Oven Fish Fry on a Bed of Not-So-Mushy Peas
Baking fish with breadcrumb coating is as tasty as fried without the calories. Use cod or any flaky, thick-cut fish. Fresh spring peas with herbs are a pleasing accompaniment.
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1-2 tablespoons thyme leaves, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay Seasoning or Szeged Fish Rub
- 1 tablespoon granulated onion
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- Zest of 1 lemon or lime
- 2 pounds cod fillets (3/4-inch thick), cut into 8 rectangles
- Salt and pepper
- 2 extra-large eggs, separated, whites beaten until frothy
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, packed
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
- 3 cups shelled fresh peas or thawed frozen peas, patted dry
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive (EVOO)
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Malt vinegar or lemon wedges
Position a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 400°F. Fit a wire rack into a baking sheet.
In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat. Put the panko in a large shallow bowl, add the melted butter and toss to combine. Stir in the thyme, chives, seafood seasoning, granulated onion, granulated garlic and citrus zest.
Pat the fish dry, then season with salt and pepper. Coat the fish in the egg whites, then gently press into the panko mixture to coat evenly; transfer to the wire rack. Bake until the panko is golden and the fish is opaque in the center, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the parsley and mint until finely chopped. Scrape into a dish and set aside. Return the bowl to the processor (no need to rinse). Add the peas and pulse until finely chopped (do not puree).
In a medium size saucepan, heat the EVOO and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the stock and peas and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook the fresh peas for about 10 minutes or the frozen peas for 6-7 minutes; season. Stir in the parsley-mint mixture. Remove from the heat.
Spoon some peas onto each plate. Top with the fish. Serve with the malt vinegar or lemon wedges.