Hear that chorus of hallelujahs? That’s coming from all of the mom and dads in Dallas who love their kids dearly, but are thrilled that school is about to start. And school means packing sack lunches or school cafeteria food.
Anybody out there remember when school cafeterias served fish on Fridays and the whole school smelled like baking fish sticks . They weren’t very good, but they created indelible memories. Do you and your family keep to the Friday tradition?
Jump for a little of the history and an oven-baked fried fish recipe that you can use to create your own family Friday weekly tradition.
This historic tradition stemmed from the very earliest years of Christianity, when the Church called upon members to abstain from eating meat on Fridays. In practice, it really only affected the rich, as the poor couldn’t afford meat anyway. Ah, but those tricky Christians. The Church said nothing about eating fish. And thus was born the culture in the Catholic Church of eating fish on Fridays. Fast forward through the Middle Ages and into the Industrial Revolution when even ordinary people could afford meat. Instead of vegetables and grains, they too substituted fish on Fridays in order to comply with the Church’s ruling.
As more and more people consumed fish, the tradition of the Friday Fishy Fry was born. In the early 60s, the Vatican relaxed the rules that led up to Friday Fish, but surprisingly, they remain in effect to this day.
Thanks to Jon Alexis from TJ’s Seafood, we bring you a healthier version of “fried fish” for you and your family. I tried this the other day, adding some glazed baby carrots and steamed broccoli. All of the kids pronounced it a success. Friday Fish continues at my house!
Oven Baked Fried Crumb-Crusted Fish
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup dijon mustard
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6-8 ounce fish filets, skin off
(flaky white fish like sea bass, tilapia, halibut, snapper, etc)
Preheat oven to 450. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. Combine bread crumbs and oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix in bowl to make paste. Place fish on prepared sheet; season with salt and pepper. Spread top of fillets with dijon mustard; top with seasoned bread crumb paste, pressing gently to adhere. Roast until fish is opaque throughout, 11 to 13 minutes.