Hake bake

I’m a huge fish-eater.  If I had my way, I would prefer to skip meat entirely and just stick to seafood.  Sometimes I fantasize about living in a small, Mediterranean village with daily access to the freshest local catch, the smell of garlic in the air, a glass of crisp white wine in hand………..but until that happens, I stick to one of a couple trusted fishmongers nearby and Whole Foods.  I appreciate knowing exactly where my fish comes from (and how it was caught, if possible), and this particular hake swam in local waters.  The fishmonger told me that hake is a white, flaky fish very similar to cod, and is sometimes what you actually receive when you order a beloved local favorite, “baked schrod,” on a menu in Massachusetts.  

Baked schrod always reminds me of my paternal grandmother–it was her favorite meal.  On those Saturday nights that my parents needed a break and my brother and I had a sleepover at Grammy and EJ’s house, the schedule was set: church, followed by dinner at Verona’s where Grammy always ordered the baked schrod.  Even though I mostly remember Shirley Temples from my meals, I eventually followed in Grammy’s footsteps and am a huge lover of baked or broiled white fish, with a rich breadcrumb and buttery topping.

This recipe follows the same principles as a typical baked schrod, but has a much heartier topping that is bulked up with mushrooms and, believe it or not, uses NO butter! 

Hake Bake                                                                                                                                  Serves 2 

3/4 lb. hake fillet or other flaky white fish such as cod or haddock

1 lb. cremini mushrooms, chopped into 1/4 inch slices 

1 shallot, minced

1 tbsp. fresh minced thyme

handful of panko breadcrumbs

extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350.  Gently saute the shallot in a few tablespoons of olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the mushrooms, thyme, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms soften slightly.  

Remove pan from the heat, and toss in a generous handful of panko, combining with the mushroom mixture.  If mixture appears dry, add a little more oil. 

Place the fish on a baking sheet.  Completely cover the fillet with the mushroom panko mixture, packing down with the back of a spoon.  Don’t waste any of this delicious topping!  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I recommend that serving one side starch or vegetable with this is plenty.

Stay tuned for next week’s autumnal blogging extravaganza: pumpkin beer, a special Sunday dinner, apple cider–my favorite food season has arrived!

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5 Responses to Hake bake

  1. LadyGouda says:

    I think Baked Schrod is the favorite dish of grandmothers across this great state of Massachusetts! But I also looove it. Going to try this soon. Great recipe, Jess! Cannot WAIT to the autumnal goodness that will be Sunday afternoon. Think I will start preparing for it the way one would prepare for Thanksgiving…

  2. LarivInTheHouse says:

    Trying this for dinner tonight as it just looks so yummy and delish! My kids love fish too so I think it’ll be a crowd pleaser. Thanks Jess, and keep ’em coming!

    • Let me know how it goes! You probably have access to lots of amazing mushrooms…….

      • LarivInTheHouse says:

        Jess, meant to thank you for this delicious and wonderful idea last Sunday! It was terrific and everyone loved it. Seeing your post this week, would you have recommend using other types of mushrooms in the same recipe? (I used cremini as directed…do others hold up in baking?)

      • Yes, I think you could substitute other mushrooms for sure–they absolutely hold up. I went with cremini in terms of flavor and shape, but I think oyster, shiitake, or chanterelles would all be delicious.

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