Sunday, March 20, 2011

Parmesan & Nut-Crusted Fish

First, as I type this, I am devouring some strawberry and basil scones concocted by my sister.  Rest assured I'll track down the supposed simple recipe and post here.  She swears she thought them inedible and almost trashed them.  Heathen!

In the interim, I've been day dreaming about a favorite recipe of ours: essentially, a parmesan and nut-crusted fish.  Obviously, I found it critical to share.

At some point, I found a similar recipe in the classic Better Homes & Gardens red & white cookbook, but it's been modified and tweaked so much I don't think I can give credit there.  The best part about this "recipe" is that it works equally well on the grill (my favorite), in the oven or on the stove top.

I usually start it on foil for the grill or in a parchment lined dish for the oven.  Stove top (semi-fried) is probably the least healthy way, but it tastes pretty delightful.  My favorite fish for this is halibut steaks, but we've used tilapia, halibut filet or any other white fish with a nice, meaty flavor.

Typically, I start by soaking or rubbing the fish in olive oil, and then in a separate bowl I stir together about two cups of seasoned bread crumbs, about one cup of nuts (diced walnuts or pecans or packaged nut topping all work well), a healthy dose to taste of Italian seasoning and about a cup of fresh shredded parmesan.  After mixing it all up, I coat (thickly) the fish.

For the grill, just setting the fish with the skin side down on the foil, pouring on olive oil and then pouring on this mix and patting it to a nice crust works perfectly - I wrap up the foil package and hand it over to the keeper of the grill, who takes it from there.

For the oven, I pop the whole thing in somewhere around 375 (a little higher doesn't hurt) for 15 - 20 minutes.  It's a pretty difficult dish to mess up.  I like a nice brown to the crust and adjust accordingly.  For the stove top, I usually use smaller fillets with the skin off and just saute them in a good amount of olive or cooking oil, turning them and then keeping warm in the oven while I finish side items like some asparagus and wild rice.

It's a great summer (or anytime) meal, and I've got to dash off to the store for fish now to satisfy the craving.