Thursday, August 29, 2013

Baked Fish Sticks with Avocado Lemon Ginger Dip

I must confess to one of my "quirks."  I do not wear jeans.  I am not trying to cultivate an eccentricity.  I just absolutely do not find them comfortable.  That stiff denim fabric.  That waist band that rubs against the skin. I hate it with the entirety of my heart.  They have been phased out of my life completely.

My aversion to jeans started at an early age.  I'm pretty sure my mom capitalized on this fact, and would make me wear jeans as punishment when I was little.  I say "pretty sure" because I sometimes lose track of what is reality and what are the personal myths and lies we tell ourselves (luckily, this beloved parent of mine is coming for a visit, so I can find out for sure - I'm extremely excited about this). But I do remember that the thought of wearing jeans was an effective deterrent against wrongdoing.

Eventually, I gave in to lure of conformity, wearing denim like all the normal people.  But I never loved them, and relished the thought of returning to a state of pajamahood at the end of each and every day.

One day, it occurred to me that I did not need to continue my denim distress.  Alternatives exist.  And thus I left behind my jail of jeans.

So instead of being fashionable, I choose comfort. Which generally leaves me with two choices.  Dresses, with or without leggings. And yoga/sweat pants and tees.  Which, depending on my mood, leaves me under or over dressed for just about every occasion.  And I am okay with this.

Sometimes, however, comfortable clothes just don't give the proper amount of comfort.  And that is where food comes in.  A few days ago, my friend Jess informed that you can cut fish into stick shapes.  And then turn those into fish sticks. This was the most genius of all the ideas.  How did I not think of that before?  So I went ahead and made one of those most basics of comfort foods - fish sticks.  And a wonderfully zesty avocado lemon ginger dip to go along with it.  Comfort food that goes supremely well with anything you choose to wear.

For the fish sticks:
3/4 pound white fish (I used rockfish), cut into strips or nuggets (whatever shape strikes your fancy!)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1 cup panko
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons dried dill weed

For the avocado lemon ginger dip:
1 tablespoon grated ginger (use a microplane)
flesh from 1 small avocado
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 chopped scallions
1 tablespoon chives
pinch Saigon cinnamon

To make the fish sticks:  Heat oven to 375.

Place egg in a shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl, mix together flour, panko, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and dill.

Take each strip or nugget and dredge in the beaten egg and then the panko mixture.  Place on baking sheet.  Repeat until all the fish has been dredged in both the egg and the panko mixture.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and cooked through.

To make the dip:  Place ginger, avocado, Greek yogurt, and lemon zest/juice in bowl.  Use a fork to mash together.  Add scallions, chives, and pinch of cinnamon and continue to blend together.  Serve with fish sticks.


  1. These sticks, while curled up on the couch in a pair of yoga pants = my dream.

  2. I feel so liberated with the thought that I am not the only one around who hates wearing jeans!! Join the club dear ;)

    The fish sticks look so good with the dip that is bursting with big flavors. Well done!

  3. I went on a mission last year to find a comfortable pair of jeans. I was tired of having a button indent on my stomach, pulling them up every five seconds, and what's up with low ris? Having your undies peek out of your jeans is less than sexy. I was determined. I actually located a pair of the most comfortable jeans on the face of the Earth--Joe's Jeans. The denim feels like cotton, and there's no pulling them up or undies hanging out. The only downfall...they're a bit expensive. I paid $99 at a discount store for them. Yikes! But I don't regret it.

    I'm forever using food as comfort. I love it so much, and it's always there when I need it. These baked fish sticks sure look tasty, and I happen to adore fish sticks.

  4. you had me at that avocado dip :) And I'm with you on the jeans - took me for-ev-er to find a comfy pair, stiff jeans are the worst.. especially stiff skinny jeans!

  5. Yum!! This would be a great quick and healthy weeknight meal! Have a great time with your Mom :)

  6. What an awesome innovative idea my friend, this looks fantastic :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. Do you know the first thing I do when I get home from work? Put on yoga pants or pjs. I like to be comfortable. Also your version of fish sticks will finally get me to eat them again!

  8. hahahaaa we're so similar right now because:
    1-I'm posting fish sticks tomorrow :P
    2-I hated jeans as a kid too! I didn't start wearing em until I was almost a teen!

  9. Panko-crusted fish sticks? Yum! Who will not love this comfort food? It is absolutely essential to give comfort the priority over fashion, when it comes to clothing, atleast according to me. I don't wear stilettos as I can't manage myself with them. And I am cool with my comfortable pair of shoes!

    Have a good day!

  10. scrumptious beyond imagination,seriously these crunchy sticks will go so so well with lemon avocado dip,terrific combination :-)


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