Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fried Bluegill Fillets

Fried Bluegill Fillets with roasted new potatoes, green bean salad with couscous and Zucchini Casserole

Husband-Tested Recipe from the kitchen of Alice Wootton

My husband is a fisherman. He has a little ten foot aluminum john boat that he bought at K-Mart when he was in his early twenties. (He’s now 65!) I can always count on him to bring home a nice stringer of bluegill. We usually fry up a batch and then freeze the rest in water for later. It’s what my daddy always requests for his birthday dinner. Health food, it’s not, but it's a really nice treat every once in a while. Although you’ll have to find your own source for bluegill, the rest of the ingredients you can find at Lost River Market & Deli. However, if you can’t get your hands on bluegill, you can substitute just about any fish fillets, tilapia, for instance, in this recipe. Leftovers, if you have any, make a fabulous sandwich with fresh local tomatoes, of course! Make a batch of cornbread and a batch of Black-Eyed Pea Salad and Mother's Macaroni Salad or Macaroni, Tomato, Corn and Basil Salad (recipes on this blog) for a perfect dinner!!!

*Note: There are no ingredient quantities listed because it depends on how many fish fillets you have. I usually begin with 2 eggs and ½ heaping cup each of bread crumbs and cornmeal and then I add more if I need it.

Fresh bluegill fillets (thaw in refrigerator, if frozen)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Large eggs
Hot sauce (Tabasco or Local Foods hot sauce)
Dried bread crumbs (I use Italian dried bread crumbs or you can just add some dried thyme, oregano & marjoram to some plain dried bread crumbs)
Yellow cornmeal
Vegetable shortening

• rinse and pat dry the fillets
• salt and pepper both sides of the fillets
• whisk two large eggs with several drops of hot sauce in a dish with sides
• mix together equal parts bread crumbs and cornmeal in a pie plate
• heat shortening in an electric skillet or cast iron skillet hot enough to make that sizzle sound when you put a drop of water in
• use enough shortening so that it will come up the sides of the fillets a bit when you put them in
• using a fork, dip the fillets in the egg mixture
• then dredge the fillets on both sides in the bread crumb/cornmeal mixture
• place the fillets in one layer in the skillet (do not crowd)
• when the fillets are toasty brown on one side, flip them over to brown the other side
• in the meantime, cover a platter with paper towels
• place the fried fillets on the paper towels to drain, using more paper towels for each layer of finished fillets
Serve with your favorite mustard and/or more hot sauce and/or fresh squeezed lemons.

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