It should be a simple concept, but I’ve managed to screw it up plenty. A couple of principles to remember: the closer you can keep the oil to 350, the better things will end up. As we’ve discussed on here before, there’s a lot that will drop the temperature. Cold food can, but you can offset this with a higher volume of oil, or by fine tuning the amount of heat. While fryers do this well, mines in the basement and I rarely have enough oil to run it. The alternative is to use a saucepan with a neutral oil and do it right on your stove top. I made fish for the adults (another post) and with the leftover cuts I made fried fish nuggets for the kids.
Fried grouper nuggets
The amounts aren’t as important as not putting in to much salt. Balance it however you wish.
Fill your sauce pan with neutral oil. I was just about out altogether, so I had to use a combination of canola and grape seed. In a saucepan over high heat, wait until your temperature is 350. If you have the patience or you don’t have a candy thermometer, just wait until the oil starts to smoke. Most of these oils will have a smoke point of right around 350 degrees or so. Don’t start a fire, even if you have a hydrant in front of your house and a fire station at the end of the street like I do.
In two bowls, place a little milk or buttermilk if you wish in one, and your cornmeal mixture in the other. Soak the pieces of fish in the milk, and dredge in the flour. When you have it good and coated, place carefully in the oil and cook until golden brown.
You may need to flip once. Use a slotted spoon or a fish spatula.