"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."
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
About 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon nonfat milk or water
1 pound skinned, boned fish fillets (such as catfish, orange roughy, or rockfish), about 1/2 inch thick
Cooking oil spray
1/4 cup nonfat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
How to Make It
Place a 10- by 15-inch nonstick pan in a 500° oven until pan is hot, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, on a plate mix cornmeal, paprika, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
In a shallow bowl, beat egg white and milk to blend.
Rinse fish fillets, pat dry, and cut into serving-size pieces.
Coat fish with egg white mixture, then cornmeal mixture. Set aside in a single layer.
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.
Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise, pickle relish, onion, and vinegar to make tartar sauce.
With a wide spatula, transfer fish to plates; add salt to taste. Serve with tartar sauce and hot sauce.