I think nondescript fish fillets are one of those treasured foodstuffs that are always a good grab as you peruse the supermarket. I think it’s as valid a blank canvas as chicken and more tasty to boot. I remember when I was younger my parents would sometimes get flounder, bread it and cook it in the oven and I always loved it. Now, many of us are lucky enough to have a greater assortment of fish available throughout the year and the ability to grab and effortlessly cook up whatever looks good/is on sale is a powerful asset to the home cook. I try to eat fish at least once a week for reasons both of both health and deliciousness. Sometimes I go for broke with my fish prep, but when life gets hard and we get busy, you gotta be able to shoot from the hip. Three steps to yummy fish. Go!
Step One: Buy the fish. Health professionals sing the praises of fish and with good reason. This is not a nutrition site and I won’t bore you extolling the virtues of omega-3’s for pages on end (btw- if omega-3 is your bottom line, opt for wild tilapia). Long story short: Fish? Yes. Go to it. Look for smooth, unbroken flesh and a lack of that sad, tired look. Keep cold until use, no more than 2 days. If the fish is fresh (just ask), you can freeze it yourself. If it’s previously frozen, do not re-freeze (if you need it frozen ask, buy it frozen- they usually have extra they haven’t thawed yet). As long as the tag doesn’t say “previously frozen”, (wild or farmed) you’re fine.
Step Two: Bread it. You can easily use store-bought crumbs. I would recommend the seasoned ones. I use the Italian variety all the time, but their are several. Making fresh is easy enough. I used them recently, but mainly because I had leftovers. There wasn’t a huge difference and the fresh can burn more easily. Another option is to mix in you fave dry spices. I love adding ground chipotle to the breading for some smokey heat. Anyway- beat one egg and add to a shallow dish and add the crummies to another. Dip the fish filets in one then the other. I try to pat down the crumbs to get a denser coating. Let them rest for 20 minutes (keep cool).
Step Three: Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in your grill-pan between medium and medium-high. Sometimes I drizzle the fish as well so the coating will cook up crisper (this is where fresh crumbs would help). Carefully place in the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Flip once. Cook until flesh is *at least* 131 F. Merry Fishmas! I mean… Buon Apetito!