Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Panko and Coconut Crusted Steelhead

We love fish around here. Anything that comes from the ocean makes us happy, even the littlest of the crew. When we were first married, we were staying with my parents in between apartments, and our money was tight. It was so tight I was selling stuff out of the closet and wondering how we would get ourselves out of the mess we were in. I had told my husband not to spend a penny on anything. I found something in the freezer to make for dinner. Fish sticks. The corn dog of the sea. I felt some nostalgia about the, we ate them on a fairly regular basis growing up. My mom had a little stash so I threw them in the oven and made a side. On his way home, my husband asked what was for dinner. I almost didn't tell him, because I thought he might turn up his nose, but I told him anyway.
At dinner he didn't quite finish all his food, telling me that he wasn't feeling that good. I thought it was a little odd, but I had other things to be worried about. He got in the shower and I started a load of laundry. While emptying his pockets, I found a receipt for gas station food. I felt my blood pressure rising, and it all came down. I just could not believe that I told him we had no money, and he went and bought food at the gas station when there was dinner at home! I don't remember exactly what happened, probably because I blacked out from lack of oxygen to my brain.
Needless to say I have never made fish sticks again. But, that doesn't mean baked fish is off the menu. This crunchy panko and coconut crusted steelhead is a new family favorite. It's like coconut shrimp with this dipping sauce that goes along side, but a lot more bang for your buck. And nobody is throwing this baby in the trash.
 You can make this without coconut, for those who don't like it, or put the whole thing on chicken, for those who don't like fish (we have a little bit of all of that living in the same house right now)
Panko and Coconut Crusted Steelhead with Tangy Citrus Dipping Sauce

1 1/2 lbs steelhead, any skin removed, cut into 1-inch wide pieces
1 cup coconut sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup panko
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard
1/4 cup honey
3 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 450. Prepare a tray with foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the fish. Crack eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork. Combine coconut and panko in a bowl. Dip fish into egg, then coconut panko mixture. Press mixture into the fish pieces. Place on baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until fish is done.

Combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients into a small saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat until simmering.

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