Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pesto Breaded Fish Fillets - Pesto Panko Poisson Pané

When I ask my 4-year-old daughter what's her favorite dishes are, "fish fingers" is on her Top 5! I don't have anything against fish fingers, I love them myself! Yet, after all this cooking and baking, having "fish fingers" on her Top 5 list made me think again.... First of all, I know that what she (and her brother) like about poisson pané is that they are allowed to have ketchup with it. Second of all, I have purchased the "little-fish-shaped" fish fingers and they find them really fun to eat. (Argh... clever marketing guys and stupid me who fell for their cute small-size shapes). So, it really comes down to artificial flavor and shape, n'est-ce-pas? There is this joke in France where the only "fish" children know are square because of the square-shaped breaded fish fillets children eat at the school cafeteria or at home!

Because my children do eat full-size breaded fish fillets (although they prefer their smaller fish-shaped cousins), I decided to make my own. I had leftover Panko breadcrumbs from the Mustard-Breaded-Turkey Breast recipe and a jar of open pesto (pesto don't age well) so I decided to taste my children' tastebuds and consumer minds. I knew they eat pesto (in pasta, in soups, with fish), they eat fresh fish, they eat breaded how difficult could it be?
Well, I made one mistake before serving that dish. I told them they were going to have poisson pané. By saying that, I "anchored" their mind. They were hence very excited; my daughter was already asking whether she could get the ketchup out of the fridge...  and thus extremely disappointed when I served them my Pesto-Panko-Poisson-Pané. It's like when I tell my husband that we are going to have rice and then serve Risotto. See, "rice" for him means "long-grain-enriched-his-family-recipe", not Arborio rice cooked in white wine with mushrooms, shallots, asparagus and Parmesan! That's the psychological aspect of food expectations that we have to learn to maneuver... because, let's face it, we all have our food expectations! What are yours? 

So back to my PPPP, I had to explain what I had made, why ketchup was not an option... and with a lot of talking, they ate it all. They did tell me that next time, they'd rather have les petits poissons, but they did eat my  PPPP that evening. Maybe if I could just shape my PPPP like little fish, they'd be appreciated better by my two little fishes? Bon Appétit!
- White fish fillets (I used Tilapia; 1/2 a fillet per person)
- Pesto
- Panko breadcrumbs (or breadcrumbs)

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (160 C)
  • Pour pesto on a plate
  • Dip the fish fillets into the pesto, coating both sides.
  • Then dip the fillets into the Panko crumbs. Be generous!
  • Lay the fillets on a baking dish.
  • Cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (or until the fish is properly cooked)
My personal comments:
  • The breadcrumbs don't stick to the pesto very well; I just added more on the up-facing side of the fillets.

1 comment:

  1. I made the Meyer Lemon and Mint Lemonade. MMMMMmmmm good. It is refreshing. Thanks for visiting my blog. Let me know how the alphabet foods work out. Maybe you can get your kids involved naming of foods that start with their intials. Depending on their ages, you might be surprised what they come up with. Or let them be creative naming their favorite foods after themselves. Or maybe name a food you'd like them to try after them.