Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oven-Fried Whiting Fillets

I wasn't excited for this meal. When I opened the frozen package of whiting fillets to pull a few out to thaw, they smelled fishy. I contemplated skipping this meal, leaving the fish in the fridge long enough to go bad, then throwing it out. We even went out to eat on Friday night to avoid this one. But Saturday night rolled around and I made myself cook the fillets. Surprise! They were actually pretty good and didn't taste fishy at all. Silly me for being a scaredy-cat!

Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Fillets
Adapted from allrecipes.com

7+/- whiting fillets (skin on is fine, but they need to be boneless)
1/3 c. milk
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. dry Italian bread crumbs
Cooking spray
Tartar sauce, optional

Preheat the oven to 450F. Place a baking rack on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Rinse fish fillets, then dip into milk. Coat with flour, dip back in the milk, then coat with bread crumbs. Place fillets on the baking rack; spray with cooking spray. Bake 10-15 minutes or until they're done. Serve with tartar sauce if desired.

While they were good fillets and not fishy, I don't think I'd like them without my homemade tartar sauce. Something about the breadcrumbs. The original recipe called for crushed up croutons, not breadcrumbs, but I used what I had on hand. I think next time I'd try it with croutons or crushed up crackers or potato chips.

Both kids ate the first fillet we put on their plates, and Tiny Tot #1 even asked for a 2nd one. Buppy, Tiny Tot #2 and I all ate the fish with the tartar sauce; Tiny Tot #1 preferred his fish plain even though he said he liked the tartar sauce. I honestly wasn't sure they'd eat the fish because they weren't 'fish sticks', but Buppy and I were very pleasantly surprised. They're generally good eaters, so I guess we shouldn't have been.

There is no recipe per say for the tartar sauce I made because I added everything to taste, but here's what went into it: mayo (I'd like to have used 'light', but all we had open was regular), chopped up dill pickles, lemon juice, seasoned salt, garlic salt, black pepper, pickle juice and dried dill weed. I'm not a fan of restaurant or store-bought tartar sauce because they're made using sweet pickles, which I can't stand. This tartar sauce was good enough to eat by the spoonful (in my humble opinion), but I didn't because of the darn calorie content. It really jazzed up the fish though. I highly suggest making this at least a few hours prior to eating so the flavors can meld and the dill weed can rehydrate. Enjoy!

*This post is linked to Life as Mom’s Ultimate Recipe Swap for Thursday, 5/19/11 --- fish!

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