There's nothing quite like the approach of The Nine Days to strike fear into the everyday cook's heart.
Accustomed to mainly cooking meat meals, the thought of preparing fish and dairy can be overwhelming, and the dread that the family will starve is second only to Pesach panic.
There's good news.
Crumbed fish 'n chips appeals to everyone, including kids who can easily be convinced they're eating schnitzel, and it's both remarkably simple and amazingly economical to make.
Keep your frying pan in the kitchen drawer....you aren't going to need it. This favorite recipe is oven-baked for ease yet produces the most wonderful, crispy crumb.
You'll make it first for The Nine Days...you'll find yourself repeating the winning formula always.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill OR 1 tsp fried dill
500g hake, cut into strips
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Canola or sunflower oil for baking
Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and dill on a large plate.
Pat fish dry with a paper towel. Thinly coat each strip in the mayonnaise mixture.
Combine the breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, salt and lemon zest on a large plate. Roll fish in the crumb mixture, making sure to pat the crumbs on to coat uniformly and completely.
Refrigerate for an hour to set the crumbs, or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Coat your oven tray in a thin layer of oil. Place coated fish onto tray and press down lightly, then turn each piece over (see cook's notes).
Bake uncovered at 180C for 20-25 minutes until just tender and cooked through.
Turning the fish strips over on the oiled tray before baking is very important, as this ensures both the base and top of fish is lightly coated with oil, which gives it its crunchy, fried fish taste.
I personally only use 100% South African hake for this recipe - sold at a great value price instore - as it's the only white fish I trust.
Panko crumbs make a great alternative to breadcrumbs or can be mixed with breadcrumbs for added crunch.
Feel free to change the flavors by substituting lemon 'n dill for curry paste or sweet chilli sauce etc. You can also use the ready flavored crumb mixes.
Fish is delicious hot or cold.