Maple Sesame Salmon Bowls

This fast and easy dinner for two is made with simple, naturally gluten free ingredients.  One of the first meals I made after the New Year, it was a nice change of pace after all the holiday cooking.  The marinade gives the salmon just a hint of an Asian flair, pairing nicely with the jasmine rice, steamed broccoli and fresh mango.  Once you prep the ingredients, this meal comes together in 15 minutes!

Dinner for 2

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Ingredients:

Preparation:

Whisk together the sesame oil, maple syrup and coconut aminos in a non-reactive baking dish.

Place the salmon skin side up in the marinade for 20-30 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan and set aside for garnish.

Combine the rice, water and salt in a small saucepan and simmer covered for 15 minutes.  Peel and slice the mango.  Cut the broccoli into florets and steam for about 10 minutes or until crisp tender.

Cook the salmon for 10 minutes in a grill pan or skillet over medium heat.  Start the filets skin side up for the first 5 minutes.  To caramelize the sugars and get that nice crust, don’t move the salmon around in the pan.

As soon as you remove the salmon from the marinade, pour that marinade into a small sauce pan and simmer (important, to kill any bacteria you must bring it to a boil).

After 5 minutes turn the salmon and finish cooking 5 minutes longer.

To assemble the bowls, arrange the rice on one side, followed by the broccoli.  Add one salmon filet and finish out the bowl with mango slices.  Garnish it all with toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of the marinade.

Notes ♪♫  Salmon is a heart healthy fish that is rich in protein and omega-3 fats.  It is widely available both fresh and in the freezer section.  I like to buy family packs of individually portioned fillets so that I can take out one or more at a time as needed.  For more ways to prepare salmon, check out my Oven Baked Salmon with Almonds and Pecans, or my Gluten Free Salmon Burgers.

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Cioppino

I have always wanted to prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes (La Cena Della Vigilia) for Christmas Eve.  I love seafood and have visions of our dining table laden with seven different courses, showcasing all my best recipes from appetizers to chowder to the main course.

But what if your holiday gathering is a small one, or the family just doesn’t share your enthusiasm for seafood?  After some contemplation, I arrived at this downsized, one dish nod to The Feast of Seven Fishes.  A rich Cioppino, or seafood stew that is full of bright vibrant flavors, topped with a crab cake.  Yes, there are seven fishes in this bowl, and it was a feast indeed!

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To keep this recipe simple, head for the freezer section!  Last year I found a frozen seafood medley at Whole Foods.  It had four types of seafood (shrimp, scallops, squid and mussels) already prepped and ready to go!  If you can’t get this in your area, look for scallops, shrimp and squid rings in the frozen section.

To complete my seven fishes, I bought a dozen fresh littlenecks and flounder from the frozen aisle.  I topped it all off with a crab cake made with canned crab.

Not only was this meal perfect for a small gathering, but also easy to prepare!

The Lazy Gastronome

 

The Seven Fishes ????

  1. Crab (fresh, frozen or canned)
  2. Flounder (fresh or frozen)
  3. Shrimp (fresh or frozen)
  4. Scallops (fresh or frozen)
  5. Mussels (fresh or frozen)
  6. Squid (fresh or frozen)
  7. Littlenecks (fresh or frozen)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 rib of celery, minced
  • 1 cup gluten free fish stock or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 Littleneck clams
  • 16 oz. fresh or frozen seafood
  • 8 oz. canned crab meat
  • Italian parsley for garnish
  • 1 tbsp. butter for finishing
  • gluten free spaghetti, pasta or risotto for serving
  • crab cakes (see recipe link below)

Preparation:

Prepare the crab cakes (recipe here) and keep warm.

Cioppino:

If using fresh mussels or clams, scrub and rinse well in cold water.  Discard any that are opened before cooking.

If using frozen fish, thaw before cooking.  You can improve the texture by soaking it in milk.

In a large, nonstick skillet (use one with a cover) melt the butter with the olive oil.  Add the celery, onion and garlic.

Sauté 2 minutes then add the tomatoes, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, stock, white wine and the spices.  Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Add all of the seafood.  Cover immediately and cook 6 minutes.

Discard any mussels or clams that did not open!  Stir in pasta with 1 tbsp. butter.

