A quick post as I am running behind here.
This recipe is based on one of the late Jeff Smith’s, (The Frugal Gourmet), and, with all due respect to my Cajun friends, I have toned the spiciness down. Feel free to fire it up!
(These also make an excellent sandwich when placed on a big bun or in Italian bread with a bit of mayonnaise or tartar sauce and some nice lettuce leaves.If you’re feeling really adventuresome, add caramelized onion &/or sauteed or pickled peppers.)
Breaded Cajun Fish Filets
1 lb. fish filets, (preferably frozen whitefish; I like cod. Please see guidelines n the Archive: “Lent/Easy Baked Fish “, Feb. 2013)
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 cup flour (can be rice flour)
1 cup cornmeal
2+ tsp garlic granules or powder,(if you only have garlic salt, omit salt
2 tsp. salt (any type)
1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3+ Tbsp butter and 1Tbsp olive oil, (NOT extra virgin
or 4+ Tbsp. margarine
Mix the milk and lemon juice. (Milk may curdle; that is fine). Soak the thawed fish filets for at least 15 minutes in the milk mixture.
In another bowl, mix the flour and cornmeal; add the salt, garlic and cayenne, adding a little of the pepper and adding more if needed. (Taste at this point for saltiness, a nice garlicky flavor and the ‘heat’ of the cayenne; add more of any of these, if needed.)
Heat some of the butter and oil or margarine in a flat, non-stick pan until rather hot,(do not burn). Place a small amount of the breading mixture on a plate. Remove one filet at a time from the milk mixture and place on the plate. Sprinkle the top of the filet liberally with more breading and press the breading down onto the fish. Carefully flip the fish over into the hot pan. Place more breading on top of the filet and press down. Continue with the remainder of the fish, keeping them in one layer in the pan.(You will need to make only 2-3 at a time). Keep the heat fairly high and do not attempt to turn the filets until they are golden brown on the underside or they may not be firm enough to survive the flip. Check carefully with a spatula or ‘pancake turner’ for color. When browned, flip gently and allow that side to brown. (You may need to add more butter and oil or margarine.) Repeat until all the fish is cooked.
(If the filets break, don’t worry; they will taste just as good. If your filets are thin, you may want to cut them into pieces no bigger than 2 ½-3 ” . They will cook with less chance of breakage when turning.)
Serve with “Dirty Rice“, (See Archive, February 2013″Mahi-Mahi/Fish with Dirty Rice, Pasta and Potatoes”) and vegetables of your choice, but, as another nod to the Cajun of it, I suggest some sort of ‘Greens’.