Susan and I were talking the other day about our nostalgia for McDonalds Filet-o-Fish sandwiches. I remember as a kid, that was the only kind of fish I’d eat. The classic FoF has a hamburger bun, has cheeseburger cheese on the top and bottom of the fried fish patty (which is square) and is topped by a dollop of institutional tartar sauce. So we wanted to see what would happen if we up-scaled this recipe, and it was awesome!!
Step one is we decided to the reduce the size to a “slider” size so we could use fresh-baked Rhodes Rolls (those frozen dough balls we all use for turkey-day). We used high-quality American cheese and made our own tartar sauce. For the fish, we went WAY upscale and got some fresh-caught wild Black Cod from the Local Ocean seafood shop. Here goes!
- 4 high quality fish filets, roughly 3-inches square
- Peanut or grape seed oil for frying
- 4 fresh-baked slider roles (we use Rhodes Rolls)
- 8 slices of quality American cheese
- 1/2 C all purpose flour
- 1/2 C panic breadcrumbs
- 1/2 C finely shredded parmesan
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 C buttermilk
- cayenne pepper
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 C mayonnaise
- 2 T chopped dill pickles (about one wedge)
- 1 T capers, chopped
- 1 T minced chives
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
First, let’s make the tartar sauce (it’s the same one we use for our crab cakes). Just mix everything up in a small bowl and stick it in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.
Get your rolls baked and ready and keep them warm (when they cool off a bit, slice them like a hamburger bun) – it might be a good idea to bake an extra one and test it with some melty butter – you know, quality control.
Also prep your American cheese – if you are doing sliders, you’ll want to square off and make the slices a little smaller. Use the extra strips of “cheese tape” in a lunch salad during the week.
If needed, trim up the fish filets. Our Black Cod came with the skin on, which is great for a fancy dining meal, but not for this recipe, so I sliced that off. Sprinkle filets with salt and pepper.
Gather together three shallow bowls. In the first, add the flour, some salt and pepper and some cayenne. In the second, mix together the egg and the buttermilk. In the third, mix together the panko and the parmesan cheese.
In a heavy bottomed frying pan, heat about 1/4 C of oil to shimmering on medium-high heat.
Dip the filets into flour to coat; shake off excess, then dip into the egg/buttermilk mixture. Shake off and drop into the panko mixture and press to get the panko stuck all over.
Add the prepared filets to the pan of oil and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel to absorb any excess cooking oil.
To build a slider, add a slice of cheese to the bottom piece of the bun, add your golden-brown filet, another piece of cheese and top with a good dollop of tartar sauce. Top with the bun and you are good to go – decadent fast food! There are awesome with roast potatoes crisps – what a fun and insanely tasty weekend meal!