Homemade Fish Sticks

1 pound of cod fillets (Halibut or Tilapia would work too)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Rinse the cod and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. To cut the fish into "sticks," slice the fillets into thirds, lengthwise. You'll end up with three long strips. Cut those strips into 4-inch pieces. I ended up with about 20 (4-inch by 1-inch) fish sticks. Note: I trimmed those 4-inch pieces' scraggly edges. You can do this too, or just leave it be. Your call.

2. Add the all-purpose flour to a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, crack in the eggs and beat. On a plate, combine the panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, crushed red pepper and salt.

3. Roll the cod pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess. Drop the cod pieces in the beaten egg and then lastly, roll them around in the panko mixture. Transfer the pieces to a baking sheet. At this point you could either place them in an oven to bake or in some hot oil to fry.

4. To bake: Preheat oven to 450F. Place fish sticks on parchment and bake for 15-20 minutes and until edges are slightly golden brown. (They won't be as golden brown as in the pictures above, but nonetheless, they'll be delicious!)

5. To fry (my favorite way!): Preheat oven to warm. Place 1 cup of oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and heat, over medium-high, to 350F. (If you don't have a thermometer, no bigs. Add a small piece of bread crumb to the hot oil. If it sizzles and starts to brown, you're good.) Using tongs, gently add fish sticks to hot oil, cooking on each side for 1-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain and then place in oven to keep warm while you finish the rest of the fish sticks.

Spicy Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeño
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha

1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together and add more Sriracha if you like.
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