Well, hello there! Long time no see.
It’s been eight months of radio silence, but I’m back. I have some banked recipes that I’ll be posting in the near future, but I wanted to share this simple dinner first.
Cracker crusts are really versatile. You can use them on fish, chicken, vegetables, and a lot more. You can bake them, deep fry them, or shallow pan fry them and they end up crunchy and golden and delicious.
Halibut’s in season, and I picked up a lovely 1-lb. skin-on filet tonight.
A thick piece like this is not perfect for frying, because you run the risk of burning the crust without fully cooking the center. I opted to bake it in a 475° oven instead.
The cracker crust is very simple, but it’s a multi-stage process. I like to use Ritz crackers because of their buttery flavor, but you can use just about any kind. Crush them nice and small for the best coverage.
Here are the ingredients for the crust:
- 1/2 cup cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp white pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
The flour and egg wash will probably be more than you need, so if you scale up the recipe to prepare more food, just increase the crackers.
You’ll want to set up three “stations,” one for each portion of the breading process. Pie plates work great for this. I didn’t have three clean pie plates, and the small plates I ended up using were a little awkward – you want more surface area if you’re breading a large object like that filet.
For the first station, blend the salt and pepper into the flour. On the third, spread the cracker crumbs.
The one that goes in the middle is the egg wash. Beat together the egg and milk.
I didn’t get any photos of the actual breading process, because it’s fast and not terribly compatible with handling a camera.
First, pat the surface of the fish dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Dredge it in the seasoned flour until well coated, then shake off the excess. I just coated the flesh side of the fish, since I was going to bake it skin-side down. If you’re frying, make sure all surfaces are coated.
Next, dip it in the egg wash and let the excess drain off for a few seconds.
Finally, roll the fish in the cracker crumbs until well coated. They should stick to the egg wash.
This filet was about 2″ at its thickest point, so it took 20 minutes to cook at 475°. Don’t overcook your fish – it just needs to be opaque and flaky.
Here’s the cooked filet, all nice and browned on the outside:
I couldn’t for the life of me get a good picture of the inside, but white fish looks like white fish
I hope you enjoy this super versatile technique, and it’s nice to be back!