We are always pumped to share the amazing things our alumni are doing! Congratulations to Culinary Nutrition Expert Jessica Mitton on the release of her cookbook, Some Good (Breakwater Books, 2018), which reinvents classic Newfoundland dishes by making them healthy and culinary nutrition-friendly. You can get your copy from a variety of booksellers, including Amazon, Chapters, Barnes and Noble and more. Today Jessica is sharing one of her favourite recipes from the cookbook, a healthy baked fish and chips. Yum! We’ll let Jessica take it from here.
Healthifying a Classic
When thinking about the most common Newfoundland dishes, fish and chips will never be far from the top of the list. This time-tested pairing is as popular with locals as it is with visiting tourists, and it’s undoubtedly delicious. Of course, this famous dish isn’t only enjoyed in my home province of Newfoundland. Fish and chips is a firm favourite around the world, enjoyed in homes and restaurants in other parts of Canada, the U.S. and the spiritual home of fish and chips – Great Britain!
Its popularity should come as no surprise. That succulent crispy-battered white fish and thick-cut potato chips is a combination few could resist. That being said, we can all accept that the traditional ways of preparing this dish may not be the healthiest. Usually, the fish is battered using highly refined gluten-filled flours and cooked, along with the chips, in rancid oils that do no good for our health.
But we shouldn’t have to ditch our favourite foods because we want to eat healthier. Instead, we can seek to prepare these delicious dishes in ways that can remain just as satisfying to the taste buds, while at the same time doing some good for our health. That was my challenge when setting out to create a healthier take on fish and chips.
What does one do when faced with the task of reimagining such a famous dish without the gluten? How can you maintain the taste and texture as much as possible, but without deep-frying, which unfortunately soaks the fish with rancid fats? Well, I think I came up with the solution! This Battered Baked Cod still has that trademark crispy batter, but it uses gluten-free flours and adds a one-two punch of hardy fibre and homemade flavour. Here are the flours I use to get that crispy texture without the guilt:
- Brown Rice Flour: Brown rice flour is made simply by grinding brown rice. This flour is a good source of fibre and manganese, and has a mild nutty flavour. It’s very versatile and great to use for both cooking and baking.
- Almond Flour: Almond flour is made simply by – you guessed it – grinding almonds. This flour is a great source of magnesium and fibre. Almond flour also makes for a perfect breadcrumb substitute, and I like to use it as a delicious, crispy, gluten-free batter when cooking.
These two flours create the ideal batter for a healthier codfish dish. If you would like to find more recipes that maintain all that we love about traditional Newfoundland dishes and ingredients (including a recipe for some healthy chips to go with that fish) while doing some good for your health, check out my cookbook, Some Good.
- 2 cod fillets, cut into large pieces
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- 1 egg
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- pinch of pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Pat dry fish with paper towel.
- Sprinkle brown rice flour on a small plate, whisk egg in a bowl, and sprinkle almond flour on a separate plate.
- Thoroughly combine salt and pepper with almond flour.
- Roll fish in brown rice flour, dip into egg, and then into almond flour.
- Place fish in baking dish and drizzle with oil.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, broil the fish for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!