Pan Fried Fish Fillet
2-4 Haddock fillets, depending on size
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Stem fresh rosemary or thyme
Salt and Pepper to season
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/2 Lemon cut into wedges for garnish
1 Teaspoon dry thyme (or rosemary, or dill)
About 3/4 Cups flour
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
1/2 -1 Tablespoon butter
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat until a drop of water dropped in the center of the pan sizzles immediately. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the stem of rosemary and heat for about another 3 minutes. While the oil is heating and infusing with the rosemary, prepare the fillets. Arrange your work station so that the lightly beaten egg is in a shallow dish large enough to accommodate each fillet, in another shallow dish that can hold the fillets combine the flour, salt and pepper, dry thyme or rosemary, garlic and onion powder. If desired here is where the zest from 1/2 a lemon would also go. Whisk the flour so all the spices are evenly distributed. Working with one fillet at a time, dunk the fillet in the egg wash, and then dredge the fillet in the flour coating. Place each dredged fillet on a piece of parchment paper for about a minute to let the coating set. Then begin frying.
Carefully place each fillet in the pan, and pan fry for about 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Drop the butter in the pan and cook each side an additional 1/2-1 minute in the butter. Check that the fillets are cooked either with a thermometer or by checking to see if the fish is starting to flake when opened with a fork.
As a proud Nova Scotian by birth I prefer to use this recipe with a lovely haddock fillet, but since I moved to the little rock island of Newfoundland I have discovered that this recipe works equally as well with a lovely cod fillet.
There are also a few nice little tricks to use when doing a pan fried fish. First never ever crowd the pan, the fish needs space to cook evenly. Second fish is a delicate protein, fish spend their whole lives in water and water gives a lot more support than air, so the protein itself is so much more delicate than chicken or pork. This makes it difficult to turn the fish over in the pan. So you will need a nice wide spatula, and in an ideal world it would be one with a smooth and really thin edge so it can nudge under the fillet easily. Don't use the spatula you let your boy friend use and he melted the edges down into the shape of your bbq grill for fish basically. Finally don't drown the pan in oil, pan fried fish should have a nice light flavor to it, without tasting like it was deep fried. Pan fried is the lighter version of fish an chips.
Some other little tidbits, I like to finish the fish with about 1/2 tablespoon of butter at the end just to add some extra flavor, but that is a skipable step, the fish is delicious without the butter as well. Also feel free to get creative with the spices used, my standby spice blend for fish is salt, pepper, garlic, onion, with rosemary or thyme as the herb note. But some lemon zest in the coating is also awesome, and while I do not enjoy the taste of dill, some dill weed instead of the rosemary of thyme is something others really enjoy. Sometimes I also do half flour and half panko style bread crumb as my coating for a crunchier finish.
So let us get this fish fry started!