This Jewish girl enjoys nothing more than a Catholic fish fry, where people of all faiths unite in their love of friends, food, and someone else cooking dinner. I’m heartbroken that we can’t stand together now, when we need to lean on each other the most. So, with respect for Lenten customs, and gratitude to the Catholic friends who taught them to me, I offer this yummy, crispy, sheet pan fish ‘n chips recipe.
Start with the chips (aka french fries). Super-starchy russet potatoes are the best spuds for this job. Wash and dry the whole potatoes, and leave the potassium-rich skins on for maximum flavor and nutrition. Slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick pieces, you know, like french fries. If you aren’t pressed for time, blot dry the fries with paper towels so that the oil and seasonings stick evenly. I place the fries on a pile of paper towels as I cut, then roll the paper towels up for maximum drying with minimal effort.
While some recipes suggest baking the fries in an abundance of oil, you can cut the fat content considerably by using just 2 teaspoons of heart-healthy olive oil. The secret is to rub the oil on the fries with your hands, ensuring all of the fries are evenly coated. Like your fries extra crispy? Place a foil-covered baking sheet in the oven during the preheat, then carefully arrange and bake the seasoned potatoes on the already-hot pan.
Next, choose your favorite sturdy white fish fillets, either fresh or previously frozen. Halibut is delicious but can be pricey. Cod is an economical, not-fishy-tasting fish that delivers an impressive amount of protein. Slice the fillets horizontally into nuggets. Go ahead and dab the fish dry too. Set up a dredging station. Start with a light coating of all-purpose flour, then dunk the fish in beaten egg. Here I suggest using just one whole egg and two whites; switch to two whole eggs if cholesterol isn’t an issue. You can add bonus flavor to your fish by whipping the egg with lemon juice, malt vinegar or even a dollop of Dijon mustard. A layer of panko breadcrumbs gives our fish its crispy exterior without frying. For the ultimate golden goodness, brown the panko in a dry skillet (without oil or cooking spray) before coating the fish. Add the fish to the oven, and in a few minutes, you’ll have a healthy version of the season’s best comfort food. Serve with malt vinegar and happy memories, until we can dine together again.
Sheet Pan Fish and Chips
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