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.
Baked Fish and Hush Puppies3 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.
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.
Tips and TricksIf 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.
While you're enjoying your delicious lunch, we invite you to enjoy an excerpt from our satirical short story, The Demise of Fyne Literature.
Who killed Fyne Literature?
The Fictional Book Investigation Agency is on the case—and the lead investigator is closer to the culprit than he realizes.
Ivy League wants to learn who murdered the love of her life. The Fictional Book Investigation Agency agrees to take the case, and soon discovers a surplus of suspects.
Is the killer one of the victim’s many enemies? Is there more to the story than anyone knows? The Agency’s profiler has a clue, yet she’s remarkably reticent.
For the lead investigator, unraveling the plot means confronting the mystery within.
Ivy League walked into my office as I cracked the spine on an old murder book. I identified her immediately, courtesy of my mythical detecting skills. Well, those and her cute little uptilted nose, which I recognized from news reports about a recent gruesome killing.
She said, “I want you to find out who’s behind the demise of Fyne Literature.”
“I thought the cops already closed the book on his demise.” I slapped shut the hardcover in my hand to punctuate my sentence.
I said, “Word is, your lover was done in by an explosion of serial killer potboilers.”
“He was – he is – the love of my life, not my lover.” She perched on the edge of the chair opposite my bargain-priced government surplus desk, and looked at the painting on the wall behind me. “You’re no angel.”
Apparently I wasn’t the only one possessed of mythical detecting skills. The picture depicts a kneeling, white-winged warrior, weary yet steadfast as another day rises – or sets, depending on your point of view – on a ravaged city. You only need to glance at him once to know he did not weep, to know he would not, even in the midst of destruction and defeat; to know he understands war, in the way true warriors do. He knows the creed as well, the one limned by the glowing-eyed cat at his side: Show no weakness.
A grateful and talented character created the picture after I pulled her from the shadowy world where illusions take corporeal form and people merely think they can see. I can tell you horror stories, like the one depicted in that drawing, with entire civilizations reduced to smoldering ruins.
I’ll spare you and myself as well. I meet my shadow every time I plunge into the murk of those battles, and the reality is too gruesome for me to revisit, at least in the daylight hours when I have a choice.
Ed the glowing-eyed cat would say the same, if you understood his language. I’m not the angel in the painting, though my features vaguely resemble his, but Ed’s real, as real as I am.
I said, “Fortunately you need a detective, not an angel.”
“Yes,” Ivy said. “And you meet both criteria.”
I’ve always been a sucker for a woman who can properly pluralize ancient Greek.
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