Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oven-Fried Fish and Chips...

We finished off the week with another 7 new recipes - this time our tops were those Mini Pizzas with Spinach, Peppers and Prosciutto, Coconut-Lime Bars with Hazelnut Shortbread Crust and the tortilla-less Naked Salsa Verde Pork Burritos.

After Gus indulged in a couple squares of his personal birthday cake yesterday, we figured it couldn't hurt to take him for a walk in the beautiful weather. After a fairly chilly start this month, it seems the classically warm June weather has finally arrived! This time we decided to go for a three mile jaunt around Lake Nokomis - the path around this lake is nice because it has areas that are quite shady in some points, so the sun beating down wasn't as bad.

And for the exercisers, it also has several stops around the lake with different activies like stretching, pull up bars, rings and parallel bars! There was one downside though... it is so close to the airport that the noise can get distracting!

Gus testing the waters... one of those run in and "ewww... I'm not so sure about this!".

Though, he was ready to run in to try and make friends with this guy!

Obligatory shot of downtown...

I bet Gus would love a trip in a boat like this lucky doggy!

Get those jars of malt vinegar out of your pantry as it will make the perfect compliment to go with this Oven-Fried Fish and Chips dish we had for dinner this evening.

It's not that I have anything against deep frying, which certainly has its places, but we just rarely prepare everyday foods that way and we tend to save that for more special occasions (like homemade donuts!). The chips, or fries if you will, are plants of russet potatoes that we sliced not too thick or thin so they wouldn't take too long to bake in the oven. We did a couple of our tricks with the preparation of them - to give them a leg up getting crispy, we placed the sliced potatoes into a bowl with hot salted water.

After letting them sit for several minutes, some of the excess starch is drawn out, which will result in potatoes that are moist and fluffy on the inside with a crispier outside. Instead of just your basic salt and pepper, after we drizzled the potatoes with oil, we gave them a dusting of Cajun seasoning for a tinge of heat. The other trick? Preheating the baking pan for a good five minutes first - you know it's a good sign when you slosh the potatoes onto the pan and you immediately hear the sizzle begin.

Now that those could be left alone, the fish was on tap next. Rather than common breadcrumbs, the fillets are coated in cereal... yup, good 'ol cornflakes! They come crispy to begin with, so you can be assured you'll get a lovely crust on the outside. With your standard breading procedure, the Pacific cod we used was dredged through seasoned flour (using Cajun seasoning to match the chips!), dipped in beaten egg whites and then coated with plenty of crushed cornflakes. If you've never gone through this before, it really does help the cornflakes grab a hold and not fall off through the cooking process. Just remember - use one hand for dipping into the eggs and the other one for the dry ingredients so you don't end up with plastered fingers! Another trick comes into play with the fish - set the coated pieces onto a wire rack, set over a baking sheet to catch the drippings, to allow for the hot air of the oven to flow completely around the fillets - this helps the bottom stay crisp instead of turning mushy from sitting in its own juices.

While Jeff is the malt vinegar person in the house, I don't use it all that often and figured I'd try it here - good call! If you are not a fan, slice up a lemon into wedges and serve a couple along side to squeeze on top. The chips were not overly spicy, but I thought it could have used an extra half teaspoon or so of spice. It will depend on what is exactly in your Cajun seasoning - if it seems a little weak, you may wish to add a bit more than called for. I'm not the biggest seafood lover, but the delicate, flaky fish in this dish, contrasted by the textural crunch of the cereal, showed me there is hope - I couldn't get enough! Not as indulgent as deep frying both the fish and chips, but neither Jeff nor I felt as if we were missing out!


  1. I love fish and chips! Great way to eat them without gaining too much weight!

  2. what awesome tips! i might apply these to doing fried chicken. have you ever tried double dibbing to get extra breading?

    i think i need a tutorial on cutting fries that that too!

  3. What a nice walk with Gus. It's so cute.

  4. Avanika - Thanks!

    Sweetie - I have, but I'm not sure how well that would translate into baking instead of deep frying.

    Helene - It was relaxing.