My friend, Lian Obrey, asked me if I would teach her a couple of dishes she could make if she invited friends for dinner.
Of course, I said I would.
“One of those days” might happen within a few days, but I am off to Dallas for the wedding of my grandniece. So, as I am writing this column this morning, I will give her the draft of this column, along with a half-sheet pan and a piece of Silpat. Even a person who cooks little will find this recipe very easy.
By the way, for those of us who don’t have Silpat (a non-disposable piece of plastic that fits into an oven pan), I have had mine for decades. I wash and dry them after I use them, and roll them in a circular blueprint holder.
As for inexpensive half-sheet pans, buy a couple but buy good ones; the cheap ones will wobble in the oven. You will use them forever, in every season, for everything from baking brownies or cookies, roasting vegetables or just using them under the rack to keep those apple or peach pies from gushing into the oven.
As for the Silpat, sure, use parchment instead and you will never have to clean up the sheet pan residue.
Sheet Pan Fish and Chips
Adapted from Real Simple, May, 2022
Yield: Serves 4
1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, cut into ½ inch wedges (I use the tiny potatoes, not cut up)
¼ cup olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons josher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup panko
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon) divided, plus more for serving
4 6-ounce skinless cod fillets
2 cups frozen sweet peas
Malt vinegar for serving (optional)
Finely chopped parsley for serving
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread in an even layer and roast for 25 minutes.
Combine panko, butter, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. Season cod with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Push potatoes to side of baking sheet; add cod. Drizzle cod with 1 tablespoon oil and top with panko mixture. Roast until potatoes and fish are golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-heat. Add peas; cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add remaining lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Serve with cod, potatoes, lemon wedges and male vinegar, if using. Top with parsley.
About the author: Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant. She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and the Shore Publishing and the Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. She was a resident of Old Lyme for many years but now lives in Groton, Conn. Contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.