Serving:

Cioppino, with its flavorful tomato broth is delicious served over risotto.  You can also serve it as a zuppa with crusty bread, or over gluten free pasta as I have done here.  Garnish with Italian parsley and top it off with a skewered crab cake.

Notes ♪♫ While fresh fish is wonderful, using frozen is a great timesaver in the kitchen.  Look for frozen shrimp, scallops and squid, along with a white fish like cod, sole or flounder.  All are widely available in the freezer section.

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Gluten Free Crab Cakes

Like many of my recipes, this one came about because I was missing an old restaurant favorite.  Crab Cakes are a New England classic and I have always loved them.  Of course, they are now off limits (ah breadcrumbs!).  I’ve been thinking about making a gluten free version at home, and when I finally set my mind to it they came out great!  A lovely appetizer to begin a meal or serve as a main course.

I always say that when you make something from scratch you control what goes into it.  My Gluten Free Crab Cakes are not stingy with the crab meat (restaurants take note!).  With a little advance prep, you can have this entrée on the table in about an hour.

Fresh crab meat is wonderful, but if like me you are not up for cooking and cleaning a live crab, try using frozen crab meat.  It is a very good alternative and worth seeking out.  Of course, you can use canned if that is what you have available.  Look for Fancy Lump Crab and be sure to check the ingredient label.

Yield: 5-6 crab cakes (plan for 1 each as an appetizer or 2 as a main course)

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Ingredients:

Preparation:

Chop the garlic and red bell pepper into fine mince.  Sauté 2 minutes in 1 tsp. canola oil.  Set aside and cool to room temperature.

Combine the breadcrumbs in a bowl and toss to mix.  Whisk the egg, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, minced veggies, lemon juice and seasonings in a separate bowl.  Add the potato flakes and whisk until smooth.

Fold in the crab meat and 2 tbsp. (half) of the breadcrumb mixture.

Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop out the mixture to form 5-6 crab cakes.  Handle them gently and they should hold together (they will be wet).  Carefully roll each crab cake in the remaining breadcrumbs to coat.  Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment and refrigerate for 1 hour.  This will help retain their shape and hold together while cooking.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium low with 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil.

Cook the crab cakes for 5 minutes per side.  To get that golden crust, don’t move the crab cakes around in the pan until it’s time to flip them over.  Transfer to a baking sheet and put them in a 350º oven for a few more minutes to finish, then lower the heat and keep warm until serving.

Friends, they were so delicious!  The recipe is easy enough, wouldn’t you say?  Go on and give it a try, surprise your special someone or treat yourself.

Notes ♪♫ Several of my readers have mentioned that Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is not gluten free in Canada, as it contains malt vinegar.  (In the US, it is made with distilled white vinegar and is gluten free).  Always check labels!

 

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Gluten Free Shrimp, Fennel and Farfalle

This skillet dinner has all the requirements of an easy weeknight meal.  With just a little prep, a few pantry ingredients and only 2 pans to clean, what’s not to love?

Have you tried fennel?  It’s a common ingredient in many Italian dishes, both in raw and cooked form.  Raw fennel has a pronounced flavor that becomes milder when cooked.

I used a small amount of fennel as an accent flavor in this dish, but you can adjust to your taste.  It is the perfect complement to the shrimp, garlic and tomatoes!

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Ingredients:

Preparation:

Before you get started, toast the pignoli in a dry skillet until lightly browned and fragrant.  Set aside for garnish.  Heat a pot of salted water for the pasta.

If your shrimp are frozen, rinse them under cool water to thaw.  Peel and devein the shrimp, pat dry and toss with 1 tbsp. white rice flour.

Mince the garlic and chop the fennel into 1/2″ dice.  Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.

Add the diced fennel and cook for one minute, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the diced tomatoes, peas, wine and seasoning.  Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid.

Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions.  Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for a few minutes more, just until the shrimp turn pink.  You can add a small amount of the pasta water if needed.

Drain the pasta, add to the skillet and toss well.

Transfer to a serving platter and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.  Garnish with fresh parsley and toasted pignoli.

