love fishing. Thank you for a great recipe.

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    1. Thanks Dottie-we're limited in the kinds of fish we like so I'm always happy to see a sale on cod at the grocery store....it makes planning a meal easy. I hope you and Larry enjoy this one! :)

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  7. Hi Carol, Thanks for the recipe - it sounds delicious! I lived in the Boston area for a few years and love haddock & cod, especially the haddock with cheese and crumbs at Legal Seafood! Blessings, Janet

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    1. Oh my gosh Janet-I haven't been to a Legal Seafood restaurant in years. There are none around me in North Central MA. I hope you can still get your hands on some good haddock or cod where you're living now and give this recipe a try....I think you might really enjoy it. :)

      Carol

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  8. This looks so delicious! I pinned it to make for dinner sometime soon :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Michelle-I hope you enjoy it!

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  9. Hubby and I enjoy having fish now and then. I usually cook salmon or tilapia. Will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing with SYC. Pinning.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. I hope you like it Jann...thanks so much! :)

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  10. I love fish, but normally eat it out because I haven't had a good recipe to make at home. That's changed now. Thanks a million for sharing this at Weekend Potluck. Love your recipes!

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    1. That's what I always did too Marsha. This recipe changed that for me. I hope it does for you too. :)

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  11. Yummy! Thank you for sharing it on SYC. Jo

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  12. So yum! Thanks for your lovely comment. hope you will try my Ritz Banana Cake soon. Happy Sunday...

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    1. Thank you! It sure is yummy. :)

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  13. Thank you for linking up at the Let's Get Real Weekly Link Party.
    Be sure and join us next Thursday and link up your favorites!

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  14. This looks so tasty! I use my broiler all the time, but never thought of using ti with panko to create a crispy faux fry!! Yum

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    1. Broiling the Panko was a new trick for me too, Morgan and boy am I glad I found it. Those crumbs really do give a nice crunch like the fish was fried.

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  15. Wow, this is what I've been looking for too. We love crisp fish and I've never really been able to find a recipe that was the way we like. I'm saving this for later as it looks like IT !!!! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I hope you love it if you try it Rebecca...one taste and I knew this was the ONLY way I'd be cooking fish from now on. We've never been disappointed and have it about once every week or so. It's crispy on the outside and so nice and tender inside.

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  16. This looks so yummy! I'm on a real fish kick at the moment! :) #overthemoon

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    1. I've gotta say-since looking at that photo again, I'm so ready to make this real soon. We love it.

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  17. Hi Carol, I love this dish. Crumbed fish is one of my favourite foods served with salad. This looks so appetizing and healthy. Thank you for sharing with us at #OvertheMoon.

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    1. Thanks Sue-I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try! :)

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  18. Can't wait to try this Baked Fish and your Tartar Sauce,it looks awesome! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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    1. Thank you Miz Helen-it's a good one! Hope you love it as much as we do!

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  19. Replies
    1. Thanks so much-it's really a wonderful recipe if you're a fish lover.

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  20. Thanks so much for sharing this over at Let's Get Real. Your post is certainly timely. I was just telling my husband the other day that I was craving tartar sauce so I better make some fish. I am not big into cooking fish (eating yes. cooking no) so I appreciate your tips.

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    1. Hi Christina-I sort of dreaded cooking fish before I found this recipe because I was rarely happy with the end result. I wanted fish that was crispy all around like it had been fried...without the frying. I didn't want to fry it though. This recipe gave me the end result that I was looking for. Hope it does for you too. :)

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  21. This sounds so yummy and healthy! Always looking for a good fish recipe and this fits the bill! Thanks for sharing on the Tasty Tuesdays link up :)

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    1. Thank you Anita-I hope you enjoy it!

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  22. This looks quite yummy! We love fish any night of the week especially if it is crispy! I am not gonna lie we love anything fried! haha it is so bad! Thank you for linking up with us at the tips and tricks Link party!

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    1. Ohhhh Gabby-don't get me wrong....a fried piece of fish is a wonderful thing! I was happy to find this recipe so that I could enjoy the crispy crunchy coating without as much guilt. :)

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  23. This looks AMAZING! YUM!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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    1. Thanks Jess....it's really really good. I'm hoping the grocery store has a good sale on cod so we can have it this weekend.

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  24. This looks like a fantastic recipe. We are going to have to give it a try very soon! Thank you for sharing with us this week at Brag About It! Pinning and tweeting to share. Have a great week!
    Laurie
    @MyHusbandHasTooManyHobbies

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    1. Thanks so much for the pin and tweet, Laurie. I hope you enjoy the fish if you give it a try. :)

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  25. Linda, we adore our seafood here too. This looks scrumptious. A must try! Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou. Love, Mimi xxx

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    1. Thank you Mimi-hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

      Carol

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  26. This looks delish! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #merrymonday!

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    1. It's so good, Lindsay....hope you give it a try!

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  27. I need to get over my fear of overcooking fish, especially with Lent coming up in a few weeks. Thanks for sharing on the Creative K Kids Linky Party this week. I hope you will join us again next week.

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    1. Audrey-this is SO easy.....give it a go. It's the ONLY way I make fish now. I've never had it not work. Start checking it at the 8-10 minute mark depending on how thick the piece of fish is that you're baking. When it flakes easily, that's when I know it's ready to hit my plate. :)

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  28. That is delicious cripsy baked fish, love to try this home made tartar sauce, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning, tweeting.

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    1. Thank you so much-I hope you enjoy it!

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