Fishy Fridays

Don’t lim­it this re­cipe to the Len­ten sea­son. En­joy it year round.

“All his life he tried to be a good per­son. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only hu­man. He wasn’t a dog.”  

— Charles M. Schulz 

And as Charlie Brown might say, “Good grief, is it Lent already?”

For many of us, Lent be­gins today, Ash Wed­nes­day. It lasts 40 days un­til East­er Sunday. It is a time for con­fes­sion, re­pent­ance and re­cov­ery, and for for­give­ness, fast­ing and fish. Many years and many fish din­ners later, I am still angling for good fish re­cipes.

By ac­ci­dent, while think­ing about Lent, fish and Pea­nuts, I stumbled upon the fol­low­ing from a Fran­cis­can Fri­ar, Fr. Wash­burn, who had a pea­nut story worth re­peat­ing.

One Sat­urday af­ter­noon, a group of boys went to con­fes­sion. This, in it­self, was un­usu­al, but more un­usu­al was what the boys con­fessed. One by one, each of them ended their con­fes­sion the same way, “I threw pea­nuts in the river.” The priest thought, if that is a sin, it really is a strange one. The last to come in was the smal­lest boy of the group. The priest, of course, ex­pec­ted to hear the same sin he heard from the oth­ers, but the boy didn’t men­tion it. So the priest asked, “Is that all? Did you for­get something? Did you throw pea­nuts in the river?” The boy looked shocked and replied, “Fath­er, I am Pea­nuts! They threw me in the river!”

This was not a fish tale. But it brings to mind a fish re­cipe with pea­nuts that is good for Fri­day or any day, even if you’re not fast­ing and ab­stain­ing.

BAKED COD          

1½ lbs. Cod fish fil­lets 

2 gar­lic cloves, minced

Juice of 1 lem­on

1/4 cup pars­ley, minced

2/3 cup panko crumbs

1/8 cup ground pea­nuts

(Can­ola) Oil spray

1 Tb­sp. but­ter

Salt and Pep­per


- Pre­heat oven to 425 de­grees.        

- Line pan with alu­min­um foil and spray foil with can­ola oil.

- Ar­range fil­lets flat in pan and spray with oil.

- Squeeze lem­on juice over fil­lets.

- Sprinkle pars­ley, panko crumbs, pea­nuts, salt and pep­per over fil­lets.

- Dot tiny pieces of but­ter on each fil­let. Sprinkle with paprika.

- Bake 20-30 minutes, de­pend­ing on thick­ness of fish.

Serves 4

Church­go­ers dur­ing Lent will hear a story that ends with many ex­tra loaves and fishes. Much like ex­tra loaves and fishes, leftover mashed pota­toes, too, can be abund­ant. Ima­gine what might have been said about them: “And so Peter asked the Lord, ‘What should we do with the leftover mashed pota­toes?’ And the Lord dir­ec­ted, ‘Use them to make the Fish Pie.’”



3-4 cups mashed pota­toes

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup shred­ded ched­dar cheese plus 3 Tb­sp. for top­ping


2 Tb­sp. but­ter

1 onion, chopped

1 gar­lic clove, minced

3 Tb­sp. flour

2-2½ cups fishy mix (shrimp, clams and also some cod, had­dock, flounder or sal­mon - any fish you like) cut in pieces. I usu­ally use shrimp, clams (in­clud­ing the clam juice) and a piece of fish cut in­to    mall pieces.

1/2 cup milk or a little more to just cov­er fish mix

1/4 cup pars­ley, chopped (save 1 Tb­sp. for top­ping)

1 Tb­sp. dill

Salt and Pep­per

1 Tb­sp. lem­on juice


- Pre­heat oven to 350 de­grees.  

- Mix mashed pota­toes with egg and ¼ cup cheese and set aside.

- Put your fish mix­ture in a small pot, in­clud­ing the li­quid from clams, adding enough milk to just cov­er the mix. Bring to a boil and sim­mer 2-3 minutes. Set aside

- In a 2-quart oven­proof dish, which can also be used on range top (Corn­ing), melt 2 Tb­sp. but­ter, and saut&ea­cute; onion and gar­lic for 2 minutes.

- Add the flour, cook and stir for 1 ad­di­tion­al minute.

- Strain li­quid from fish mix in­to the but­ter-onion-gar­lic-flour dish and stir con­stantly un­til the sauce boils and thick­ens. 

- Re­duce the heat, add the fish mix, and sim­mer for 2 minutes. Stir in the dill, lem­on juice and salt and pep­per to taste.

- Spoon mashed pota­toes on top of fish mix.

- Sprinkle with re­main­ing 3 Tb­sp. cheese, paprika and pars­ley.

- Bake for 30 minutes or un­til golden.

Serves 4

Per­fect when served with peas.


Eat Well, Live Long, En­joy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­ or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053.)

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