I could eat pretzels for dinner, especially the slightly soft, New York-style ones, preferably with a nice tall glass of beer. Still, I know that meals are supposed to be slightly healthier than that. So how about pretzel and mustard crusted fish?
For me, pretzels lie on the spectrum of food somewhere between totally wicked and not-so-horribly-unhealthy snack food. If you moderate the salt, they’re mainly just flour, water, and yeast. Plus, they are baked rather than fried. They’re infinitely better than salt-and-vinegar potato chips (which I do love) and not quite as healthy as unbuttered popcorn. In my world, where balance is what it’s all about, a few pretzels are hardly a crime.
Used as a crust for baked fish, pretzels are a great alternative to breadcrumbs. Slightly crunchy like panko (Japanese bread crumbs), pretzels give fish fillets a nice texture. Unlike ordinary breadcrumbs, pretzels are delicious on their own, imparting a flavor to the baked fish that is pleasant without being overwhelming.
Of course, when using pretzels in place of breadcrumbs, you need something that helps them adhere to whatever is being “breaded.” In this pretzel and mustard crusted fish recipe, I’ve used a mustard and mayonnaise mix for that purpose. Besides the fish fillets, the pretzels, and the mustard/mayonnaise mixture, the only other ingredients are a bit of dill and ground pepper for flavor.
Mix the mustard and mayonnaise, spread them on the fillets (a bit more thickly than is shown below), add the dill and ground pepper, and coat with the crushed pretzels.
This recipe is part of Progressive Eats, for this month’s collection of pretzel-related recipes. In creating my pretzel and mustard crusted fish fillets, I was inspired by breaded fish fillet recipes and advice from two cookbooks I really love. The first, The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook is a charming little book that I bought for $1 and have cherished ever since. It has simple preparations for lots of different types of fish and seafood with plenty of helpful tips about what to do – and what not to do – with fish and seafood. The second, Fish & Shellfish: The Cook’s Indispensable Companion, is a mammoth tome, that is part encyclopedia, part cookbook and altogether wonderful.
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re having a Pretzel Party hosted by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez, who blogs at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. Since today is National Pretzel Day, we thought it was the perfect chance to feature all sorts of fabulous homemade pretzel recipes, recipes that feature pretzels (both soft and hard), and pretzels dips/condiments. We have a varied and delicious menu for today that we hope you’ll enjoy!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
Pretzels as an Ingredient
- Almond Pretzel Bread Pudding from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes from Stetted
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust from Creative Culinary
- Margarita Pie with a Pretzel Crust from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Peanut Butter, Pretzel, Chocolate Chip Energy Bites from Healthy Delicious
- Pretzel and Mustard-Crusted Fish Fillets from Mother Would Know
- Triple Berry Pretzel Dessert from Miss in the Kitchen
Pretzels from Scratch
- Bread Pretzels with Beer Cheese from Pastry Chef Online
- Gluten Free Pretzel Dogs from The Tomato Tart
- Homemade Philly Style Soft Pretzels from The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Pretzel Bites with Honey Mustard Dip from The Redhead Baker
- Pretzel Rolls from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Pretzel-Crusted Fish Fillets
- 1 pound thick white fish E.g. cod or similar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill can substitute 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon dried dill
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 ounces pretzels crushed (about 3/4 cup)
- 1-2 tablespoons oil for coating the baking dish
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Coat a small baking dish well with grapeseed, canola, or similar unflavored oil
- Dry the fish fillets with a paper towel
- Mix the mustard and mayonnaise and spread half of it over the top of the fish and on the sides. Add half the dill and ground pepper to taste. Coat with half the crushed pretzels, pressing the coating into the fish fillet so it sticks.
- Turn the fillets over. Repeat the mustard/mayonnaise, dill, pepper and crushed pretzels on the second side.
- Put the fillets in the baking dish and tip it to catch any extra oil. Drizzle that extra oil on top of the fillets. Bake the fillets for 10-15 minutes until they are just done all the way through (flaky when pricked with a fork.)
- You may turn them over halfway through - it's optional, but results in more evenly browned crust.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedge.
Crush the pretzels in a small food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.
Use a baking dish just large enough to hold the fillets.