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A Simple and Delicious Way to Cook Fish

Megan Murphy Megan Murphy

Posted November 2, 2007

Many people want to include more fish in their diet but are unsure how to cook it.

Here is an almost foolproof fish dish.

In this dish, the fish sits on a bed of vegetables, which sort of steam it from the bottom. The crunchy coating on the top helps the fish stay moist and offers a nice contrast to the soft flesh.

The high temperature makes the fish cook quickly and lose less moisture.

Red snapper is not always available, so if you can't find it, use another flat fish, such as tilapia or flounder.

This recipe uses some high-fat ingredients. Butter and potato chips are generally not included in "healthy" recipes.

Butter adds flavor, and in judicious amounts, as it is used here, does not add an abundance of saturated fat per serving. The potato chips, too, are more of a garnish than a main ingredient. Like the butter, the chips don't add too much fat per serving.

The chopped vegetable melange used under the fish provides steam to help cook the fish and give it a nice color. If you divide the vegetables evenly with the fish servings, you get a little more than one serving of vegetables.

If you serve another vegetable alongside this main dish, such as steamed sugar snap peas or broccoli, you'll add another serving.

You probably know that eating more fish is recommended by many large health organizations, like the American Heart Association. Because it is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fat, a fish-rich diet seems to have a positive impact on reducing risk for heart disease, cancer, managing weight (as long as the fish is not fried), and perhaps even Alzheimer's disease.

If you are pregnant or planning a child's diet, you may want to keep your fish consumption at two moderate servings per week, due to possible mercury contamination.

But recent information showed that the benefits of a high-fish diet in helping develop the growing brain of a fetus far outweigh any problems that could occur from too much mercury.

With a recipe like this, it couldn't be easier to include more fish in your diet.

Megan Murphy is a Tennessee-licensed registered dietitian and assistant professor of nutrition at Southwest Tennessee Community College. Call 277-3062, fax 529-2787, e-mail


Crispy Crusted Red Snapper

1 cup tomato, seeded, chopped

1 cup leeks, thinly sliced

cup green bell pepper, chopped

1 tbsp. garlic, minced

4 red snapper fillets (about 6 oz. each), boned and skinned

cup coarse bread crumbs

cup Parmesan cheese, grated

cup plain potato chips, crushed

tsp. paprika

tsp. cayenne

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1 tbsp. scallion (green onion), thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon wedges for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. Spread on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Arrange fillets on top of vegetables; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine crumbs and next four ingredients; toss with melted butter. Divide crumb mixture evenly over each fillet, pressing into the fish. Bake 20 minutes, or until fillets flake easily when tested with a fork.

Sprinkle with scallion and serve with lemon wedges.

Makes four servings.

Per serving: 346 calories, 14 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 16 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 39 g protein, 462 mg sodium.

- Source: Cuisine At Home, special issue, 2007


© 2007 The Commercial Appeal (2007-Current). via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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