Breaded Hake with Peppery Lemons

Ingredients: Fish, Breadcrumbs, Lemon, Olive Oil, Black Peppercorns

This 5-ingredient recipe highlights the versatility of lemons and their ability to add tangy, sweet, and salty flavors to a dish.  After being coated with lemon juice and olive oil, the fish is dipped into breadcrumbs that have been mixed with lemon zest.  I served the hake alongside lemon slices that had been baked with peppercorns and olive oil, which helps the slices lose their biting acidity and instead provide a rich and almost creamy taste, while also becoming soft enough to be broken apart with a spoon. 

I used hake because it was the most appetizing-looking fish at the poissonnerie that day; other types of whitefish that would also work are flounder, whiting, grouper or catfish.  I ate this with a green salad, but I think you could also serve it with mashed or roasted potatoes or just enjoy it by itself for a light lunch or dinner.

Breaded Hake with Peppery Lemons - serves 1

1 hake filet
1 lemon
1/4-cup freshly grated breadcrumbs, or store-bought breadcrumbs (such as panko)
olive oil
1 handful black peppercorns (between 15-20)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1.  Wash and dry the filet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
2.  Pour the breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl or dish; zest the lemon with a grater or veggie peeler and mix the zest into the breadcrumbs.
3.  In another shallow bowl or dish pour 1/4-cup olive oil.  Halve the lemon cross-wise; slice one of the halves into 4 slices and set aside.   Juice the other lemon half into the dish with the olive oil; stir to combine.
4.  Dip the filet into the olive oil mixture, making sure it is covered with liquid; next dip it into the breadcrumbs so it is fully coated.
5.  Place the filet on a lined baking dish, and lay the lemon slices next to it.  Wedge the peppercorns into the lemon slices, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. 
6.  Bake until fish is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.  Place the filet on a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm; return the lemon slices to the oven and continue to bake until extremely soft, about 10 minutes further.  Serve alongside the fish.


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