Weeknight Fish & Chips

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or haven’t been grocery shopping in a week or two) you’re probably aware of the Fall Extravaganza that began yesterday at all of the Balistreri Sendik’s Stores.  The sale ad this week is incredible!  I was inspired with so many blog-worthy menu ideas, I had a hard time deciding where to begin.  But as you can tell, I’m chatting about Fish and Chips today.  Even though it’s not Friday.  What rule says we have to wait until Friday night for fish fry?

I’ve never done a fish “fry” at home before just now, mainly because I’ve been leery of 1).  The scary amount of oil required for the actual deep frying of fish and 2).  How the frying process can smell up the house for days on end.  This oven frying method yields both crunchy fish and fries, without a ton of oil, and without the smelly smell.  The cod is so mild, even my punks who ‘don’t like fish’ were be persuaded to give it a try, and the fries turned out so well, I might never buy another frozen bag again!

You will be blown away by how easily this dinner comes together!  You’ll also be shocked at how incredibly cheap it is to make: five pieces of cod: $5.50;  three HUGE potatoes: $1.29.  Fish and chips at home on a weeknight in under 45 minutes?  Priceless!

I would use this method again for fish sandwiches, we all loved it!   I hope you will too!

The cod that’s on sale this week is frozen.  To thaw it, transfer the pieces to a large ziplock bag.  Fill your sink partway with lukewarm water and place the bag with the fish in the water.  Let it float in there for an hour or so, then drain it and pat it dry.


Serves: 4

Source:  The Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl; p. 301

  • ¾ c. fine dry breadcrumbs
  • ¾ c. yellow cornmeal
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • 4 – 6 oz. pieces of center cut cod fillet (the cod that’s on sale is not center cut, but you could trim it if you wanted everything to be really perfect and pretty)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 T. vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges, parsley sprigs, and tartar sauce as accompaniments

Put a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Combine breadcrumbs, cornmeal, salt, and cayenne in a shallow pie plate.  In a separate shallow dish, beat the eggs together to combine.

Pat the fish dry with paper towels.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.  Dredge fish in the breadcrumb mixture, then dip fish in eggs, and dredge again in the crumbs.  Transfer to a plate.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy, oven-proof skillet over high heat until oil is very hot but not smoking.  Add the fish and fry until underside is golden brown, about a minute.  Gently flip fish over and cook until golden brown on second side, about another minute.  Transfer skillet to oven and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Serve with lemon, parsley, and tartar sauce.


Serves:  4

Source:  The Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl; p. 568

  • 1 ½ lbs. russet potatoes (about three large), scrubbed
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ t. salt (I used Lawry’s Seasoned Salt)
  • ¼ t. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Trim a small slice of potato off of one side so that it lies flat on your work surface.  Cut the potatoes into 1/3 inch thick slices, then cut into 1/3 inch thick sticks.  IMMEDIATELY (this is important) toss with the oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then spread potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Loosen potatoes from bottom of pan with a metal spatula, turn them over, and spread out again.  Bake until crisp and edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes more (I tossed mine again at this point and let them go another 5 minutes; we like them on the crispy side).  Serve right away.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | October 8th, 2009