Last weekend, my husband left for his annual camping/hiking trip in the Sierras. My son was home, on a rare night off. I took advantage of the opportunity to make a seafood dinner for him. Fortunately, wild-caught Pacific Cod was on sale. I'll jump ahead and tell you, that we both loved this dinner.
While the crumbs were cooling, I set up the breading station for the fish. In a pie plate, add about 1/4 flour.
In another pie plate, whisk eggs, horseradish (if using), mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), and ¼ teaspoon black pepper until combined. NOTE: I didn't add the horseradish, though I love it. My husband and son despite horseradish.
Whisk in 5 tablespoons flour until smooth. The batter becomes quite thick.
The cooled breadcrumbs are seasoned with shallots and fresh parsley. NOTE: I don't recommend substituting yellow or white onion for the shallots. Shallots have a milder heat, and are a shade of sweet. I think onions would overpower the flavor of the coating.
Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet, and turn the oven up to 425F.
Dry fish thoroughly with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
I have my breading station ready-- flour, the egg/flour batter and the seasoned bread crumbs.
Dredge a piece of fish with the flour, and shake off the excess.
With one hand, coat the fish into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs, coating all sides. With the other hand, gently press the coating mixture. NOTE: Doing this, and photographing it, was a true challenge.
Transfer breaded fish to wire rack. Repeat with the remaining fillets.
VERDICT: While the fish was baking, the aroma made us really hungry. I think that this recipe is kid-friendly. Seriously. The fish coating had a perfect "crunch" to it, and no sogginess at all. The flavor of the shallots had transformed to a sweet note, with a very mild flavor of onion. We both agreed that we did not need a tartar sauce, but just a generous squeeze of fresh lemon. I thought the fish was a teensy bit dry, but my son didn't. My advice is to watch the temperature of the fish very closely! The crispy oven-roasted potatoes were a perfect side dish that I made along side the baked chicken. Here's how I did it:
My son had a second helping, and raved how good this was.