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by on July 7th, 2012

Grown-Up Parmesan Fish Sticks

Any fish is a hit in this house.

When I was growing up (I keep asking myself, am I there yet?) seems like our family ate  a lot of fish. My dad was the best fisherman around and whether it was catfish, crappie, an occasional turtle (not fish of course) or a big platter of frog legs (again not fish but came out of the water), we had plenty of it and my mother knew just how to make it finger licking good.  Her catfish was always in cornmeal and the crappie were always dipped in egg then flour and fried until it was “fluffy” as my daughter still calls it today and of course the other things like frog and turtle were done to perfection as well. One day I will do a frog leg post because I have a hilarious story to tell.

Our mother was a stay at home mom and was always there for us. (I have a twin sister so you will probably always here me refer to myself as “we”, “us”, or “our” — that’s just the way it is.) She cooked lunch for our dad almost everyday and had something on the table just in time for him to walk through the door in the evening and say “What’s for dinner?”. Believe it or not, on occasion, she would pull out a package of Gordon’s Fish sticks for my sister and me and our little brother. Wow, can you believe those little sticks have been around since 1849. Now I never really think of these as “real food” because no telling what goes into a package (any brand) of fish stick; read the label the next time you are in a grocery, you will be surprised at the ingredients. Maybe you were one of those kids that were forced to eat fish sticks in the lunchroom on Fridays during lent and you still have a bad taste in your mouth just thinking about those little sticks all covered with ketchup .

These homemade fish sticks are made from fresh sliced fish (not minced) and all the ingredients can be pronouned. Now it is up to you whether you fry them or bake them.

Not too many ingredients for these yummy sticks.

Cut the cod into 1″ x 4″ strips.

Breading trays ready with flour, egg and crumb mixture.

After being dredged in flour, the sticks take a dunk into beaten egg.

A roll in the crumbs.

Ready for the oven.

The sauce was great with the fish sticks and the jalapeño was a good touch.

Grown-Up Parmesan Fish Sticks

1 large piece of cod, cut in 1″ strip
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 c. panko bread crumbs or half regular bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

olive oil for drizzling

Dipping Sauce

1/3 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. finely minced jalapeño pepper
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
1 Tbsp. chopped chives

Preheat oven to 450°.

Cut the cod into 1″ strips. Refrigerate until ready to do the breading.

Set out three bowls or breading trays. Put the flour in one bowl, the beaten eggs in second bowl and in the third bowl mix the bread crumbs with the sea salt, black pepper, paprika, lemon pepper and the Parmesan cheese.

Take the pieces of cod, one at a time, and dredge first in the flour, then in the egg then coat on all sides with the bread crumb mixture. Put this on a greased or sprayed cookie sheet. Continue with the other fish pieces until you have everything coated.  Drizzle olive oil (or any kind of oil) over the fish sticks and bake at 450° for 15 minutes or browned and crunchy.

*Tip — I usually divide my bread crumb mixture in half that way you do not get the egg all gunked up in the crumbs.

For the dipping sauce:  Mix the mayonnaise with all the other ingredients and stir until blended. Chill until ready to serve.

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