Monday, August 17, 2009

Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish

If you haven't ever watched America's Test Kitchen, you should! It's like the Consumer Reports of cooking and cook's tools. On this show, they will take a recipe and try it a dozen different ways and then report to you the viewer the best possible recipe. They take this same approach towards kitchen appliances and gadgets and ingredients. Up here in NC, there show comes on PBS Sunday afternoons. If you can't catch the show, they have a great website America's Test Kitchen. Or you can pick up their magazine of the same name or they publish another magazine called Cooks Illustrated.

Here is their take on oven-fried fish. I cheated a little and used toasted panko crumbs but I'm sure homemade breadcrumbs would taste better. The "goo" you make to dredge the fish through is sooo tasty after it bakes up. The horseradish paired with a squeeze of lemon at the end=yum!

Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish

from the Episode: Fish Made Easy

To prevent overcooking, buy fish fillets at least 1 inch thick. The bread crumbs can be made up to 3 days in advance, cooled, and stored at

room temperature in an airtight container. Serve with Sweet and Tangy Tartar Sauce (see related recipe) or lemon wedges.

Serves 4

4large slices white sandwich bread , torn into 1-inch pieces

2tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

Table salt and ground black pepper

2tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)

1/4cup plus 5 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

2large eggs

2teaspoons prepared horseradish (optional)

3tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2teaspoon paprika

1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 1/4pounds skinless cod fillet , or haddock fillet, or other thick white fish

fillet (1 to 1 1/2 inches thick), cut into 4 pieces (see note)

Lemon wedges

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse bread, melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper

in food processor until bread is coarsely ground, eight 1-second pulses (you should have about 3 1/2 cups crumbs). Transfer to rimmed baking

sheet and bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. Cool crumbs to room temperature, about

10 minutes. Transfer crumbs to pie plate; toss with parsley and shallot. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.

2. Place 1/4 cup flour in second pie plate. In third pie plate, whisk eggs, horseradish (if using), mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using),

and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until combined; whisk in remaining 5 tablespoons flour until smooth.

3. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Dry fish thoroughly with paper towels and season with salt and

pepper. Dredge 1 fillet in flour; shake off excess. Using hands, coat with egg mixture. Coat all sides of fillet with bread crumb mixture, pressing

gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to fish. Transfer breaded fish to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 fillets.

4. Bake fish until instant-read thermometer inserted into centers of fillets registers 140 degrees, 18 to 25 minutes. Using thin spatula, transfer

fillets to individual plates and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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