No Fish Fry Here!

I live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio (USA). which is a city of immigrants. Today’s immigrants are often from Eastern Europe and Latin America, but the city really built its population with immigrants from Italy, Ireland and Poland. One effect of those old time immigrants was the establishment of many catholic churches. While the population of Cleveland has diminished, and church attendance is down, there are still quite a few that are still running.

Every Lenten season, all of the churches and many local restaurants advertize their Fish Fry. Generally for $10 you get a fried fish fillet, a pierogi or two, vegetable, small salad, a cup of punch or coffee and possibly a dessert. While there may be minor variations, it is pretty much the same.

The local Methodist church takes a slightly different tack by baking their fish. Touting the healthier aspects of the baked fish may not draw many new people, but they still pack them in. This recipe also gives you the healthier version by baking the breaded fish.

A nice flaky fish works great in this.

I used tilapia.

Season your fish before breading. This seasoning will flavor the whole fish.

Going into the oven.

Oven Baked Italian Fish


Salt and pepper to taste

4 fish fillets

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp Romano cheese, grated

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 400° Salt and pepper the fish to taste, and sprinkle the garlic powder on the fillets.

On a dinner plate, mix the cheese and bread crumbs together. In a little saucepan, melt butter and olive oil together.

Dip fish in the butter/oil mixture, then dredge with the bread crumb mixture. Place in a shallow baking pan.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Cooking time will vary, depending on the thickness of your fish.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baking, Italian, Recipes, Seafood

Author:The Ranting Chef

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25 Comments on “No Fish Fry Here!”

  1. July 5, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I love fish frys! Yours looks great.


  2. July 5, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Always looking for a healthy alternative. Thanks!


  3. July 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    actually, the baked fish looks just as good as the deep fried fish, i am going to use this recipe for fish here at home. thank u for sharing with me


  4. July 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Nice! How did I not notice you lived in a Cleveland Suburb before. I live about 20min East of CLE.


  5. July 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm #



  6. July 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Want to try this recipe! Always looking to add more fish to our diet and with a 4 year old it can be tricky. She’ll like this. Will be in OH next month – Rocky River, where my in-laws live. Will hopefully take them some local seafood from the Lowcountry, but I love that Walleye from up in your area, if we can snag some!


  7. July 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    definitely gonna try this at home. thanks


  8. AJ's Mom
    July 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    I love tilapia. This looks so deliciously healthy.


  9. July 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    My husband and I used to live outside of Buffalo, NY when we were first married. Buffalo has a similar immigrant profile. Fish fry on Friday is an institution there! When we moved to NJ, I missed it very much. There’s just something about gathering in a church basement and eating fried fish 😉

    I like your healthier take on the recipe. Leave it to the Methodists to try that angle (I grew up Methodist, by the way)!


  10. July 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Glad to see some bits about Cleveland today 🙂 I’m in Ireland now, but Cleveland was the last place I lived in the US and is my city of choice if I have to ever go back. I never had a pierogi until I moved there – still not a fan as I can’t have onions but hey! its still something my Irish friends will never have had 🙂


  11. July 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I now both want to go to Cleveland for Lent and I want to eat this immediately. I’ll have to wait on both


  12. July 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    I have never thought of putting cheese and garlic into the breadcrumbs. What a great idea.


  13. July 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I love tilapia and trying new ways to eat it. I’ll definitely give this a shot, it looks delicious.


  14. July 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Living at the far end of the world, I have not previously encountered pierogi. What is it? The fish looks delicious!
    Thank you for liking my blog.


  15. July 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm #



  16. healthfullywhole
    July 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    I’m also in CLE 🙂 Nice to see a neighbor!


  17. eatwilmington
    July 7, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Try it with fresh breadcrumbs (baguette or similar pulsed in food processor) that you season yourself. It will rock your world! Thanks for sharing;)


  18. July 8, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Yet another yummy recipe! I can’t wait to try it. We love fish in my family and I’m always on the look out for more great ways to make it.


  19. July 8, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    I love doing fish this way and it always feels a lot better than the fried variety. I do use fresh breadrumbs instead of the boxed variety as I like the varied texture.


  20. Lori M.
    July 9, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Looks like a great recipe. BTW…the “Lenten Dinners” at
    St. Bart’s have baked fish 🙂


  21. gwynnem
    July 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Hey, there! I’m totally going to try your batter the next time I want to crisp up a fish dinner. Question: Besides tilapia, do you have a go-to white fish that packs a lot of flavor and is a bit meatier than other white fish? I tend to cook salmon, tuna, and red trout since each has a distinct flavor. I grew up eating mullet and catfish. Wondering about other white fish options. Thanks!


    • July 11, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      Some good firm white fish – Grouper, Mahi Mahi, Snapper and Orange Roughy.


      • gwynnem
        July 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

        Mahi Mahi, here I come. Thanks!


  22. July 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Thanks for liking my post!
    This one looks cool! I too like baking my fish rather than frying it..will definitely try this one.



  1. Oven Baked Italian Fish « normalcooking - August 10, 2012

    […] Source:  Rantings of an Amateur Chef […]


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