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Friday, October 1, 2010

Buttered Toast Crispy Fishwiches



While cooking this dish the other night, I was thinking about people who don't like fish. I'm sure, in part, the reason I like it so much is because I grew up in New England. Fish like haddock and cod, as well as lobster are easy to get, not to mention fresh. I think I took that fact for granted until my dad and stepmother moved to Florida. They missed haddock miserably and were excited to find a local restaurant that served fish n' chips from haddock flown in every Friday.



This sandwich comes from Everyday With Rachel Ray and it doesn't answer, "Yeah, so, I live where cod is hard to come by...what now?" For those of you who want to make this recipe but are a little worried about where to get the fish, I'd suggest using frozen fillets. Check your local Trader Joe's if you have one around; they claim that their fish is flash frozen right on the boats. This recipe calls for cod; you can use haddock and it will work just as well.

Buttered Toast Crispy Fishwiches
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
Grated peel of one lemon
A couple of tbsp chopped fresh thyme
A couple of tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
4 pieces of cod (6 oz each)
Salt and pepper
Flour, for coating
2 egg whites, beaten
4 sandwich sized English muffins, toasted and lightly buttered

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, pour the melted butter over the panko and work it into the crumbs to evenly distribute. Season with the Old Bay, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon peel, thyme and chives.
2. Season the cod with salt and pepper, then coat in the flour, egg whites and panko mixture. Arrange on a broiled pan or a cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet (spray the cooling rack with Pam). Bake until deeply golden and crisp, about 20 minutes.
3. Place the English muffin bottoms on a work surface. Dress the slices with whatever you like--cole slaw, lettuce, bread and butter pickle slices, sweet relish, onion, lemon juice or malt vinegar. (Or all of it.) Place a piece of fish on each and top with the remaining muffins.

The Verdict: I haven't been on for a few days. That's because this was so good, we're eating it every night from now on and the blog is finished. Thanks for reading. Bye.

Of course, I'm kidding but these sandwiches were really, reeeeally good. Make sure to serve them fresh out of the oven so that the coating stays nice and crispy. Cooled fish still tastes good, but part of the charm is the crispiness.

The original recipe is a bit specific about how to top the sandwich but seriously, whatevs. Do what tastes good to you. Between you, me and the lamppost, we topped ours with sweet relish and slices of cheese. Rachel doesn't mention anything about cheese. So sue me. Also in the original recipe, it calls for fresh thyme and lemon peel. I didn't have fresh thyme, so I used about a teaspoon of dried and it came out just as well. Nor did I have a lemon, so I used dried lemon peel which you can find in the spice aisle.

Another suggestion, which to the kitchen master is a "no duh": when dunking your fish from flour to egg to panko, set up an assembly line. One next to the other. If you don't, you make a mess. I'm not a kitchen master and used to do it pell mell all the time. A giant mess ensues. Which also reminds me: this recipe uses lots of dishes. If you pop things into the dish washer as you go, or into a sink of hot, soapy water, you can enjoy your dinner afterwards instead of grumble about the disaster in the kitchen waiting.

By the way, I think the picture for this recipe doesn't do it justice at all. It looks bland and brown. Don't judge the sandwich from the picture. Trust me, you'd rather me cook you dinner than take your family photo.

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