Fish Fillets in Potato Crust
When I made Gomel-Style Cutlets a while back I threatened to coat other foods to be pan-fried in grated potato, and now I've finally done it. This is a bit like fish and chips, chips included with the fish. A little cole slaw or other salad should finish the meal nicely.
This is a very simple way to cook fish, but I'd say there are two points to watch carefully for success. The first is to be sure your fish fillets are as dry as you can reasonably get them, or the potato crust won't stick well. The second is that while they are being cooked, do not press them down into the oil. I did that, and it packed the potato together too firmly - I believe it would have been a little more crispy if I had managed to refrain. Still, we all enjoyed these and I will try to improve my technique by making it again.
30 to 40 minutes prep time
675 grams (1.5 pounds) white fish fillets
1/3 cup barley or wheat flour
freshly ground black pepper OR other seasonings to taste
2 large eggs
450 grams (1 pound; 3 medium-large) white potatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
mild vegetable oil to fry
If you start with frozen fish, it must be thawed. In any case, unwrap the fish fillets and lay them on a good pad of paper or kitchen towels; if kitchen towels preferably clean, but not your good ones. Let them blot and dry thoroughly while you prepare the other ingredients.
Put the flour on a plate and mix in any seasonings you wish to use. I kept it simple with just some pepper, but a little paprika and thyme would be a good choice. Whisk the eggs on another plate. Wash, peel, and grate the potatoes. Mix them with the salt and let them sit for a few minutes, then squeeze them well to remove and discard as much liquid from them as possible. Put them on another plate.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Pour in about 1/4" of oil. While it heats, coat each fish fillet in flour on both sides, then in egg on both sides, and then in the potatoes, ensuring an even coating of potato all over. Lay them in the hot oil and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until golden-brown. If they do not all fit in the pan (unlikely unless you are using a fairly large griddle) put them on a platter in the oven, kept warm at 200°F until they are all done. Add a little more oil to the pan as required in cooking them. Serve as quickly as possible.
Last year at this time I made Apple-Peanut Cole-Slaw with Coconut-Curry Dressing.