The typical fish-fry menu involves a lot of deep-frying: fish, potatoes, hush puppies…and while certainly tasty, it’s a nightmare of too much “friedness” with only the relief of coleslaw and tartar sauce on the side to add any variation to the plate. So a reinvention was in order to make this menu more palatable and varied in texture.

Tonight’s Basa filets are prepared for pan-frying as opposed to the deep-fry method.
After dredging in flour and egg wash, they are breaded with finely-ground fresh cornbread crumbs that have been seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices. After a short chill in the refrigerator to set the crumb topping, the  filets are then pan-fried in a puddle of vegetable oil and butter in a skillet until perfectly crispy on the outside and wonderfully tender inside. Using the cornbread crumbs negates the need for hushpuppies (to my mind), and gives the fish a delightfully crunchy texture. The potatoes are steamed (although you could also boil them). The tartar sauce and coleslaw remain intact, but with some variation as well—I didn’t want to have two different mayonnaise-based components in the menu, so the slaw is made with vinaigrette.

Shallow-fried Basa filets breaded in fine cornbread crumbs and served with Eddie’s dill-and-caper tartar sauce
Steamed baby potatoes
Coleslaw of cabbage, carrots, and scallions with cider vinaigrette and celery seeds

A perfect tangerine