Be who you are and say what you feel. I like fish sticks!

Crispy baked fish sticks with homemade tartar sauce on

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”~ Dr. Seuss

Who am I?  I’m the kinda gal who likes pretty vintage dresses, meatloaf, Sloppy Joes, french fries and … fish sticks & tartar sauce  – there I said it.   If you don’t, then this post really doesn’t  matter to you and I feel like maybe we can’t be friends.  I’m with Dr. Seuss, it feels good to  ” Be who you are and say what you feel.”  In other words worry about yourself!

Crispy baked fish sticks with homemade tartar sauce on

I have been a mommy for 21 years and I can’t remember what it feels like to only worry about myself.  I’ve worried about who needs a jacket, who doesn’t like mayonnaise , who needs to go to the dentist, who is going over on their minutes, and who ate spaghetti on the couch! Child #3 , Amorette, is moving into the dorms this weekend and with only 1 kid left at home, I’ve started to think more and more about “being who I am and saying what I feel”.  I’m going to worry less about everybody else and more about … myself.

Crispy baked fish sticks with homemade tartar sauce on

Fish sticks & tartar sauce are a part of who I am and they make me feel like a kid.  I remember eating dozens of frozen fish sticks out of a box and loving them, but when I tasted them as an adult, they fell flat.  They were soggy and without any flavor.  My grown up fish stick are a new &  improved, healthier  version of that delightful childhood finger food.  I use a spiced up Panko bread crumb mixture with lots of fresh parsley, lemon zest and Old Bay –  then mixed olive oil into the bread crumbs to help them get that crunch in the hot oven. Although the tartar sauce is made with low-fat mayo, you wont’ miss the fat because of all the great seasonings and the tangy vinegar flavor you want out of a good tartar sauce.

I leave you with my new friend who say’s it best …

Crispy baked fish sticks with homemade tartar sauce
Recipe type: dinner, lunch
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1 - 1 /2 pounds skinless Pacific cod or other thick fillet of firm-fleshed white fish - cut into thick 2 inch nuggets
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay
  • ½ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, thick stems removed, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced (save juice to drizzle over cooked fish)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • Splash of milk or cream
  • 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped loosely packed
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the top third.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay out all the fish. Season both sides with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt – set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir to combine bread crumbs,paprika, Old Bay, parsley, lemon zest, olive oil, and salt & pepper set aside
  4. On a large plate, use a fork to beat together the eggs with the milk - set aside
  5. Place flour onto another large plate.
  6. Lightly dredge the fish sticks into the flour, then dip into the egg mixture and lastly , press each piece of fish down lightly into the bread crumb mixture so that the crumbs will stick - set back onto baking sheet.
  7. Place the sheet pan into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Drizzle fresh lemon juice over the fish sticks before serving. Serve immediately.
  8. For the tartar sauce, combine all the ingredients into a small bowl and stir to combine. Serve with fish sticks.



3 comments… add one
  • Laura August 15, 2013, 3:00 am

    I love when someone can turn a classic guilty pleasure into something healthy! Well done and thank you!

    • Chef Louise Mellor August 15, 2013, 2:20 pm

      Thank you Laura, I love comfort food but not all the calories- always looking for ways to make it tasty and light…

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