Fellow cooks, the time is now—the time to flop your fish out of the frying pan and into the oven, that is. Sure, deep-fried candy bars have a place in every healthy diet. But on days besides Fryday, you might want to make a meal using that other appliance that takes up space in your kitchen.
You can start with this oven-baked version of a recipe that’s usually fried. We promise the end result is every bit as delicious. And remember, you can always deep-fry a Twinkie for dessert.
3 pounds fresh fish fillets or strips (we used pollock)
2 tbsp. butter
½ box Cajun seafood fry mix or fish seasoning mix of your choice (or less spicy version, use ¼ of a box)
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Set baking pan in oven until the pan is warm (not hot). Remove pan from oven. Put butter on pan, let melt and spread over pan.
Pour Cajun seasoning mix in a large plastic bag. Add fish and then shake gently to coat evenly. Remove fish from bag, place on buttered pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is flaky.
For the baked hush puppies (makes 12 mini pups)
⅔ cup cornmeal
⅓ cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
⅓ cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. oil
While the fish is baking, coat a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
Measure dry ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork. Add wet ingredients and stir with fork until blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin.
Remove the fish from the oven and turn the oven up to 450°F.
Bake the hush puppies for 10 minutes or until a tester pick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Serve fish and hush puppies with ready-made coleslaw.
If the fish you’re using is not moist, dipping the fillets into milk or water before coating with seasoning will help the seasoning mix stick.
For the hush puppy recipe, you can substitute full-fat cow milk for the coconut milk.
Coleslaw helps cut the effect of the spiciness of the Cajun seasoning on your tongue, but potato salad is a good substitute.
Once upon a time there was a mother/daughter author duo named Helen and Lorri, who wrote as HL Carpenter. the Carpenters worked from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories was unreal but not untrue. Then one day Lorri left her studio to explore the land of What-If, and like others who have lost a loved one the magical place lost much of its magic. But thanks to family, plus an amazing group of wordsmiths named Authors Moving Forward (AMF), the magic is slowly returning.