Crappie Crispy Strips & Breakfast Taco

Golden, tasty strips of crappie fillets will become most pleasing after the batter ingredients have had time to mingle for at least an hour but longer is better; even up to five days of mingling. The added time becomes an enhancer as the beer and spices make their magic with the flour. Heck, it’ll make your tongue slap your face begging for more. So don’t be skimpy with the fish. Crappie will be the last but indispensable element to join the other components creating fabulous fried fish sticks. I recommend stirring the batter once a day to let the tasty molecules marry.

 

1 pound crappie fillets, cut into finger-like strips

12 ounces ale or 12 ounces any full-bodied beer

1 1/2 cups corn flour (see below)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to suit your taste)

1 cup all-purpose flour

Canola oil for frying

 

Pour beer into a large bowl. Add the corn flour, salt, paprika and cayenne to the bowl and whisk until you have light and frothy batter. Refrigerate for a least an hour but up to five days. In a deep fryer or deep skillet, heat a minimum of two inches of oil to 375 degrees F. Dredge fillets in flour, shaking off any excess, and then dip them in the beer batter, coating them well. Fry in oil until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce and a hot sauce of your choosing. Be warned: you’ll want more than you’ve cooked.

 

 

Corn Flour: Used in Crispy Crappie and Breakfast Taco recipes.

A powdery flour made of finely ground cornmeal and shouldn’t be confused with cornstarch. The exception is in British and Australian recipes where the term “cornflour” is used synonymously with the U.S. word cornstarch. Corn flour comes in yellow and white and is used for breading and in combination with other flours in baked goods. Corn flour is milled from the whole kernel, while cornstarch, (a thickening agent) is obtained from the endosperm portion of the kernel.

Masa Harina is a special corn flour that is the basic ingredient for corn tortillas. White corn flour blends well with other food ingredients and can be blended with wheat flour to reduce gluten in cakes, cookies, pastries and crackers. White corn flour is used as a filler, binder and thickener in cookies, pastries and meat industries.

Masa Harina has been soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution. It is used for making corn tortillas, tamales, pupusas and many other Latin American dishes. The full name is masa de maíz; the dried and powdered form is called masa harina, masa de harina and sometimes Maseca, the name of a leading commercial brand. It is reconstituted with water before use.

In Spanish masa harina translates to “dough flour” and can refer to many types of dough in addition to the specific subject of the following recipe.

 

Breakfast Taco

1 dozen large eggs

Salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 russet potato (8 ounces), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeño chili: stemmed, seeded and minced

 

Tip. When cooking eggs, pay attention to your pan’s thickness because the thickness will affect the cooking time. If you’re using an electric stovetop for your eggs, heat a second burner on low and move the skillet to it when it’s time to adjust the heat. You can substitute store-bought tortillas for the homemade, but why not create your own?

 

Whisk eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in bowl until thoroughly combined and mixture is pure yellow. Set aside. Melt butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potato and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until tender. Add onion and jalapeño and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned. Add egg mixture and stir constantly using a spatula. Firmly scrape along bottom and sides of skillet until eggs begin to clump and spatula leaves trail on bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to low. Gently but constantly fold egg mixture until clumped and slightly wet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill tortillas with egg mixture and serve immediately offering salsa, Monterey Jack, scallions and lime wedges separately.

 

Corn Flour Tortillas

Your homemade tortillas will be thicker, fresher, chewier and altogether different and better than the store-bought flattened corn cakes.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)

 

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and cornmeal. Add baking powder and salt. Mix together well with warm water. On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth. Divide dough into 10 to 12 pieces. Flatten each piece of dough by hand and then roll into 8- to 9-inch round tortilla. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease the hot pan and place one tortilla in the pan. Cook tortilla until light brown, turning to ensure equal browning. Repeat process to make remaining tortillas.

 

TIP: When you purchase food items at your local grocery store, you have probably noticed a printed sell by date, use by date or best before date on the packaging or item itself and wonder just what that date really means. At eatbydate.com the staff is trying to make sure that you are fully informed about the true “shelf life” of the most popular food items. Most foods are still edible after the printed expiration dates have passed.

Three More Facts:

  1. Food Can Be Sold After a Date Expires – Stores are not legally required to remove food from the shelf once the expiration date has passed. The expiration dates are strictly “advisory” in nature and are left entirely to the discretion of the manufacturer, thus not truly indicative of an items true Shelf Life.
  2. Food Dates Are Not Required By Law – With the exception of infant formula and baby food, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require food companies to place dates on their food products. The only requirement is that the food is wholesome and fit for consumption.
  3. Laws Vary By State – States have varying food dating laws. For example, many states require that milk and other perishables be sold before the expiration date, while others do not.