A sure sign of spring on Delmarva is the local catch-of-the-day fish in the seafood stores, fish markets and at the boat docks. This past week and in the upcoming weeks local organizations are having “Fish Frys.” Check out the local newspapers and posts at the different stores in town to find the date and location information. Not only will you be enjoying fresh fish, but you will be enjoying some delicious home cooking prepared by some wonderful “Eastern Shore Cooks.” Most of these suppers have corn bread, turnip greens, stewed tomatoes and fried potatoes as sides — mouth-watering country cooking!
Last week, on April 1, crab season opened — one of my favorite kind of seafood. In the coming weeks I will share some recipes and some crabbing stories with you. Hats off to the local watermen and their hard work! Let’s cook fish.
GOLDEN FRIED FISH
Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cooking oil, and 2/3 cup cold water. Blend well. Beat 1 egg white until soft peaks form and fold in flour mixture. Dip 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of fish fillets, cut into serving sizes, into this mixture on both sides. Place fillets into a fry pan with 1/2 inch oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve warm with vegetables and red skin potatoes.
OVEN BAKED FISH
Cut 2 pounds of fish, cleaned and filleted, into serving size portions. Add 1 tablespoon salt to 1 cup milk. Dip fillets in milk and roll into 1 cup dried bread crumbs. Place in a well greased baking pan. Sprinkle each piece of fish with minced or chopped butter pieces. Bake in a preheated 500 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when touched with a fork. Serve with fresh vegetables and macaroni and cheese.
Combine 2/3 cup corn meal, 1/4 cup flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Dry 4 cleaned catfish fillets and coat them on each side with the cornmeal mixture. Fry in 1/2 cup oil until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Combine 1 pound fresh salmon meat with 2 beaten eggs, 4 tablespoons bread crumbs, and 3 to 4 tablespoons milk — add one tablespoon of milk at a time to determine consistency. You may only need 3 tablespoons. Mix and form into cakes. Fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides.
BAKED FISH WITH TOMATOES
Cut about 1 1/2 pounds fresh fish fillets into serving sizes and single layer fish in a well greased two quart casserole dish. Spread 2 teaspoons mustard over the fish. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper on top of mustard. Peel and slice two fresh tomatoes over top of mustard mixture. Mix together one cup grated Parmesan cheese with 1/4 cup butter or margarine and spread over the fish mixture. Cover and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.
No matter how you cook fresh fish some of the best side dishes still remain to be fried or scalloped potatoes, turnip greens, stewed tomatoes and corn bread. Have a safe week — wear your masks and watch for those local fish frys!