Michael DuBose is executive chef for Southwest Catering, an arm of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. His fish coating does not include salt because, as he notes, “Old Bay -- that is your salt.”
In testing, we found that the fried fillets tasted slightly underseasoned, so you can either add 2 teaspoons of salt to the coating mixture or season to taste at the finish.
Whiting fillets from Argentina are available at Captain White’s Seafood City at the Maine Avenue Fish Market.
The recipe calls for granulated garlic and onion, which are fairly coarse-grained. Do not use fine garlic or onion powder, and do not use garlic or onion salt. For best results, you'll need a thermometer for the oil.
Serve with hot sauce, tartar sauce or mustard.
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup white or yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (see headnote)
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion (see headnote)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 skinless whiting fillets, each about 4 by 6 inches (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
Fill a large, heavy-bottomed skillet about halfway with the oil; preheat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire cooling rack on top of them.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, Old Bay, granulated garlic, granulated onion and black pepper in a large shallow pan.
Working in batches, coat each fillet in the flour mixture. Add one or two flllets at a time to the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry for 5 to 7 minutes, turning the fillets over as needed to create a golden crust, until the fish is cooked through and remains firm when handled with tongs. Transfer to the rack to drain. Repeat to cook all of the fish, discarding any leftover coating mixture.
From DuBose, executive chef of Southwest Catering in the District.
Tested by Tim Carman.
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