BAKED FISH WITH CRISP BREAD CRUMBS

BAKED FISH WITH CRISP BREAD CRUMBS

BAKED FISH WITH CRISP BREAD CRUMBS

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Baked fish sounds like a great option for two: healthy and easy to prepare, with a crunchy, buttery crumb topping to complement the moist fish. To ensure that this easy weeknight meal lived up to its potential, we gently baked the fish in a low oven so there would be no chance of it overcooking. Elevating it on a wire rack allowed the air to circulate around it for even cooking and a crisp crust. To avoid bland bread crumbs, we sautéed crisp panko bread crumbs in butter with garlic, shallot, and thyme until golden brown. To keep the coating from falling off the fish, we used mayonnaise (flavored with lemon zest and pepper) to adhere them securely. Try to purchase cod fillets that are similar in size so that they cook at the same rate. If the fillets are much thinner than 1 inch, simply fold them over to make them thicker. Halibut and haddock are good substitutes for the cod.

You’ll need to make BAKED FISH WITH CRISP BREAD CRUMBS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small shallot, minced

Salt and pepper

1 small garlic clove, minced

¾ teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried

½ cup panko bread crumbs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh parsley

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless cod fillets, 1 to 1½ inches thick

BAKED FISH WITH CRISP BREAD CRUMBS

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and spray with vegetable oil spray.

2. Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and ⅛ teaspoon salt and cook until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in panko and ⅛ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often, until panko is deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer panko to shallow dish, let cool slightly, then stir in parsley.

3. Whisk mayonnaise, lemon zest, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in bowl. Pat cod dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Coat tops of fillets evenly with mayonnaise mixture. Working with 1 fillet at a time, dredge coated side in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place fillets panko side up on prepared rack and bake until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and registers 140 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Serve.