Saturday, December 31, 2011

Panko Fried Haddock

This week during my grocery trip I had company.  Every once in a while Jay wants to join the adventure.  Most of the time I welcome it because he can give input about dinners. We walked by the fish counter and while Jay was shopping for cocktail sauce, I was checking out the sales.

I like to buy fish at least once a week, but it can be really expensive.  My solution is to make my fish meal around what is on sale.  Our fish counter always has one or two items at a very reasonable price.  As long as you are willing to be flexible, you can enjoy fish several times a week.  

This week's sale was haddock fillets for $3.99/lb.  I asked for two large fillets and the total cost was $5.61.  One fillet was enough for Jay and I to split, and the rest will make great fish sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.

I originally planned on just baking them in the oven with a little lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Then Jay asked if I was going to fry them.  Suffering from a cold, I really didnt' want to, but I figured it would make good blog material.

I have been frying fish since I was 14 years old.  My first job was in a pizzeria, and every Friday we had fish fry's.  That meant every Thursday night, I would prepare all the fish.  This meant breading several hundred pieces of fish and lining them in bus pans for the next day.  I use the same technique as I did in my restaurant days, just on a smaller scale.

It is super simple and this technique can be applied to any kind of fish, chicken, or pork.  You just want to remember, dry-wet-dry.  That means, start with flour (dry), then egg wash (wet), and finally into bread crumbs (dry).  I chose to use Panko bread crumbs which makes a super crunchy crust, but regular bread crumbs work just fine.  I also chose seasonings that compliment fish like Old Bay, but if you are doing chicken a grill seasoning would work nicely.


1 to 1 -1/2 lbs. of haddock, or any white fish
1 c. flour
2 c. Panko bread crumbs
1 egg, whisked with 1 tbsp water
Old Bay Seasoning, salt, pepper to taste
4 tbsp. canola oil

First set up your work station.  You will need a plate for flour, a bowl for the egg wash, and a plate for the bread crumbs. (If you have 3 pie pans that will work great too.)  Also set up a cooling rack with paper towels underneath it for the finished fish.  This allows the fish to drain without losing your bread crumb coating.

Next prepare your fish.  I like to take a few paper towels and dry off the fish.  I also cut large fillets into smaller portion sizes.  This makes it easier to turn the fish when cooking it.  Lightly sprinkle the fish with salt, pepper, and Old Bay.  (You can also sprinkle your flour and/or bread crumbs lightly with the same seasonings.)

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Meanwhile start breading your fish.  Dredge the fish into the flour until it coats the fish.  Shake lightly to knock off any excess flour.  Then run the fish through the egg wash, and into the bread crumbs.  Turn the fish in the bread crumbs several times until coated. 

Test your oil with a few bread crumbs, if it sizzles you are ready to go.  Gently place the fish in the skillet, but be sure not to crowd the pan.  I work in small batches, cooking only two pieces at a time.  The fish cooks about 5 to 6 minutes on the first side.  The edges will start to turn golden brown, then flip it over.  Cook on the other side for another 4 to 5 minutes.  Once the fish is cooked through, move to cooling rack to drain.  Serve with vegetables and potato.

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