Fried Red Snapper

This is a favorite that started out as an accident in graduate school. Obtain 2 full snapper filets. The best way to do this is to go to a good store and have them filet a whole snapper for you. In Pittsburgh, this means you should go to the Penn Avenue Fish Company in the strip, because no other store in Pittsburgh is even half as good. When you get the fish home you will note that it is in two filets, each about 4 or 5 inches long. The pieces have a V-shaped indentation on one end. Use a knife to cut along that indentation to get two or three pieces out of each filet. Go for pieces of uniform thickness.

Now we’re going to bread the fish and fry it.

Bread the fish as follows: flour on a plate, 1 beaten egg mixed with tepid (not warm, not cool) water, bread crumbs on a plate. Dredge in the flour, then dip in the egg then dredge in the bread crumbs.

Fry the fish in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and come up a little on the fish. Do this on medium to medium low heat. You don’t want to burn the outside, but you want it to brown nicely and leave some brown bits in the plan.

Three or four minutes per side should be enough depending on how thick the fish is. I do this in a 10 inch frying pan, so it takes two batches to get all the fish done. Store the fish in a warm baking dish or something to keep it warm while you do the second batch.

After the fish is all fried, deglaze the pan with white wine. Add a chopped garlic glove, a bit of salt, a little water or broth, and a few grinds of pepper. Turn the heat to high and let this reduce then melt a small chunk of butter in the mixture and mix it around to emulsify it.

Serve the fish with the sauce and whatever you like. I like Bok Choy and Whole Foods Tater Tots (really!). Pasta also works. Rice also works (and is better than pasta, because I’m Chinese).