For 60 days a year, starting in February and ending either late March or early April, fish becomes a standard on menus on Fridays. Expect to see clam chowder as the daily soup choice and fish fries popping up in church gyms.
So why no meat on Fridays and why doesn’t fish count as meat?
Meat – the land-dwelling, mammal type – is often associated with feasts and celebrating (think Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas prime rib and Easter ham). The time leading up to Easter, also referred to as Lent, is a more solemn time.
Also, in many times and cultures, meat was a luxury item so eating fish was a more humble food choice.
Fish fries are certainly not limited to only two months a year in the Midwest, especially Wisconsin, where they are their own kind of religious event.
And let’s not forget our friends across the pond in England where this dish has its roots. You can read all about that history here.
This recipe is so crispy and delicious, there’s no reason to limit it just to Lent, or Fridays for that matter! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
- 1 pounds halibut filet, skin removed
- 1 ½ cup potato flakes (like Idahoan Mashed, found in the dried foods section)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 - 2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
- ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons butter or olive oil
- ½ cup tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon water or mayo, if needed
- Salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
- 2 Idaho® russet potatoes, washed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and slice into ½” strips.
- Combine the potato flakes, salt, dill, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.
- Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter or other cooking fat and swirl to coat the pan.
- Place the halibut in the pan when hot and sear 2 minutes. Flip and slide the pan into the oven to finish cooking, another 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. This can be done at the same time as the potato chips are baking.
- In a small bowl, whisk the tahini sauce with the lemon juice, water or mayo for a creamier sauce.
- Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Stir in the chopped dill.
- Set aside for serving.
- Slice the russet potatoes into thin disks, the thinner the better, ⅛" thick.
- Place the potatoes in a large bowl and toss with salt and pepper, and the minced garlic.
- Arrange the potatoes onto baking sheets in single layers (use two baking sheets if needed) and bake for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove from oven, flip the potatoes (rotate the pans if using multiples) and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes.
- Toss the chips on to a paper lined plate and set the potato crusted fish atop.
- Sprinkle everything with a bit of salt and more dill. Serve with the tahini dipping sauce and a lemon wedge if desired.