When I began chronicling my cooking adventures/ kids' feeding misadventures, I had high hopes. And I had reason to. We started strong. My 15-month-old triplets liked salmon patties that were made from scratch!
But as they have grown older, I seem to have more misses than hits. There's the blackballed black bean burgers, the rejected risotto, and the far-flung chicken. Still, I don’t give up. I cling to the delusion that three kids will surprise me with new eating habits and expanded palates yet. So each new recipe is a fishing expedition. I cast a line with the hope of getting a nibble.
This all brings me to my decision to try Parmesan Salmon Sticks. A while ago I saw a very chipper Giada De Laurentiis (is she ever not chipper?) touting how much kids love this crunchy, healthy snack. The recipe comes from the same episode as the dip I use in my Quesa-dip-a-dillas, which my kids do enjoy. And we can't forget the successful salmon patties. Holding on to hope, I took the plunge.
The fact that two of them even tasted the "cheese sticks," as I called them (don't judge—you do what you've got to do), was a success in my book. And don't they say you need to introduce a new food at least a dozen times before you know for sure whether children like it?
Even if they never like this recipe, my husband and I chowed down on the leftovers. This is some good fish. This is a recipe I'll come back to again.
Parmesan Salmon Sticks
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
12 oz center cut salmon fillet, skinned
¼ cup white whole wheat flour
2 egg whites
½ cup grated Parmesan
½ cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Rinse the salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Slice the fillet into ½-inch pieces. Lay the widest pieces, from the center, cut side down, and slice in half lengthways so all the pieces are similar in both length and thickness.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Place the egg whites in another bowl and whisk until frothy, about 30 seconds. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a third bowl.
Coat the salmon pieces in the seasoned flour and pat to remove any excess flour. Dip the floured salmon in the egg whites and then into the Parmesan mixture, gently pressing the mixture into the fish. Place the breaded salmon pieces on a liberally oiled baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of your sticks—mine were about 3-inches long) or until golden brown.
I used Reynolds Wrap Nonstick Foil on the baking sheet and sprayed it with cooking spray. I had no problem removing the sticks.
Giada recommends serving these with a dipping sauce, ketchup, marinara, pesto, ranch dressing, or vinaigrette.