|Kendra Bailey Morris|
Hubs: "What you want for dinner?
Me: "Man, I would love a big piece of fresh fish."
Hubs: "Aww yeee. Do it."
So, off we set to our favorite place in the Richmond area to buy fish Yellow Umbrella Seafood where we know we will get the freshest goodies in town. When it comes to fresh seafood, like many people, I'm a stickler and I don't mind paying top dollar to get what I want. While our first preference is to catch our dinner...
|Fishing in Avon, Hatteras Island, NC|
OBX, the majority of the time, we are left to purchase our saltwater treats.
When it comes to fishing, fish and all the jazz, I like to keep things simple, especially when you're working with seafood that was pulled from the water merely hours before. This stuff is so fresh, so packed with the essence of the sea, it would be a culinary crime to over season, over flavor or generally overdo it in any way. This is why, when I can get my hands on a hunk of fresh flounder, Virginia-caught rockfish, mahi or Wahoo, I ain't messing with it. Give me some cornmeal, milk (or buttermilk), a vat of Crisco and a cast iron pot, and I'll make you dinner.
My dad is a fried seafood expert, and I learned from him the art of lightly dusting my fish, oysters, shrimp, etc... in real stone ground cornmeal (not the super fine stuff, by the way) that he would buy up in cases from an old gristmill on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill. Mabry Mill makes real deal cornmeal that's packed with just enough to the tooth crunch that it livens up any standard breading.
Dipped in milk and then dredged in a mixture of self-rising cornbread mix (for fluff) and stone ground cornmeal, we fry our fish exclusively Crisco in cast iron. With that in mind, let me suggest that if you choose to make this recipe at home, and are one those people who happen to have an aversion to shortening (as some people do...wha?) might I suggest two options for you: get the heck over it and stick to steaming your fish.
This recipe is fried goodness in all its glory, so either dive in head first and enjoy the ride or hop off the boat.
Golden Cornmeal-Crusted Quick-Fry Flounder
Adapted from "White Trash Gatherings: From-Scratch Cooking for Down-Home Entertaining, Ten Speed Press, 2006)
1/2 cup white stone ground cornmeal
1/3 cup yellow self-rising cornbread mix
Pinch of salt (and/or Old Bay)
3/4 cup milk (or buttermilk)
One pound fresh flounder (or other white fish)
Shortening, for frying
Preheat a large cast iron pan to medium-high. Add about a 1/4 inch of melted shortening to the pan. In a medium flat-bottomed bowl, mix cornmeal and cornbread mix. Add a little salt and/or Old Bay. Pour milk in a separate flat pan. Place flounder in milk and soak for a few minutes. Then dredge in cornmeal mixture. Fry fish skin-side down in hot oil until crunchy and crispy. Drain on paper towels and season with a little more salt.
Serve your fish with homemade tartar sauce.
Note: This fish recipe is excellent for fish sandwiches (on a roll with lettuce, tomato and tartar) or stuffed inside a warm soft flour tortilla topped with crunchy slaw, pico de gallo, a squeeze of fresh lime and Mexican crema. Pin It Now!