|Perfectly Browned Fish with Garnishes|
Recipe adapted from Let's Cook
|Simple Fabulous Crust Ingredients|
Freshness of the fish is key to this recipe. You’ll be pressing the breadcrumbs onto the fish with considerable force. Fresh fish will stand up to this extreme handling…older fish not so much.
A fairly thick,
sustainably-sourced white fish works best. If you can’t find thick
sole, then lingcod,
white seabass, black cod, or Pacific halibut will do nicely. (My pics are local
is a good alternative, as is striped bass, if you’re lucky enough to find some.
|Serve with Salsa and Top Your Own|
This simple recipe is complimented by numerous sauces. It’s perfect with homemade salsa fresca or home canned salsas. Any Hollandaise or béchamel sauce works well too. Eric also suggests any variety of tapanade, mayonnaise-based sauces (ranch dressing or tartar sauce come to mind), and even teriyaki. Feel free to change up the crust ingredients and get creative with the sauces. Post a comment if you find a combo that you like.
1¼ lbs. ~¾-inch thick sole or other white fish
~¾ loaf of Francese bread
3 tbsp. olive oil
1¾ tsp. lemon zest
1½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
~2 tbsp. water
Prepare crust mixture:
You will need 2 cups of toasted breadcrumbs. Slice Francese bread into ¾ – 1 inch slices and toast in 350 degree F. oven. When bread is golden brown, remove from oven and grind in food processor. I needed 14 slices of bread, but toasted them in 3 batches to approach the 2 cups without waste.
Add olive oil, lemon zest, fresh thyme, Parmesan, and a few grinds of black pepper to food processor. Process till crumbs are fine and uniform. Remove crumb mixture to bowl.
Add water (or more olive oil) to achieve the proper texture. The rule is: “squeeze it and it stays together, shake it and it falls apart.” Add water or oil 1 tbsp. at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Test for compliance with the “squeeze it, shake it” rule after each addition. Taste mixture and add salt and more pepper if desired.
Preheat broiler, or preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Remove bones from fish with heavy-duty tweezers.
Cut fish into 4 servings if desired. Spread a layer of crust mixture onto large plate and place one fish fillet on top. Cover fillet with a good handful or two of crust mixture. Press down hard onto the fish until crust mixture adheres. Turn fish over and repeat on other side. Continue until all fillets are thickly coated on both sides, using all of the crust mixture.
Put fish fillets onto metal baking pan or broiler pan. Slide pan under broiler 5 - 6 inches away from heat. Check the fish every few minutes to be sure the crust is browning but not burning, and adjust distance to broiler if needed.
If fish is ¾-inch thick, it will be done in 7 - 10 minutes and need not be flipped. Fish is done when thick parts flake and look opaque yet moist.
For thicker fish, up to 1 inch, broil as above for 7 minutes and check for doneness. When cooked about halfway through, flip carefully with a wide offset metal spatula. Cook on second side until crust is brown and fish is done, about 5 - 7 minutes.
Plate fish:Remove fish to serving platter. Serve with salsa fresca and sliced avocado or other sauce and garnish of your choice.
|Easy Prep of Breadcrumb Crust|