Fish Fingers & Custard Recipe (Gluten Free)

This recipe has been a long time coming. I’d been meaning to develop a proper fish fingers / custard recipe ever since Matt Smith’s first appearance on Doctor Who. Sure, it sounded weird… but I could make it work! Procrastination (and apathy for the 11th Doctor… Sorry!) got in the way, and I shelved the idea.

Almost a year ago, a friend hosted a potluck viewing party for “The Day of the Doctor”. I decided that THIS would be the time to develop a savoury custard specifically to go along with fish fingers. I knew that I could come up with a custard that would be far more edible than the vanilla pudding it was fashioned to resemble.. but I had NO idea that I’d like it so much as to see it as a default accompaniment for fish sticks!

I was just about to get started on Beyond Flour, my gluten-free cookbook (pre orders opening soon, btw!)… so I decided to also develop a gluten-free fish finger to go with the custard. I mean, where’s the fun in writing an epic cookbook, if you can’t toss in a not-so-subtle nod to the fandom in there?

Super tasty. I loaded the “breading” for the fish fingers with a ton of flavour, and kept the custard elegant, refined tasting, but savoury. These are a world away from the mass produced, frozen fish fingers you buy in stores.

I was going to leave the recipe as a fun surprise in the book, but with the season premiere – and NEW DOCTOR! – coming up in a few days, I couldn’t resist sharing this with you guys now.

Not gluten-free? Feel free to substitute butter/table crackers of your choice in place of the gf crackers. Not GF AND not feeling up to making the fish fingers? Go ahead and just make the custard – it goes just as well with store bought, as it does with these.

Gluten Free Fish Sticks

1 lb white fish fillets of choice. We used flounder
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1 cup dried & ground gluten-free crackers or bread of choice
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup flax seeds (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp dried chives
1/2 tsp garlic powder
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut fish into sticks, about 4″ x 1″ long. Pat dry with a paper towel, set aside.

Place amaranth flour in a bowl, set aside.

Pulse crackers and nuts in food processor until ground to crumbs. Place in a large bowl, along with flax seeds (if using), salt, pepper, mustard powder, chives, and lemon zest. Stir to combine.

Whisk together the eggs in a separate bowl.

Dip the fish into the amaranth flour, gently shaking off any excess flour. Dip next in the egg, and then the nut mixture, place on baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining fish fingers.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through. Serve with savoury custard as a dip!

Savoury Custard

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp+ Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of cayenne
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup dry white wine
5 egg yolks
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in Dijon mustard, lemon juice and cayenne until smooth. Add garlic, lemon zest and white wine, once again whisking until smooth. Gently bring mixture up to a simmer.

While mustard wine mixture is heating up, whisk egg yolks and corn starch together in a small bowl or measuring glass. Once smooth, whisk in milk – a little at a time – until smooth and well incorporated.

Once the mustard & wine has come to a simmer, add milk mixture, quickly whisking to fully blend the two. Bring up to a simmer again, whisking constantly. As it heats up, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Continue stirring, allowing the cheese to melt and the mixture to thicken.

Once custard has thickened to your liking, remove from heat and serve. If not serving immediately, chill for future use.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

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