Keith and Jo Ann's Krispy Cajun Fish Fry

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Alright, alright. We know this is the same recipe for the fish tacos. But this is how it was meant to be eaten, in its purest form, with a yummy side of mac and cheese and a salad. That's how we first had it at Jo Ann and Keith's in Nebraska, who are Rick's cousins and two of the best cooks you'll ever meet.  They were kind enough to give us this recipe and it is PURE GENIUS. It deserves its own blog post. Thanks Jo Ann and Keith for welcoming us into your beautiful home! And for keeping our bellies happy!

Servings: 4
Prep time: 1.5 - 2 hours
Cook time: 5 - 7 minutes
- buttermilk
- 8 fish filets (any white fleshed fish like crappie or white bass), skin removed
- 1/2 stack of Ritz Crackers, about 15 crackers
- equal amounts of Japanese Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 3/4 tbs. blackened seasoning, or to taste 
- salt, to taste
- 1 egg, beaten

1. Soak fish filets in buttermilk. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
2. In a zip-lock bag, crush the Ritz Crackers with a rolling pin, into a fine powder.

 Like so.

3. Pour an equal amount of Japanese "Panko" Bread Crumbs to the zip lock bag, so you get a mixture that is 50% Ritz Cracker and 50% "Panko."

It doesn't matter which brand. "Panko" is sold almost every where now. 
4. Add blackened seasoning to the zip-lock bag. Shake well to mix all ingredients together.

This recipe is great because you can make the breadcrumb mixture in bulk to always have it on hand. Just store in the same zip-lock bag. 

5. Take fish filets out of the buttermilk and give them a quick rinse. Discard the buttermilk. Pat fish dry with paper towels. Lightly salt filets (optional).

Prepare dredging station: Pour the breadcrumb mixture onto a shallow dish, beat one egg in a bowl. 

Dip fish filets in egg mixture, then coat well with the breadcrumb mixture.

Resist licking your fingers. 

6. On a dish, lay coated filets on a single layer. Place in the freezer for ten minutes. This will help the crumbs stick to the fish better. 

TIP: Since we were making fish tacos, we chose to keep the filets large. For crispier fish, you can cut the fish into smaller chunks and bread them that way. That's what Keith and Jo Ann did.
7. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large pan. Fry fish for 3-4 minutes each side, or until it turns golden brown. Flip over and fry the other side. 

Do not over crowd the pan. Cook in batches. Drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately.

Tip: Use a spatula. Large filets can easily fall apart.

Here is a nice picture of Jo Ann and Keith. 

Even in his 70s, Keith is still hunting ducks.

Jo Ann is an amazing painter of waterfowl and landscapes. She also puts up with her husband.