I’m having a hard time writing the dedication to my novel. The big challenge being that I’ve yet to write the novel itself. I can’t find my muse. I haven’t looked up the word muse but I assume it’s defined as the talent, time and ambition to do something, so like I said, I haven’t found my muse. I’m hoping that, if I get past the dedication, it will help me to surge forth in a fiery burst of creative brilliance that won’t rest until its withered, undernourished little body falls at the feet of my editor, handing over, with its last ounce of energy, the Great American novel I know is somewhere deep inside of me. Really, really deep inside of me. It might be so deep inside of me that it can’t be salvaged from its depths. But they eventually found the Titanic so I stay positive.
One of the many, many (many), thoughts that set my mind adrift (aside from the biologically predetermined obligation of men to think of sex every seven seconds) is great literature. Everything I want to read has something to do with the Sea lately. Maybe it’s the fog that’s settled over Seattle for two weeks, calling me to wander around in its murk in my old, beaten peacoat and greek fisherman’s cap, or maybe it’s the lingering memories of our Summer trip to Mackinac Island, but something has my senses pointed towards water. Being landlocked at the moment, the best I can do to heed the call of the water is make a brilliant fish dinner. Angie forbids me to sign on as a merchant marine or lobster hauler because it means six months at sea. I should have read the nuptials more closely…my bad. When we stayed at the Grand Hotel on the Island this year, one of the seasonal dishes was a fabulous pecan crusted whitefish that Angie and I swore to recreate at home. In this post, we offer a well tested (read: I failed A LOT), healthy, baked, take on pecan crusted cod with smoked paprika, a hint of cayenne and a buttermilk dipped whole wheat crumb coat that we’re in love with. It looks more complicated than it is. It’s also a great way to learn the basics of baking fish and poultry; it uses technique and basic ingredient measures that you’ll find in our healthier chinese orange chicken, our healthier chicken piccata and healthier schnitzel recipes.
Preheat your oven to 375 (f)/190 (c). Lightly coat a baking pan with non-stick olive oil spray. Position a rack in the center of your oven. Serves 4-5 adults. Time: 20 minutes to prepare, 40 minutes to bake (1 hour-ish total)
2 Pounds Cod or preferred white fish
1/4 Cup buttermilk
1/4 Cup pecans, finely ground
3/4 Cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
3/4 Cups whole wheat flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, cut fine
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Rinse the fish and place in a shallow dish. Pour the buttermilk over the fillets. In a separate, shallow dish, mix the pecans, bread crumbs, flour, garlic, thyme, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Remove the fillets from the buttermilk one at a time and allow the excess to drain off. Dredge each fillet in the pecan mixture to coat all sides. Place each coated fillet in the baking pan and give them a light spraying of olive oil. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fillets, until the tops are lightly browned and the fish is tender. Serve and enjoy.