Dinner @ 226 - Baked Fish Fillets

Hi pretty faces. We have a tremendous amount of catching up to do. But, before the tired excuses and lame complaints and dramatic professions about the overwhelming-ness of life, I feel I owe you a recipe. I feel I owe you a fantastic recipe. I feel I owe you the kind of recipe that your husband will be thankful he didn't end up going to a restaurant for dinner. The sort of meal that might be begged for more than once a week, by the small, medium, and large people living in your house.

Do you cook fish a lot? It's the only animal protein I eat so I use it a lot. We probably have it once, maybe twice a week. The only thing that keeps me from cooking it even more is the very sad fact that this here family lives in a completely land locked state. Good fish is hard to procure. Inexpensive, good fish, well that's nearly impossible. For these reasons, I buy frozen fish. I know it sort of goes against most of my natural cooking instincts but it's the only way we can afford to have it. And, at Trader Joe's, the frozen fish doesn't leave you with a whole lot to complain about. I usually keep a few pounds of some variety of white fish in my freezer at all times.

Okay, enough about the not very fresh but good enough fish. You'll need 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds of whatever fish you can get, if you're feeding four people. This meal is for a night when you don't feel like getting crazy with curries or messy with marinaras. You want flavors that don't frighten or surprise your taste buds, but instead nuzzle in and give them a gentle hug. Yes, taste buds have feelings. And they like hugs. Fact.

Baked Fish Fillets from this book

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup bread crumbs (homemade are best)
2 small eggs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/4 pounds fish fillets cut into strips or chunks
4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread the flour on a flattish plate and the bread crumbs on another one.

Whisk the eggs and parsley together in a shallow bowl and add some salt. Sprinkle the fish with some salt too.

Pat the fish chunks in the flour first, then in the egg, and finally in the bread crumbs, turning to coat them thoroughly each time. Put the fish in a baking pan and drizzle with a little of the olive oil. Turn the fish over and drizzle a little more oil over the top.

Bake the fish in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the pieces over and bake for another 5 minutes or so until they are golden and crisp. Serve with an extra scattering of salt and some lemon juice squeezed over the top.

Serves 4

I totes forgot to drizzle one side with olive oil and i never turned them while they were in the oven. Still fantastic. Jason made some simple tarter sauce to go with the fish. Mostly because he likes to eat it. Spoon style.

Awesome Peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced thin
1 pinch brown sugar
1 garlic clove peeled and chopped
1 bag frozen peas
salt + pepper

Warm olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Add onion and sugar, stir and lower heat to medium and cover. Allow onion to caramelize, about 15 minutes, checking every few minutes and adding water if the onion is sticking. Add garlic, toss around in the pan for a few seconds. Add peas. Cover and cook until peas are warmed through and bright green, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Yummy Salad with My Favorite Vinaigrette
For Vinaigrette:
2 (large) tablespoons red wine vinegar (we like tangy dressing. if you don't, reduce the vinegar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
a drizzle of honey
about 1/4 cup olive oil

Make your dressing in the bottom of your salad bowl. This way you can make your salad on top of it and toss it all at the last minute, with fewer dishes to wash up when you're finished! Mix first 5 ingredients with a whisk. Whisk vigorously, so you get a uniform consistency. Stream in olive oil while whisking. Taste.

For Salad:
baby spinach
thinly sliced red onion
2 or 3 fresh garden tomatoes chopped (important to use farmer's market or homegrown tomatoes in this salad, the hothouse SuperMarket variety just won't do)
a knob of tangy blue cheese, crumbled

Drop the onion in the vinaigrette. Putting raw onion into the dressing quick-pickles it a bit, and takes a bit of the bite away. Pile up the rest of the ingredients in your salad bowl and toss it all together at the table.

If you're lucky, you'll get to finish your dinner with a table-side saxophone serenade. Ahhhh, sweet sweet music.

Or, a milkshake. With a cute straw. You choose.