Friday, September 16, 2011

Cornmeal Crusted Baked Fish, Buttermilk and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary, and a How-to-Fillet Tutorial Video

As you can tell by the long title, dear readers, there's lots going on this week.

Wanting to use the low-fat buttermilk left after making last week’s Oven Fried Green Tomatoes, a couple of days later I put together a dinner that used it for both freshly-filleted fish and mashed potatoes. So this week, you’re getting not one, not two, but three featured items…

  • Cornmeal Crusted Baked Fish
  • Buttermilk and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary, and
  • A tutorial video on cutting your own fish fillet for the baked fish recipe!
The photo at right also includes homemade herbed buttermilk biscuits (click here for the recipe) and another favorite side dish, asparagus bundles, gently seasoned asparagus wrapped in glorious bacon (or, in this case, glorious low-fat turkey bacon). The vegetable bundles side dish is from a Paula Deen recipe (using green beans) that you’ll find at

So let’s get started!

First, you’re going to need fish fillets. You can buy them, of course, but paying for a package of fish at the supermarket doesn’t make for a very interesting video. And so, for those so inclined, here’s how to fillet your own.

Now that you’ve got your fillets, either by buying some or cutting them yourself, let’s make the rest of dinner. (The recipes below make four servings.) Fish generally cooks fairly quickly, so we’ll do the mashed potatoes first. This recipes uses baked potatoes instead of the usual boiled ones; as with most dishes normally made with boiled potatoes, baking the potatoes gives a deeper flavor that really adds something extra.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place 4 russet potatoes on a baking sheet and perforate with a fork. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes until a fork penetrates easily.

While the potatoes are baking, prepare the roasted garlic (which has a wonderful sweet, creamy texture useful for many dishes) as follows:

Slice the top off two heads of garlic, leaving the papery skin on. (Slice off enough to expose some of the garlic inside.)

Place the garlic heads on foil. Drizzle with olive oil and ½ teaspoon of white wine vinegar. Wrap the foil around the garlic heads and roast in the oven with the potatoes till lightly browned and soft, about 30 minutes. When done, set aside until needed.

When the potatoes have finished baking, cut into cubes, and put them and the roasted garlic through a food mill and into a bowl. (You can use a masher instead, but the food mill gives a smoother texture that works especially well with the roasted garlic and the buttermilk we’ll be adding in the next step.)

Once the potatoes and garlic are in the bowl, add the ¾ cup of butter substitute, ½ cup low-fat buttermilk, and 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary, and mix till smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now let’s prepare the fish:

Preheat the oven (or, if you made the potatoes, increase the temperature) to 450 degrees.

Pour ½ cup of low-fat buttermilk into a shallow pan. Put four serving-size fish fillets into the milk and let sit for 15 minutes.
While the fish is resting in the milk, prepare the breading by combine the following coating ingredients in another shallow pan or a sealable plastic bag: ½ cup cornmeal; 1 tablespoon kosher salt; ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper; 1 teaspoon garlic powder; 1 tablespoon dried parsley; 1 teaspoon dried thyme; 1 teaspoon dried rosemary; and the zest of 1 lemon or orange.
Working one fillet at a time, remove the fillets from the buttermilk and place them in the breading until well coated. Place each coated fillet on an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake until the fish is cooked and flaky, about 10-12 minutes, turning them over half way.

To serve, drizzle each filet with a little olive oil and garnish each plate with a lemon wedge.

And that should be plenty for one week!

Drop me a like if you’d like a cookbook-style copy of this recipe. (Be sure to include your e-mail address.) And be sure to visit again next week for another delicious, reduced-fat dish! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. Anything that involves roasting an entire head of garlic is OK by me!

  2. There is so much that can be done with the creamy wonderfulness of roasted garlic! I am really looking forward to exploring its use more.

  3. Well, I just wrote A WHOLE BIG COMMENT here and it was lost when it got to your 'word verification' -- ever thought about turning that off? Just an idea! :)
    Anyway, I will condense my comment... great job on the video!

  4. Sorry about your lost comment, Gloria.:-( The word verification is not my favorite thing but if I do not have either that or a setting for me to approve every comment there ends up being spam comments. If something better comes along, I will be on it! :-)

    And thank you for your nice comment about the video. I was a little surprised there have not been more comments on it, if only to say, "boy, that was sure gross." lol