"I come from the South. We ate a lot of catfish, hush puppies, coleslaw, and Tabasco sauce," says the author of Exotic Herbs, Carole Saville, who now resides in Northern California. "The fish wasn't farmed; it was from local waters. Today catfish tastes like the meal they feed it. I like orange roughy, cod, salmon, and halibut these days."
1. Place a 10- by 15-inch nonstick pan in a 500° oven until pan is hot, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, on a plate mix cornmeal, paprika, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
3. In a shallow bowl, beat egg white and milk to blend.
4. Rinse fish fillets, pat dry, and cut into serving-size pieces.
5. Coat fish with egg white mixture, then cornmeal mixture. Set aside in a single layer.
6. When pan is hot, mist lightly with cooking oil spray. Quickly arrange fish pieces well apart in pan. Bake until fish is browned on bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn over and continue baking until fish is golden on top and opaque but still moist-looking in thickest part (cut to test), 2 to 3 minutes longer.
7. Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise, pickle relish, onion, and vinegar to make tartar sauce.
8. With a wide spatula, transfer fish to plates; add salt to taste. Serve with tartar sauce and hot sauce.