Buttery Potato-Crusted Fish


by Frank Davis / WWL-TV Cooking Expert


Posted on June 8, 2010 at 7:33 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 8:07 PM

Frank’s Buttery Potato-Crusted Fish With Spicy Creamer Potatoes and Side Salad

Take about a half-dozen fish fillets and season them up with a spicy buttermilk.  Then roll them in potato flakes, pan sauté them in butter until flaky, crunchy and crispy, and serve them alongside baby red potatoes (B-creamers) and a cold green side salad.  What you end up with is a truly mouth-watering meal.  Of course, the best part of it all is. . .it’s so doggoned easy to prepare!

The Crusted Fish

6 redfish, drum, sheephead, or catfish fillets
1 cup cultured buttermilk
2 tablespoons Creole or Dijon mustard
3/4 cup finely diced yellow onions
4 cloves garlic, almost pureed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning
2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
2 tablespoons butter or spread
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 lemons, sliced into wedges
The Spicy Boiled Potatoes

2 pounds baby red B-creamer potatoes
1/3 cup Frank Davis Seafood Boil
1 stick softened butter
1 cup sour cream
Salt and black pepper to taste

The Side Salad

1/2 pound baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1 small Vidalia onion, sliced in half rings
1 small yellow squash, small diced
1 small zucchini, small diced
1 teaspoon Frank Davis Sprinkling Spice
1/2 cup mixed cheese, shredded
Salad dressing, salt, black pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Start off by using a shallow bowl to combine the buttermilk, mustard, onions, garlic, pepper, salt and seafood seasoning.    Then pour out the potato flakes in another shallow bowl (or baking pan).  When everything is in place on the countertop, dip the fish fillets into the buttermilk mixture (shaking off any excess liquid) then dredge them in the potato flakes (taking care to coat them thoroughly).  Simply repeat the process over and over to coat all the fillets.

Next, melt the butter or spread (plus 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil) in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Then, without crowding the fillets, add the fish to the pan very gently and cook them 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until they turn a golden brown and flake when tested with a fork.  When they’re done, place them on a warming platter and squeeze the juice of one lemon wedge over each fillet.  Repeat the procedure until all the fish is done.

To do the potatoes, bring a stockpot full of water to a rapid boil, pour in the seafood boil seasoning, and then drop in the B-creamers. Then over a medium fire, slowly poach the potatoes until they become fork tender.  When they’re done, remove them from the water and set them aside as well.  Serve them with the crusted fillets with lots of butter and sour cream.

All that’s left is to make the salad.  Combine all the ingredients (except the Parmesan cheese) in a large ice-cold bowl and toss them thoroughly to mix everything uniformly.  Then dish out the salad on individual cold pasta plates or bowls, sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese to taste, and serve alongside one of the crispy fish fillets and several hot buttered baby creamer potatoes.
Chef’s Notes:

Any firm fish fillet will do nicely for this recipe—redfish, drum, sheepshead, snapper, tilapia or even catfish.   Just try to keep the fillets about 4-6 ounces each so that each one will cook all the way through.

Take care not to buy potato buds to do this recipe—the box must say “flakes.”  Only the flakes will coat the fish and produce a crunchy texture.

If you so desire, feel free to add a little extra Dijon mustard to the buttermilk—it will give you a spicier blend.  You can also add a little seafood seasoning to the buttermilk as well.

To turn the fillets in the skillet, use two spatulas (egg turners—(one on top and one on the bottom of each fillet)—to hold the fillets together and prevent them from flaking and falling apart.