Cornmeal Crusted Fish Sticks

Yuk! I know that is probably the first thought of many people at the idea of a plateful of Cornmeal Crusted Fish Sticks. The image that comes to mind is the tv commercial with the fisherman in the yellow raincoat and hat touting how fresh tasting his frozen version of fish sticks are. Frozen fish sticks were pretty much a staple when my kids were toddlers because I thought they were actually eating fish.

This is a baked version of fish sticks, and I'm always a little leery of baked adaptions of foods that taste better fried. But who likes to clean up the mess from frying. Couple that with my wimpy exhaust fan, and I'm not too gung ho to fry up a batch of fish sticks.

I came across a recipe that was developed by John Ash who is a chef, author and cooking instructor. I was attracted by good reviews and the ease of preparation. A few minor changes were made - the original recipe called for halibut, but at $18.00 a pound that wasn't going to happen - and we had fish sticks in the house.

Cornmeal Crusted Fish Sticks are on the Make Again List at our house. Eaten by all family members and rated "Really good. Make these again" by 4 family members is a successful meal by my terms. No Thank You Boy was the biggest cheerleader for this meal. He ate it three nights in a row. He dipped his fish sticks in marinara sauce.

Tell that fisherman on the tv to go back to sea and bake up some of your own fish sticks.

Cornmeal Crusted Fish Sticks
adapted from a recipe by John Ash

makes about 30 - 34 fish sticks

1 cup flour
1 cup Italian salad dressing, low calorie
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup yellow cornmeal, coarse ground
2 pounds cod fillets, can use pollack, halibut or grouper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking rack in a large baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray. This setup enables the fish sticks to be cruncky on all sides.

Place the flour in a shallow dish. Whisk the salad dressing and eggs together in another shallow dish to blend. To a third shallow dish add the breadcrumbs and cornmeal. Stir to combine.

Cut the fish into 4" by 1" by 1/2" strips. Dip the fish sticks into flour; then into the egg mixture; then into the crumbs, covering the fish completely. Place them on the prepared baking sheet. They can be coated up to 4 hours ahead; cover and keep refrigerated.

Bake the sticks until they are cooked through, crisp, and firm to the touch, about 15minutes. Transfer them to a platter and serve warm with tartar sauce, ketchup, marinara or lemon wedges.


krysta said...

I love using cornmeal to bread things

Patti A. said...

Amy, this recipe screams for the Reynolds nonstick foil to line the pan. I find that it helps create a nice crispy texture on oven-baked chicken and pork, so I'm sure that it would do the same with fish.

amycaseycooks said...

krysta - I too love the cornmeal. it gives foods a nice crunch.

patti - I will have to give the Reynolds foil a try - I haven't used it yet. thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Will tilapia work with this recipe?

amycaseycooks said...

angela in texas - yes, it would work with tilapia. Any fish that you would put some sort of breading on will work. I am making this again this week!!

Charity Dasenbrock said...

Perfect timing! I have fish tacos on the menu for an upcoming cookdate and I was going to do a gluten free batter thing but i think I will adapt this instead. Thanks.