Considering this is, oh, the 4th fish recipe on this blog in 5+ years, it’s pretty obvious I’m not the world’s biggest fish fan. However, I am a big fan of all things that are breaded, which is why this recipe appealed to me. :-D Also, I’d been wanting to participating in Jessica, from The Jey of Cooking‘s, round-up of heart-healthy recipes. Jessica is doing this for her mom, who received a life-saving heart transplant last year. The bonus is for every entry she receives, Jessica is donating $1 to the American Heart Association.
This recipe is definitely heart smart. The crispy breading is made from whole grains and the fish used here is cod, which promotes cardiovascular health since it’s a good source of blood thinning omega 3 fatty acids (not to mention full of B12 and B6). Like the title indicates, this fish comes out super-crisp and there is no frying involved, and a very minimal amount of fat. Cod and haddock in particular stand up well to this method because they’re not too thin, like tilapia may be, which allows the breading to get nice and golden without overcooking the fish.
The best news, of course, is that I ended up really, really enjoying this recipe. With a crunchy crust and copious amounts of lemon, there’s nothing to not love. This would also be great with some homemade tartar sauce (which by the way I’ve made with Greek yogurt in place of mayo before). As you may have guessed, I used plain yogurt in place of mayo in this recipe because, you know, mayo sucks. The bonus is that it’s better for you.
Also, can I just say that I don’t know what in the world I’m doing buying breadcrumbs? I mean, yes, I’ve made my own before but usually just because I have a little extra bread from a fresh loaf. I’ve never just made them with sandwich bread before, but it’s so easy. Plus, you can actually have whole wheat breadcrumbs this way – which allegedly exist but I believe to be an urban legend since I’ve never actually seen them.
Super-Crisp Oven Fried Fish
4 slices whole wheat bread, torn into 1″ pieces
1 Tbsp. canola oil or melted butter
salt and pepper
1/3 cup flour, divided
3 Tbsp. plain yogurt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley
1 small shallot, minced
4 cod or haddock fillets, 1.5″ thick (about 6 oz. each)
lemon wedges, for serving
Adjust the rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350.
Place the bread in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 10 or 12 pulses.
Put the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and salt and pepper to taste, then spread into an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry. Set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425 and place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet; spray or brush with oil.
Meanwhile, place 3 Tbsp. of the flour in a shallow bowl or plate. In a second shallow bowl, mix together the eggs, yogurt, paprika, cayenne, and about 1/4 tsp. pepper. Whisk in the remaining flour until a smooth, thick batter is formed.
In a third shallow dish, mix together the parsley and shallot with the cooled breadcrumbs.
Pat each piece of cod dry with a paper towel, and then season with salt and pepper. One by one, take each piece of fish and dredge into the flour, then into the batter, and finally into the breadcrumbs, patting lightly to make sure breading adheres. Place on the wire rack.
Bake the fish for 18-25 minutes, or until coating is golden and flakes easily when gently poked with a fork.
Serve the fish with lemon wedges.
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