This a very satisfying and healthy way to cook fish that originally comes from Melissa Clark in NYTimes Cooking. We used Ling Cod because we happened to have it on hand, but it could work just well with any substantive white fish like haddock. The trick is to bake it on a raised, greased rack over a roasting pan to air-fry the fish. The horseradish (and dill) aioli really sets this apart. We served it with baked sweet potato fries and a salad.
For this you’ll need: 1 lb Cod (skinned, deboned and cut into 2″ cubes or strips), 1-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 1 clove garlic (crushed and chopped), 1 Tbsp dried thyme, 2 Tbsp olive oil, x2 eggs, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 cup flour, salt and pepper. For the aioli you’ll need: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1-2 Tbsp horseradish, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest (grated), 1-2 tsp dried dill, salt and pepper.
First, make the aioli by combining the mayo, horseradish (dial this up or down depending on your preferred level of “bite”), lemon juice, lemon zest, dill and a good grinding of salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the horseradish, mayo and lemon to your liking and place into the fridge.
Next, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet. Place the chopped garlic into the skillet and toss around until just fragrant (no more than a minute). Add the panko bread crumbs and dried thyme and reduce the heat to medium. Toss/stir well and cook until the bread crumbs are just beginning to turn brown – about 6-8 mins. Remove from skillet and place into a wide mouthed bowl.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Place a small rack in the center of a baking tray – ideally one that is raised at least an inch above the tray’s surface. Lightly grease all of the rails on the rack and set aside.
Into two more wide mouthed bowls place the flour (in one) and the x2 beaten eggs along with the Dijon mustard into a second.
Season the fish strips with a little salt and pepper and toss well to ensure they are covered. Dredge each piece of fish first in the flour, then in the egg/mustard wash, and finally in the toasted panko/dill coating. Repeat the process for each piece of fish.
Place each piece on the greased rack as you finish the process and then place the rack, still on the tray, into the preheated oven. Bake until golden and cook through, about 20-30 mins.
Serve with the aioli, baked fries and a salad. Couldn’t be better.