Notes ♪♫  When you have a well stocked pantry you can always pull a meal together in a hurry.  I always have frozen shrimp, bags of frozen peas and canned tomatoes on hand.  I am Italian, so you know I have a six month supply of gluten free pasta!  Parsley and garlic are also pantry staples, so I really just had to buy the fennel to make this dish.  I hope you will try the recipe!

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Gluten Free Seafood Paella

Today I’m making Paella, the amazing Valencian rice dish infused with aromatic saffron.  There are several variations of Paella, that may include chicken, pork, or seafood.  It can also be made vegetarian, or a blend of the above.

This paella is all about the seafood.  I used shrimp and scallops from my freezer pantry and fresh mussels that I purchased the same day.  I did add a link of Andouille sausage, because I love the heat it brings to this recipe.

You don’t need a paella pan to make this dish.  A large, nonstick skillet with a cover works just as well.  You can find reasonably priced pans on Amazon (like THIS ONE) that will get the job done.  If you don’t have a universal lid, you will want to get a pan with a lid.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2-1/2 cups gluten free chicken stock, room temperature
  • big pinch of saffron
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • ——————————————–
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 link gluten free Andouille sausage, cut into thin coins
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • ——————————————–
  • 8 large raw shrimp, defrosted
  • 8 large sea scallops, defrosted
  • 1 lb. mussels, scrubbed and rinsed
  • fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Preparation:

Rinse the mussels thoroughly under cool water.  Discard any that are cracked or remain open after rinsing.  Defrost the shrimp and scallops.  Peel and devein the shrimp.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet.  Stir in the shallots and cook gently for 1 minute.

Add the rice, stirring to coat with the oil and butter.  After 30 seconds add 1/2 cup of white wine.

Stir constantly, allowing the wine to evaporate.  When most of the liquid has been absorbed, begin adding the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time.  With the first addition of broth, add the saffron, bay leaves, thyme and turmeric.

Continue adding the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time.  Stir frequently, and when most of the liquid has been absorbed add the next 1/2 cup.

After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly done.  Add the garlic, Andouille sausage, and all of the veggies.  Sprinkle with paprika and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Don’t add broth after this point, as the veggies and seafood will release their own liquid.

Add the shrimp and scallops at the very end of the cook time, when the rice is done, and veggies are tender.

Stir together and cook for one minute, then add all of the mussels.  Cover and cook for 6 minutes or until the mussels open.

(Important: If any mussels do not open, discard them).

To serve, ladle the paella into wide bowls and garnish with parsley.

Notes ♪♫ Saffron is considered the most important spice in a traditional paella.  It gives the rice a beautiful golden color and distinctive flavor.  Although expensive, I always keep some on hand and use it sparingly in recipes like this one.  If you are looking for a more budget friendly alternative, try using turmeric instead of, or in addition to the saffron as I’ve done in this recipe.

 

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Gluten Free Crab Cake Waffles

Oh what fun I had making these cute little Crab Cakes!  Gluten free and cooked on a waffle maker, they are the perfect summer meal.  Like regular crab cakes, they can be an appetizer or a main course.

It’s so nice to have a new appliance!  When my waffle iron gave out after many years of service I was excited to get a newer model.  It has detachable plates, a game changer when it comes to cleanup!

I couldn’t wait to try out my new waffle maker, but breakfast wasn’t the first thing on the menu!

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Inspired by Skinny Taste, these Gluten Free Crab Cake Waffles are surprisingly filling!  The recipe makes 2-4 servings, depending on your appetite.  A single waffle with a couple of sides was enough for us.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. can fancy lump crab meat
  • 1/2 cup gluten free plain bread crumbs (I used Gillian’s)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. gluten free mayo
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • few grinds of black pepper
  • cooking spray
  • lemon wedges for serving

Preparation:

Whisk together the egg, egg whites, mayo, mustard, chives, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Old Bay and Paprika.  Add a few grinds of black pepper, to taste.

Drain the crab meat and gently stir it in.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs a little at a time and gently fold into the mixture.  Don’t overwork it, handle as little as possible.

Scoop the mixture into 4 portions, about 1/3 cup each.

Heat the waffle iron to 350º and coat with cooking spray.  Place one crab cake on each section of the waffle iron and close the lid, pressing gently.

The crab cakes will be done to a golden brown in 3-5 minutes.  Start checking after 3 minutes.

