MENU. May 21, 2010

Oven Baked Fish and Chips

As soon as it was over I wanted it to happen all over again. There are so many events in life where the ending feels like such a sadness because the middle was so wonderful. Dinner the other night was one of those events. I had this recipe sitting in my kitchen for the last three weeks. It was simple, quick and sounded too good to be true. The ingredients were inexpensive, short, seasonal and the outcome looking salivating. This last weekend I finally made my way over to Olympia Seafood Company to purchase some Alaskan Cod. This is the best place in my town to get seasonal, local seafood at competitive prices and friendly advice. They will answer all your questions about where the food has come from, how it was caught and who is involved in selling the produce. Their set up is simple and rustic. No fuss, no mess, no clever marketing scams. Just some decent men and women selling you the most local, fresh sea animals in the county.

At the farmers market I snagged some local, fresh asparagus and sweet potatoes. I felt a rush of pleasure for supporting these hard working, local stores but concerned about how this recipe would hold up to my delicate taste receptors. We happened to have leftover cornflakes in the very dark back spot of our pantry but there are plenty of options at the local co-op as well. From prep to finish it took less than 35 minutes and I wanted to eat it all over again, even though my stomach was full and my plate empty. This will be a for sure go-to for the future on nights where I don’t feel like doing much cooking but I want a healthy, incredible meal. I served it with homemade tarter sauce (1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sweet relish, 1 Tbs dijon mustard) and it was a huge hit. Seriously…try it out. You have nothing to lose but the whining that will occur for “more please”.

Center one oven rack and arrange second rack in position closest to broiler. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with olive oil.

Cut potatoes to thickness desired. I like to make large cuts like Jo-Jo’s. Remember the potato will shrink while cooking so don’t cut too small. Place cut potatoes in bowl and toss with 2 Tbs olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Spread in single layer on one baking sheet and cook in middle rack until golden brown and crisp. Turn halfway through cooking, should take about 20-25 minutes. You can also grill asparagus at this time by placing in baking sheet in single layer, coating with oil, salt and pepper and roasting for about 10 minutes while you prepare fish.

Meanwhile, combine crushed cornflakes and remaining 1 Tbs olive oil in shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat egg whites until foamy. Spread flour in thin layer in third shallow dish. Season fish with salt, pepper and cayenne.

Coat fish with flour, shaking off excess.

Dip into egg whites, dredge in crumbs to cover. Arrange fish in single layer on remaining prepared pan. Bake on rack closest to broiler until cooked through. Turn midway through cooking. Depending on thickness of fish, takes about 6-15 minutes or until internal temperature is 140 degrees.

Remove potatoes from oven and reset oven control to broil. For extra crunch, broil fish until crumbs are golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Serve with potatoes and oven grilled asparagus.