Low and slow is the way to go when it comes to making this yummy fish dish. A low-temperature oven (set to just 300 F) ensures that the fish cooks slowly, without drying out. Crispy, buttery, garlicky panko bread crumbs get a head start in a skillet so they're golden brown when the fish comes out of the oven. Finally, a mayonnaise and egg yolk "glue" adds rich flavor and helps the crumb topping stay put. Even kids who don't usually like fish will like this dish!
Crispy baked cod
Start to finish: 65 minutes (Active time: 15 minutes)
Vegetable oil spray
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges
4 6-ounce skinless cod fillets, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
Rimmed baking sheet
2 cooling racks
2 bowls (1 medium, 1 small)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set cooling rack inside baking sheet. Spray rack with vegetable oil spray.
In 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add panko, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often with rubber spatula, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
Turn off heat. Transfer panko mixture to medium bowl. Stir in parsley and let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, egg yolk, and lemon zest.
Use paper towels to pat fish dry. Use back of small spoon to spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over top of each fillet.
Working with one fillet at a time, coat top of each fillet with panko mixture. Place fillets, crumb side up, on greased rack in baking sheet. Wash your hands.
Place baking sheet in oven and bake until fish registers 145 F on instant-read thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes.
Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking sheet on second cooling rack. Serve fish with lemon wedges.
Nutrition information per serving: 312 calories; 123 calories from fat; 14 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 137 mg cholesterol; 164 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 33 g protein.