Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fish Sticks?

I remember having so-called fish sticks maybe a couple of times in my childhood. I don't think any of the kids liked them much. But I know a lot of people like them and eat them frequently. When I got married I made a concerted effort to start liking fish. I have had some definite success, and I usually plan something with fish in our weekly dinner menu (real fish, of course, not fake fish--I liken fish sticks to chicken nuggets. Use the real stuff).

My favorite starter fish was tilapia because it's thin, white, and not too "fishy." We have tried it several ways, but our old favorite of olive oil and lemon pepper always won out. I think I may have found a new favorite. This recipe came from the "Real Food Has Curves" book. I must admit, I've found some good, and some that taste like only special foods critics and chefs that like lots of vinegar would like...but the winners have been great. Some of them take considerable effort, but these are easy!

Here are their Oven-Fried Fish Fillets:

2 large egg whites
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (I used spelt, I'm sure you can use a variety of whole grain flours)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. mild paprika
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
Four 4-0z. skinless, white-fleshed fish fillets, like snapper or tilapia

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400.
2. Mix the egg whites and lemon juice with a whisk or a fork in a shallow soup bowl (or pie pan) until foamy and well combined.
3. Mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, paprika, dill, and pepper in a second shallow soup bowl or on a dinner plate.
4. Drizzle the oil on a large baking sheet, then use a wadded-up paper towel to smear it around.
5. Take one of the fish fillets and dip it in the egg white mixture, coating both sides. Let some of the excess run off, then dip the piece in the cornmeal mixture on both sides. Then do it all again with the same piece of fish. Place the fillet on the prepared baking sheet and do it with the other fillets.
6. Bake 9 minutes, then flip and continue baking 9 minutes more. Serve.

Not the greatest picture, but oh well. The double breading is great. Just thick enough, and crispy, with the fish perfectly flaky on the inside. I served them with some home-made oven fries and some dipping sauces of tartar sauce and ketchup. Make sure to include a nice salad, of course. Yum!

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