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Oven Roasted Cornmeal Crusted Fish Sticks

3/4 c Buttermilk
1/4 c Lemon juice
2 ts Grated lemon zest
5 tb Olive oil
2 tb Finely minced shallots or green onions
1 tb Chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 tb Salt
2 ts Pure chile powder (Ancho; Chimayo or California)
1/2 c Yellow cornmeal
1/2 c Dry fine bread crumbs; (Panko preferred)
2/3 c Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tb Minced parsley and/or basil
2 1/2 lb Fresh halibut; cut evenly into 1-inch thick sticks
All-purpose flour; for dredging

In a mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, 3 tablespoons olive oil, shallots, thyme, 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of the chile powder. In a separate bowl mix together the cornmeal, bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, remaining zest, salt and chile powder. Dredge the fish in the flour to lightly coat, shaking off the excess. Dip the fish into the buttermilk mixture and then into the cornmeal mixture to completely and evenly coat. Arrange the fish in a lightly oiled baking pan allowing space between each piece. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until fish is crisp and just cooked through. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and sauce of your choice. This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

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