Thanks to a kind co-worker, I was gifted with 4 lbs of fresh fish filets. I was extremely eager to get them home and cook them, because fish filets like this take me straight back to childhood. We took many family vacations to a lake in Minnesota when I was younger, and the catch of the day was the supper of the night. We'd normally dine on panfish, and that is exactly what my co-worker gave me. Upon inspection I saw it was blue gill and crappie, and began to salivate. Delicious! Just how should I prepare these, I wondered? I wanted almost a zero failure risk, because wasting these would just be wrong.
I went for a pretty fool-proof and delectable method-fry it! These were small filets, so I heated up 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan to 350 degrees.
For the coating, I tried two methods on two different nights. The first time, I tried an egg wash, and then a dredge. Second time, sans egg wash. In my opinion the egg wash didn't make much of a difference, seeing as the fish are all...slimy...to begin with (I patted them with paper towel to minimize this a bit). It's up to you. For the egg wash, just beat 2-3 eggs together in a bowl.
The dredge was made with half all-purpose flour, and half corn meal (I think it adds a nice texture, and browns nicely). I seasoned it with salt, pepper, paprika, onion salt, and a lemon pepper spice mix that we had in the cabinet. This was mixed together in a pie plate so the filets could be dredged easily.
The fish filets were covered in the dredge, and placed in the oil with tongs. 1-2 minutes on each side, and they were done. We put them on a cooling rack and then paper towel, so any excess oil could drip off.
These would have made great fish sandwiches, but we just ate them plain with our favorite condiments on the side. It didn't disappoint.