Saturday, May 15, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Sole & Fish Taco Quesadillas

Do you love batter-dipped fried fish? It's a favorite way of eating fish for many people, but it's not the healthiest method of preparing what should be a nutritious protein choice. There are oven-fried methods or broiling, but they usually don't have the same satisfying crunch if you're craving fried fish. Here is an alternative that cooks up quick and easy. The trick is to substitute parmesan cheese in place of the high-carb, low nutrition density batter and control the amount of oil used for cooking. The parmesan lowers the carbs by half, doubles the protein and adds 180 mg. of calcium per serving! If you love the flavor of authentic English fried fish (usually accompanied with chips or fries), sprinkle yours with a little malt vinegar and eat it with a big crunchy salad.

Parmesan Crusted Sole
(Makes 2 servings)

8 ounces sole filets (or substitute tilapia or flounder)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 to 1½ tablespoons olive oil

1. Mix together the flour and lemon pepper in a plate. Place the beaten egg in a second plate and the grated parmesan in a third plate. Line the three plates next to each other. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Dry the fish filets with a paper towel and dip into flour mixture and coat lightly. Next coat with the egg and finally dust each filet with the parmesan cheese mixture on both sides. Place into the preheated skillet and cook, without turning, for at least two minutes or until a brown crust forms. Gently turn fish to second side and continue cooking until crispy and brown. (If necessary, add another ½ tablespoon oil to aid in browning.) Fish is done when it flakes easily and is opaque throughout. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving: 302 calories, 11.9 g carbohydrate, 14.9 g total fat, 4.8 g saturated fat, 0.4 g fiber, 25.9 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010

How does this recipe compare to batter-dipped fried fish? While this recipe is lower in calories and total fat, it has only half the carbohydrates and twice the protein. For comparison, the same serving size of a batter-dipped fried fish is 320 calories, 21 g carbohydrates, 19 g total fat, 4.9 g saturated fat, 0 g fiber, 14.8 g protein.

Have leftovers? Try this recipe!

I made the above recipe for my daughter recently while she was home from college for a short visit. We had leftovers and the next afternoon she made Fish Taco Quesadillas, which were wonderful! She flaked the fish, added lime juice, a little more lemon pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes and chopped broccoli florets. She placed this mixture with a little shredded taco cheese into a folded low-carb flour tortilla and browned both sides over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. Served with salsa for dipping and a favorite vegetable, it made a delicious and quick lunch.

Quesadilla recipe by Maralee Sheehan, copyright 2010

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