The Lenten tradition of eating fish on Fridays has spawned a delicious array of dinner options. Many of your favorite local restaurants offer special fish dinners so be sure to check those out. Local churches also host dinners: Explore Jason DeRusha’s Fish Fry Guide to Twin Cities Catholic Churches.
For a fish fry at your house with a bit of a healthier take, try this Crispy Baked Cod Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo and Pickles recipe by Twin Cities chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, which appeared in Real Food. The mild, tender cod takes a crispy turn in sandwiches on day one, and while you’re at it, you can prepare extra cod that goes into an easy dish of lemony fish with “zoodles.”
Cod is the fish of choice for classic “fish and chips,” so if you grab a bag of frozen french fries to go with this sandwich, you can call it a British meal, says Asbell. The chipotle mayo adds some zip and smoke to the sandwich, and the pickles give it crunch and tanginess. On day two, “zoodles,” or zucchini noodles, make the meal into a low-carb, high protein meal, or you can go with regular spaghetti if that’s what you’re craving.
Crispy Baked Cod Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo and Pickles
Makes 4 Sandwiches and about 6 Cups (4 Servings) Zoodles
For the Chipotle Mayo
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground chipotle
canola oil, for pan
For the Fish Sandwiches
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 pounds skinless cod fillet, divided, about 1-inch thick (thawed if frozen)
4 buns, toasted
sliced dill pickles
For the Cod for Meal Two Zoodles
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
salt, to taste
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- For the Chipotle Mayo: In a small bowl, combine the mayo, lemon juice, salt and chipotle, and stir to mix. Reserve.
- Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a sheet pan and reserve.
For half of the cod (for sandwiches):
- Place the panko in a medium bowl and stir in the paprika and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs and Dijon mustard. If you have a single fillet of cod, cut into 4 evenly sized portions. If you are using frozen, pre-cut fish, you may have unevenly sized portions, and it will be easier to cut them into evenly sized 1-inch wide pieces that you can arrange on the buns.
- Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Dip the fish into the egg mixture, then the panko mixture and place on the oiled pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes for thick fillets (10 for sliced pieces), and then check to see if a piece will flake when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. When the fish is cooked through, take out and transfer the fish to the buns. Smear the top bun with Chipotle Mayo, and top the fish with pickle slices.
For the second half of the cod (for Lemony Veggie Zoodles):
- Zest and juice the lemon, and reserve the juice (place 2 tablespoons reserved juice in container in refrigerator). Place the cod pieces on an oiled sheet pan and sprinkle with salt, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes for thin fillets, longer if they are thick, until a piece flakes easily when pierced with a paring knife. Take out and let cool, then transfer to a storage tub, tightly cover and refrigerate until time to serve.
Cod with Lemony Veggie Zoodles
Makes 4 Servings
1 pound zucchini, spiralized (6 cups) OR 12 ounces spaghetti
4 scallions, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
½ cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (reserved from cod sandwich recipe above)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound cooked cod pieces (reserved from cod sandwich recipe above)
- To serve, place the spiralized zucchini (or cooked spaghetti) in a large bowl and add the scallions, tomatoes and parsley.
- Whisk the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the reserved lemon juice (from Baked Cod Sandwiches recipe) and the garlic in a cup, then pour over the zucchini (or spaghetti). Add the salt and toss to mix. Warm the fish pieces in the microwave for about 2 minutes, then serve zoodles/noodles topped with fish.
Nutrition info (per serving)
• Crispy Baked Cod Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo & Pickles: Calories 366; Fat 15g (Sat. 3g); Chol 116mg; Sodium 846mg; Carb 29g; Fiber 1g; Added Sugars 4g; Protein 28g
• Cod with Lemony Veggie Zoodles: Calories 209; Fat 9g (Sat. 2g); Chol 59mg; Sodium 517mg; Carb 10g; Fiber 3g; Added Sugars 0g; Protein 23g
Hungry for More?
Check out these fish recipes (you could sub different white fish as available):
Baja Style Fish Tacos
These light and crispy fish tacos are dressed with fresh green salsa and a lime-infused coleslaw.
Fresh Catch: Cooking with Minnesota Fish
Savor a kicked-up twist on a sunfish fry and northern fillets jazzed up with sauce vierge.
Fennel-Roasted Fish Fillet with Spring Vegetables à la Vapeur and Potato Puree Recipes
Skip the fish-fry—a sophisticated fish dinner with fresh vegetables and flavorful potato purée is easy to make at home.
Classic Minnesota-Style Walleye Sandwich
Enjoy the ever-popular walleye sandwich even more when you make it yourself.
Grilled Walleye Tacos with Mango Salsa
Combine fresh Minnesota fish with a taste of the tropics in a quick-and-easy meal.