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Old 02-23-2007, 12:03 AM   #1
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Need help with fish

O.K. well I just started a cook job p/t at the local bar. So Lent is here and they are doing a fish fry every Friday. Well the main cook there orders frozen cod fillets and thaws them in water on Thursday and leaves them in water till Friday in the walk in. She then told me just to pick a piece out of the water butterfly it and coat it with 50/50 flour & breadcrumbs then into the fryer. Now where are the seasonings? The fish is waterlogged and falling apart and everyone is blaming me(the new guy).
The Owner doesn't know anything in the kitchen and doesn't want any batter of any kind. So what would be a proper way to thaw the fish and season it before hitting the oil? Help

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Old 02-23-2007, 12:10 AM   #2
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Get another job. Seriously, though, you are probably fighting a losing battle. I'm aghast. This so wrong on so may levels.

VERA...hurry up and come back from New Orleans. We need your expertise.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:25 AM   #3
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Yeah, it sucks but I have to work there for now. My wife has bartended there for a long time and everyone loves the both of us. The former cook just up and quit. They asked me one night if I would work 2 nights a week (Cash)
I haven't cooked in a restaurant in 10 years...
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:01 AM   #4
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I'm sorry to hear that you're kind of stuck between a rock and hard place but, at least, you can work with your wife. That's a real positive thing. And, of course, the cash thing is a real incentive. Be careful with that, too. It could come back and bite you in the butt.

As far as the fish issue is concerned, I don't think it should be "swimming" (sorry for the comment) in water all night. That is probably what contributes to its falling apart when it is cooked. I've never had to prepare fish in the quantity you probably have to, nor in the time frame. However, there are plenty of other folks on this board who will be able to give you expert advice. Just be patient. The answers will come.
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:10 AM   #5
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Thank you... Yeah I'm just helping them out. I have a full time job. But now that I'm there I know that what they are doing is wrong and I want it to be right...lol
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flgshp99
Thank you... Yeah I'm just helping them out. I have a full time job. But now that I'm there I know that what they are doing is wrong and I want it to be right...lol
They're doing everything wrong. Thaw the fish in the cooler [fridge] overnight. If you thaw it in water make sure it drains well, you can pat it dry with paper towelling.
1/2 and 1/2 breadcrumb and flour, wow! that's different, never tried that. How about crumbed? make a batter with the flour a little thicker than milk, dust the fish in the flour, dip in the batter mix then crumb.
If you're having a Friday fish fry I wouldn't worry to much about seasoning, the fish itself should be tasty enough
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:48 AM   #7
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Not to play devil's advocate, but I used to let already thawed perch, bass, crappie and walleye filets soak in milk overnight in the fridge and it never made the fish soggy by dinnertime. I know fish has different textures, but I'm wondering if the fish is any good to begin with, like maybe it was thawed and refrozen before.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
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well cod is very mild. a little salt and pepper will keep the flour and crumb from tasting like mush. I also would make sure the fish is well dried before flouring. Ideally you would do flour (light dusting), egg dip, bread crumbs (seasoned). fry.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:59 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your replies..... Yes, I believe the fish is not that great 2 begin
The owner dosen't want any batter going on in the process. It's a VERY small kitchen and she thinks it will make 2 big a mess. I was thinking of thawing the fish in the walk in then leting it drain in a pan so, it dry when you go to get a piece. Then dust it with flour, dunk it in some milk, and in to some breadcrumbs.
Will seasoning the breadcrumbs lose their flavor once cooked? I was told that a while ago. or season the milk?
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:07 PM   #10
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First, stop thawing the fish in water. It is unneccessary. Move it from the freezer to the refrigerator on Thursday. Truthfully, I prefer a nice beer batter myself, but if the owner doesn't want you to batter them, well, it is HIS bar.

On Friday, lay out some paper towels and place the fillets on them, turning once after about 10 minutes, to dry. Set up three plates about the size of a pie plate, or use pie plates, leading to the deep fryer. Put flour in the first plate, egg wash (a mixture of 1/4 cup water for each egg used) in the second plate, and bread crumbs in the third. You can season the flour, the egg wash, the bread crumbs, or all three, or not, as you wish. The seasoning can be as simple as salt & pepper (with or without a touch of garlic powder), or a full blown cajun type seasoning such as Emeril Lagasse's Essence, depending on what the locals like. I don't suggest a commercial Cajun seasoning mix because they are loaded with salt. If you decide to try Cajun, make your own. There are a multitude of recipes on the internet, including Emeril's.

Now, starting with a dry fillet, dredge it in the flour, submerse it in the egg wash, roll it in the bread crumbs, and lay it GENTLY in the deep fryer basket. Use one hand only, so your "fryer basket handle" hand stays clean and dry. Put as many as will fit comfortably into the basket without crowding, then lower it slowly into the fryer. When they float, they're done.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:17 PM   #11
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Wink

Just another thought here, if they don't want batter, I would make sure you press the water out of the fish w/paper towels, dip in just milk and then your 50-50 mix. Let it dry a bit and fry. Let us know how your progress is going. Good Luck !
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:24 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone.....Yeah I think the biggest problem is them leaving the fish
sitting in water overnight and the fish is getting waterlogged and falling apart in the water. I try to "ring" the fish out...lol..before putting it into the crumbs
I just have to convince the main cook that her way isn't working..lol
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:11 PM   #13
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I'd avoid the milk due to food allergies/intolerance. JMO
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:32 PM   #14
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I'd avoid the milk due to food allergies/intolerance. JMO
right on....never thought of that
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:51 PM   #15
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If someone is lactose intolerant or allergic the fish might give them some distress and you wouldn't want that.

Can I ask why the owner wants fish on the menu in the first place if he/she doesn't want to handle/prepare it correctly?
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:21 PM   #16
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Well the owners just bought the place about 1 year ago. They turned the place around and paid it off fairly quick like 6 months.
Neither have a clue about the kitchen and the main cook leads them to believe she has a clue about running the kitchen. The kitchen was contracted out for along time before they bought it.
They just started doing the fish and most of the customers don't have the most discerning pallet. I think they are starting to realize what is up now and I want to help them.
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:02 PM   #17
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"""Will seasoning the breadcrumbs lose their flavor once cooked"""

Not realy, but the seasoning will eventually taint the oil. I've seen a business go broke using lemon/pepper seasoning, everything ended up tasting of lemon/pepper.

I'd like to add to the crumbed fish floating when cooked, the fish will come to the surface, sort off, but don't wait until it lays flat on top of the oil, it will then be overcooked, you will soon know by the colour of the crumb
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:06 PM   #18
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Maybe just using flour will help the oil stay cleaner longer w/just S& P !
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb L.
Maybe just using flour will help the oil stay cleaner longer w/just S& P !
I'm afraid it doesn't Barb, the flour leaves the fish like a cloud and damages the oil moreso than crumbs do. Sorry about that, it's just that I'm very fussy at work as to what goes in my oils, each vat costs me $50AU to fill x 5 vats so I look after them.
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:56 PM   #20
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Thanks, would have never thought that! Glad you replied !
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