Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Perch .... The delicacy of Lake Erie

Tonight we are hosting a dinner party for a friend and her niece who is visiting from Michigan. Visitors to the area of Lake Erie where we spend summers come for one thing, a Lake Erie perch dinner. Perch is a small fish but has a very delicate taste. Everyone has there own method of preparation. Many deep fry their perch which has been dipped in a liquid batter. I personally think this is not healthy and looses the benefit of eating fish. Often the fish is over cooked and becomes tough. Other perch I have eaten has the batter dominating the flavor of the fish. I will share my method of preparation which many have asked for "my recipe" which actually is the recipe my mother used to prepare the perch.
Perch fillets
Saltine cracker crumbs
whipped egg
Mazola Corn Oil
Whip egg until well mixed. I make cracker crumbs in my food processor. Process until the cracker have become rather fine crumbs, not a powder fine crumb. Large crumbs do not adhere as well. I might compare to a dry rice sized crumbs.
Dip fillets in whipped egg and then coat with cracker crumbs. Arrange on a cookie sheet in layers lined and layered with waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least one hour. This allows the breading to adhere to the fish and is not lost in the frying pan when cooked.
Heat oil in frying pan. When oil is hot and not smoking, add fillets flesh side down. Turn fillets when flesh has turned a light golden. Season with salt at this time. As soon as the thickest part of the fillet starts to fleck apart or separate, the fillet is done cooking. Remove fillets from skillet to a platter lined with a paper towel. Serve immediately with or without tartar sauce.

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