“Frying” has almost become a dirty word in recent years, and much of the criticism is deserved. We know that grease-laden foods add unnecessary fat and calories. But our bodies need some fat. The problem is that we often eat too much of it, especially the “bad” fats.
Obviously, frying adds some fat and calories. But many of the calories and much of the fat in fried seafood are the result of improper cooking. Cooked quickly and with very little oil, fried fish and shellfish can be light and tasteful.
Oil or a combination of oil and butter or margarine can be used. We generally use canola oil and butter.
The keys to successful frying are proper temperature and fast cooking. The ideal temperature for frying fish is 375 F.
Fried seafood is done when it is golden brown. Remove from the oil immediately and drain the fish or shellfish on paper towels. Be careful not to overcook seafood or it will be dry. Just a minute can make a difference.
Lean, firm fish such as flounder are more suitable for frying than fatty species.
If you enjoy fried seafood from time to time–and most of us do–it can be part of your diet. By regularly limiting the amount of fat and calories we eat, we can occasionally enjoy fried fish and shellfish. As with many other things in life, moderation is the key.
Combine vermouth, bay leaf and 6 tablespoons oil. Marinate fillets 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size.
Remove fish from marinade and discard marinade. Salt and pepper fillets, then dredge in flour. Brush with egg. Dip into breadcrumbs, pressing crumbs on gently.
In large skillet, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil to 375 F. Add 3 tablespoons butter and melt. Place fillets in skillet, flesh side down. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Drain on paper towels, then remove to serving dish. Cut into serving size pieces.
Wipe skillet with paper towels. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and cook until foamy and brown. Add garlic and cook lightly but do not brown. Stir in parsley, thyme and lemon juice. Drizzle over fish. Serves 6 to 8.
Contributed by Joyce Taylor