For an appetizer, serve with salad greens and lemon wedges.

As a main course, enjoy them with Cilantro Lime Rice and a refreshing mango salad with a squeeze of fresh lemon and lime.

Notes ♪♫ I hope you enjoyed this fun recipe!  No waffle iron?  No problem.  Here is a traditional crab cake recipe that is every bit as good.

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Gluten Free Sole Francaise

Sole Francaise is an old restaurant favorite of mine, but you don’t often see it on the menu anymore.  Of course, if you are gluten free this dish is off limits.  So today with just one simple substitution I’ll show you how to prepare this five-star entrée right at home.  White rice flour is a pantry staple at My Gluten Free Cucina, and I promise your gluten eating friends and family will not be able to tell the difference.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. sole fillets
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Old Bay seasoning, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Preparation:

Use a superfine white rice flour in place of traditional all purpose.  It works just as well in this recipe, so don’t waste your even pricier gluten free all-purpose flour.  Set up 2 breading trays or plates, one with the flour and the other with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle the flour with Old Bay.

Heat a large nonstick skillet with 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. oil.

Sprinkle the sole fillets with Old Bay, then dredge each piece in flour.  Dip in egg, shaking off the excess.

Cook the fish 3 minutes per side.  Try not to tear the delicate egg batter when you flip them over (use 2 spatulas for better control).  Cook in batches if needed, do not crowd the pan.

Transfer the fillets to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven (especially if cooking in batches).

Add the wine and lemon juice to the skillet, swirl around and cook until reduced by half.

Drizzle the reduction over the fish and serve with a lemon wedge.  Smashed Potatoes and garlic green beans round out the plate.

Notes ♪♫ When cooking with wine, always choose something that you can drink with the meal.  I had a bottle of Pinot Grigio that was just perfect with this dish.  I never use cooking wine, as it is loaded with sodium and additives.

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Pan Cooked Striped Bass

I love seafood and enjoy trying new types of fish.  We often stumble upon something really tasty because it happened to be on sale, like this Striped Bass.  Neither of us had ever had it before, but ever since we found it on special one week, I buy it every chance I get.

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Named for it’s stripes, this fish has a semi-firm, pink flesh that turns white when cooked.  A simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice and white wine is all you need to bring out its best flavor.  Like so many of my seafood recipes, I cooked it in a nonstick grill pan.  This quick preparation ensures great flavor without drying out the fish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. striped bass
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. white wine
  • black pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of Old Bay®
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chives, divided use

Preparation:

Cut the fish into 4 pieces.

Whisk together the marinade ingredients with a sprinkle of Old Bay®, a few grinds of fresh ground pepper and 1 tsp. of fresh chives.

Place the fish, skin side up in the marinade.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

I’m heating my nonstick grill pan on medium low with 4 tiny pats of butter, just a little as the fish itself will release some oil as it cooks.  The butter will add to the flavor and golden brown color.

Place the fish skin side down and cook for 4 minutes.

Turn the fish and cook for 6 minutes longer.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining chives.

Notes ♪♫  This simple pan grilled meal is on the table in no time.  I use this cooking method for many types of seafood, just changing up the marinade.  If you enjoyed this recipe check out my Mahi Mahi, and Arctic Char.

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Gluten Free Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry

Easy stir fry meals like this one are a mainstay of busy weeknights.  In this dish, bright colorful veggies and beautiful jumbo shrimp come together in an Asian inspired sauce.  We love shrimp and I am always excited to buy the big, 2 lb. bag as it is both convenient and economical.  Typically the shrimp have already been deveined, so all that remains is to peel before cooking.  Completely gluten free, I used coconut aminos to keep the recipe lower in sodium and also made a very small amount of rice as we are watching carbs.  If salt is not a concern you can use all tamari, and of course you can adjust the rice serving for larger families (and appetites).

4 servings

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. frozen jumbo shrimp (21/25 count per pound)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1/3 cup white rice
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 scallions sliced thin, divided use
  • gluten free tortilla strips

For the sauce:

Preparation:

Toast the sesame seeds in a small nonstick saucepan and set aside.  Prep the veggies and cook the rice according to package directions.

If your shrimp are frozen, just run them under cool water for a minute then peel, leaving the tails on.

