Oh Johnny!

When you buy a polarized filter, you can take pictures of trees that look like flames. These trees are like candy to me, but I won’t bore you with my photo experiments for too long.
I can still justify myself, though. Last week it was Wallace Stevens authorizing me to go on and on about you-know-what (*cough, cough* — autumn)–now, it’s the week before Halloween, and it is, therefore, my job as a blogger to torture you with more harvest-themed odds and ends. I just wanted to say “harvest.” And “baubles,” but I haven’t found a place for it yet.

Considering the surprise birthday plans the Roomzes seem to have in the works, this stuff might not be over yet. But I think you’ve heard that before.

I do want to share with you a recipe that is becoming one of my go-tos for unexpected company, or just for a Sunday afternoon.

Oven fish and chips? Oven? That means baked, right? Baked means healthy. Why would I want healthy fish and chips? The point of fish and chips is not to be healthy.

See how well I know you. Don’t worry. These aren’t really that healthy, as you’ll notice when you get to the part about butter. And no quips about Paula Deen–it’s Irish butter and that’s a whole different story. I actually compose poetry about pure gold and the bonny banks while I’m eating this stuff on toast, or even just slicing it. It reminds me of the days in Belfast. We ate butter from giant golden bricks. I guess I’ll get to that another time. Whatever yous do, watch this video about Belfast accents, and then imagine working in a kitchen and feeling like a goon for not comprehending anything. They did always come through with a bucket of Heineken after our shifts… Ah, see what happens when Irish butter is involved. I forgot about the fish and reminisced about Belfast. Fitting, though, since Cayenne was the first place I tasted a revamped version of fish n’ chips. (Hi, friends! In case any of you read this.)

Le Fish is something I cooked up as a combination of a baked, breaded cod that my friend made, and the classic Almondine Fish from Luby’s. There’s no mayonnaise on this one, so I’m sorry to disappoint. If you really want true almondine, just go get a Luanne Platter from your neighborhood Luby’s. They even have a drive-through (I know–what?!) now, so there’s no excuse.

Sorry, that was only relevant to my Texan readers.

This recipe works well with cod or codlike fish, like hake. I once used orange roughy, and it was alright. The cod is a much better deal up here in Boston than hake, so I usually go with that. Because of the blanket of bread crumbs (use fresh and don’t even mention the stuff in the shaker can again) and the butter, the fish stays so tender, even if you overcook it, and let’s face it, if you have any sort of paranoia, overcooking fish is the only way you know how.

The Roomz 2’s assessment: “Light, yet satisfying.” From a dude, that’s a winning endorsement. But let’s get to what you’ve been thinking about since you read the title — sweet potato fries.

I have eaten a lot of sweet potato fries. I love them so much that I don’t discriminate. I even like the frozen crinkle cut ones. Don’t tell Anthony Bourdain–he’ll blame me for the commercialization of America.

These fries are so tasty and so easy. I have to give credit to the Roomz for these–she defied all odds in making baked fries that I actually think are better than the fried version. As soon as I knew this was possible, I had to try to replicate the experience. Fluffy in the middle, crispy on the outside, and also great dipped in crazy things like honey mustard, cheese dip, or a runny egg yolk that happens to be on your plate.

Oven Fish n’ Chips
(Baked Cod & Sweet Potato Fries)

Serves 2-3
Preheat Oven to 400 F

Cod
1 lb. fresh cod
3 T butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs, freshly blitzed in the food processor or from a bakery
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
¼ cup sliced almonds
3-8 Tablespoons of olive oil
Just kidding, it only needs 3, but I prefer my olive oil in mass quantities
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Sweet Potato Fries
2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise, ½ inch width (see picture)
2 T olive oil
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Make the fries
Slice sweet potabrtoes, toss in oil, salt, and pepper, and space apart on a sheetpan. (Give them room to breathe). Cook for 20 minutes, then keep in the oven while you cook the fish.

Lower Oven to 375 F

Make the fish

  1. Blitz up bread crumbs until they are flaky but not chunky — think of panko bread crumbs, which I think you could try using. I bought these from Russo’s because I don’t have a food processor up here. And I like them to be slightly bigger than these, but they worked out.
  2. Chop rosemary and mix into the the breadcrumbs. Pour 2 T of olive oil into the breadcrumbs and toss them around with a fork.
  3. Melt butter in saucepan or microwave–gently! No sizzling.
  4. Rinse icky liquids off fish and pat dry. Very dry. No moist fish here. Slice fish into 4- or 5-inch pieces and place on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack.
  5. Use the back of a spoon or a brush to paint the butter onto the tops of the fish. Be heavy-handed here. It’s hard to use too much.
  6. Sprinkle with salt & pepper
  7. Cover fish mounds upon mounds of breadcrumbs. I just keep adding it until it’s used up. Sometimes, the breading is thicker than the fish. Then I sprinkle the almonds on top of that.
  8. Add to oven with fries and cook for 12 minutes, checking to make sure it’s not overcooking. I usually give the fries a scrape at this point to make sure they’re not sticking.
  9. To serve: Spritz with lemon and drizzle with olive oil (optional). I served mine up with arugula. The spicy crispness contrasted well.

8 comments

  1. Alyssa Gomez · · Reply

    Girl, your photos rock. And that fish looks amazing. I’m so making that :)

  2. This looks good and everything, but mostly I just want to go to Luby’s SO BAD.

  3. Rhonda Dube · · Reply

    Amazing again Dollface! Another recipe to add to my list.

    Oh and I just got a coupon yesterday for a deal on a Luanne platter at Luby’s. Yum!

  4. Haha, yeah. but this fish tastes a LOT like the almondine if you use mayonnaise instead of butter. And use frozen, cardboardy fish. Haha. I still crave it anyway. With mac and cheese, potatoes and gravy, jello, and an Andes mint.

  5. The tree photo is so beautiful, I want to write an ode to it!

  6. Thanks, Leigh!

  7. Alyssa Gomez · · Reply

    I made this recipe last night, and it was ah-mazing. I used Panko bread crumbs, and it worked great. The sweet potato fries were perfectly baked. I really need a wire rack to fit my sheet pan – I think that would make the fish (and the fries) come out even better.

  8. Oh girl, I’m so glad you liked it! The pic you sent looked really good.

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