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FRONT BURNER: Thursday night fish meals a return to normalcy

by Kelly Brant | March 8, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Baked White Fish With a Zesty Crust (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

In a sign that my life may be returning to something resembling the normal of Before Times (life before March 11, 2020), I've resumed fish on Thursdays.

Longtime readers with good memories may recall, fish on Thursdays at my house isn't connected to Lent or anything like that. It's simply that for many years, I had the house to myself on Thursday evenings. I could eat whatever I wanted -- raw tomatoes (husband Joe is allergic), cooked cauliflower (he hates it), roasted Brussels sprouts (ditto), asparagus (ditto), sweet potatoes (you guessed it) and fish -- and catch up on all my favorite tearjerker shows.

After a nearly three-year hiatus, he recently rejoined his Thursday night social group, and I'm taking full advantage.

This recipe takes just a few minutes to prepare and cook, leaving me lots of time for binging Sally Rooney adaptations on Hulu.

The measurements are super flexible. I use a lot of parsley and lemon juice, giving the fish a herbal, punchy tartness. You may want a lot more parmesan or garlic or none of either. If you want something a little crunchier, opt for panko instead of fresh breadcrumbs and skip the lemon juice, but double up on the zest.

Baked white fish with a zesty crust

1 slice white bread, crusts removed

10 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, more or less to taste

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

Salt and ground black pepper

2 (8-ounce) round white fish filets such as haddock or cod

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse the bread and parsley until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add the parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and ground black pepper; mix well.

Drizzle the remaining oil onto a baking sheet. Place the filets on the oil and turn to coat both sides. Spread the bread mixture on top. Bake seven to 10 minutes, depending on thickness.

Serve immediately.

Makes four servings.

Recipe adapted from "Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Food Every Day" by Diana Henry

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