Whisk together the sauce ingredients.

Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium low.  Add the bell pepper, carrots and snow peas.  Cook the veggies for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes longer, or just until they turn pink.

Pour the sauce over the shrimp and veggies, along with half of the scallions and cook several minutes longer.  As the sauce thickens, stir continuously.  Lower the heat if needed so it doesn’t burn.

Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining scallions.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and tortilla strips.

To serve, spoon the shrimp and veggies over the rice with more sesame seeds and tortilla strips.

Notes ♪♫ How much is a half tablespoon?  You won’t have to “eyeball it” with this cool set of magnetized measuring spoons that includes the unusual measures of 1/2 tbsp. and 3/4 tsp. Great when you are making a half recipe or quarter recipe!  Plus they’re magnetized, so they won’t get lost!

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Gluten Free Air Fryer Fish and Chips

I haven’t had Fish and Chips in over 5 years!  The last time was long before my Celiac diagnosis, and even back then I didn’t order it often, because of how miserable I would feel afterward.  At the time I just thought that fried food didn’t agree with me.  Who knew?

Today, along with being gluten free, I still avoid fried food.  So, I never imagined I would be enjoying Fish and Chips again.

But never say never…

Enter the air fryer.

I’ve had my air fryer for just a few months now (best gift ever!) and have been obsessed with making fries, practicing over and over until I got the cook time and temperature just right.  In my air fryer, 25 minutes at 400º seems to be the sweet spot.  The size of the potato, thickness of the fries, and other food being cooked at the same time will all affect the results.  The fries need to be spread out evenly with plenty of space to get crispy on the outside.

Once I got my fries perfected, Fish and Chips just seemed like the next challenge.  After looking at a few traditional recipes I was able to make a gluten free version and it came out so good!  For the breading, do not use all-purpose gluten free flour.  Most of these flour blends are formulated for baking and contain starches and gums that can make your breading soggy.  In this recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour and Gillian’s original gluten free breadcrumbs.  Rice flour is far less expensive than all purpose and gets the job done.

Dinner for two

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Ingredients:

For the Fish:
For the Chips:

Preparation:

I used a russet potato and left the skin on for better texture and nutrition.  Wash the potato and dry completely.  Slice into 1/3″ rounds, then cut into 1/2″ pieces.

Toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned salt and a sprinkle of paprika.

Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400º.  Mist 2 trays with cooking spray and divide the potatoes between the two.  I found that using 2 trays gives a better result, as the potatoes can be spread farther apart in an even layer.  Place trays on the top 2 shelves of the air fryer and set it for 25 minutes at 400º.

While the chips are getting started prepare the fish.  You want a thick, firm white fish for this recipe.  Cod or haddock are the usual choices but today I got this beautiful Sablefish on sale.

Set up 3 breading trays with the rice flour, beaten egg + water, and breadcrumbs.  Season each with Old Bay.

Cut the fish into 4 pieces and remove the skin with a sharp knife.

Spray the air fryer tray with cooking spray.  Dip each piece of fish in the flour, then into the egg, shaking off the excess.  Next roll in the breadcrumbs and place on the rack.  Repeat with all 4 pieces.

When the fries have cooked for 10 minutes turn them over and move the trays to the bottom 2 racks.  Mist the fish lightly with cooking spray and place it on the top rack.

Continue cooking 15 minutes longer, turning the fish halfway through.  When you turn the fish over, mist the top with cooking spray.   Keep an eye on the fries and watch that they don’t burn.

The fries (or chips) are perfect.  I mean, just look at them!

And here is the fish.  Light and crispy on the outside, moist and flaky on the inside.

The sablefish was amazing, I don’t know if I’ll be able to find it again at a reasonable price, but I will be on the lookout.  As mentioned before, this recipe will most certainly work with cod or any firm, white fish.

This was one of my favorite air fryer meals to date.  I will be making it over and over again!

Notes ♪♫ All air fryers are different.  Cook times given in this post are what works for me and should be used as a guide.  My air fryer is a shelf style (oven style with shelves and rotisserie).  If yours is a basket style, you will need to cook the fish and chips separately.  Cook the potatoes first as they take longer, and keep warm while you do the fish.  When the fish is ready you can reheat the fries for a minute or two.

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