Thursday, September 6, 2012

Crispy Oven Fish Fry with Mushy Peas

It is rare to find me in front of the TV, especially alone. If I watch TV it is usually a worthwhile movie, shared  with someone as a way to relax. The few times I do watch TV alone it is always on the Food Network channel. I feel I learn something from every episode that I can apply to my cooking. Rachel Ray, 30 Minute Meals is one of my favorite shows. This particular time I caught her cooking Crispy Oven Fish Fry with Mushy Peas and knew I had to try it immediately. Rachael Ray originally used Cod but I had recently bought Tilapia because it was on sale. This was a perfect way to use it. I have to admit, I was a little leery to try the Mushy Peas, but let me tell you they were wonderfully refreshing and savory, the perfect vegetable to go with the Crispy Fish. Paul was also skeptical to try this recipe because he has never liked fish. He kept an open mind and fell in love with the dish. Of course I prepped my Tilapia in the Marinade Express which helped to remove any fishy taste as well as the phosphates in which it was previously soaked (as commercial fish is, to keep it moist on the boat.) Rachael's recipe for the light, yet flavorful breadcrumb batter is to die for. The smell of it cooking in the oven permeated throughout the whole house making my roommates curious and jealous of our dinner. This dish is a wonderful way to get your kids (of all ages) to eat peas and fish, plus it is figure-friendly and easy to make. You can't beat it!
This picture doesn't do it justice, I promise it's delicious!

Crispy Oven Fish Fry with Mushy Peas:
Adapted from 30 Minute Meals, Rachael Ray

 Havana Mojo Marinade by Marinade Express
1 1/2 to 2 pounds Tilapia or Cod
5 tablespoons butter
3 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
1 tablespoon granulated onion powder
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
Zest of 1 lemon or lime
2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 large egg whites, beaten until frothy
1 cup packed fresh mint
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (I used dried)
3 cups freshly shelled peas or frozen peas, defrosted and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
Pepper and salt to taste
Malt vinegar (optional)

1) Prep the Tilapia in the Marinade Express using Havana Mojo Marinade for 7-8 minutes.
3)Preheat oven to 400 degrees; arrange a baking rack over the top of a baking sheet.
4) Melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat in a small pot. Put bread crumbs in a shallow dish, douse with the melted butter, stir to combine. Season with seafood seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, zest, thyme, and green onion. Toss ingredients together well.
5) Clean and pat the fish dry, season with salt to taste. Coat the fish in egg whites, then gently press the fish into bread crumbs to coat evenly. Arrange on baking rack. Place the fish on the center rack of the oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is flaky. (Remember that food prepped in the Marinade Express cooks faster than usual by about 20 %, so expect it to be done in 15-16 minutes rather than 20).
6) While the fish is cooking add parsley and mint to a food processor, pulse to finely chop, then scrape into a bowl and set aside. Using the same food processor,  add the peas and pulse until very finely chopped.
7) In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and peas, bringing to it to a bubble over medium-high heat. Cook the fresh peas for 10 minutes. If using frozen peas cook for 6 to 7 minutes. When most of the liquid has evaporated, season with salt and pepper and stir in the mint and parsley. Remove from heat.
8) Spoon mushy peas onto each plate, then place a piece of crispy fish on top. Top with malt vinegar as desired. Serve immediately!