Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reduced-Fat Oven-Fried Fish w/Tartar Sauce

I have always had great success with recipes from Cook's Country magazine and this one for Reduced-Fat Oven-Fried Fish w/Tarter Sauce was no exception.  My only complaint would be the long name but the reduced-fat portion of the recipe title does make it more intriguing.

This was the best fried fish (oven-fried or otherwise) and tarter sauce that I have made.  Tarter sauce is so easy to make and infinitely better than the jarred stuff.  The addition of finely minced shallot and Worcestershire sauce add the tiniest bit of bite to the sauce. Don't skimp on this step.

I have used this breading technique in other Cook's Country recipes in the past.  But if it works, why change it?  Fresh bread is used to make crumbs in lieu of prepackaged crumbs and truly makes a huge difference.  I used whole wheat bread because I couldn't justify buying a loaf of white bread for three slices and it made the recipe a tad bit healthier.  Egg, just the whites here to keep the fat grams down, are mixed with mustard to create a thick coating for the crumbs to adhere to.  This step seems to be the key piece of the puzzle to successful breading of meats destined for the oven.  

I don't eat a lot of fish and only like a few types.  Halibut isn't on the list so I used frozen cod fillets instead and they worked beautifully.  The fish was flaky inside and crisp on the exterior.  This was one of the best savory recipes I've made in a while and we all loved it.  So much so that I'm already planning on making it again.

What are your favorite tips and tricks to reduce fat in your family's meals?

Reduced-Fat Oven-Fried Fish w/Tartar Sauce
Cook's Country, June/July 2010

Tartar Sauce
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet pickles, plus 2 teaspoons juice
1 tablespoon drained capers, minces
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Oven-Fried Fish
3 slices hearty white sandwhich bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds halibut fillet, skin removed, cut into 8 (3-ounce) portions 

  • 1.  Make tartar sauce - Whisk mayonnaise, pickles, pickle juice, capers, lemon juice, shallot, and Worcestershire in bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • 2.  Make coating - Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground.  Bake bread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes.  Transfer toasted bread crumbs to shallow dish.  Combine 1/4 cup tartar sauce, 1/4 cup flour, egg whites, mustard, parsley, and cayenne in a second shallow dish.  Place remaining flour, salt, and pepper in third shallow dish.
  • 3.  Coat and Bake - Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees F.  Set wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet and lightly grease with cooking spray.  Pat fish dry with paper towels.  One at a time, dredge fillets lightly in seasoned flour.  Dip top and sides of fillets in tartar sauce-egg white mixture and cover top and sides with bread crumbs, pressing to adhere.  Transfer breaded fish to prepared rack, spray each fillet lightly with cooking spray, and bake until crumbs are golden brown and fish is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.  Serve with remaining tartar sauce.
Cook's Notes:  I used whole wheat bread for the breading and cod fillets instead of halibut.
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  1. Can't wait to try this! I've made oven-fried fish several times using Panko and it just wasn't the same. Yours looks closer to the real thing though.

  2. We eat fish so rarely but I really should make it more. This recipe looks great, and I'm just as big a fan of Cook's Country as you. Their recipes seem to be a little less complicated than Cook's Illustrated, perfect for weeknight meals.

  3. This looks like a great way to prepare fish!


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