COOKIN' OLD SCHOOL: ONION-CRUSTED WHITE PERCH
There are some things that are timeless- like catching white perch in the winter, and then cooking a delicious fish dinner. Oh sure, white perch is fantastic from the fryer, but I am going old school:: Onion-Crusted White Perch
This time of year, largemouth are finicky, hunkered down in their holes with thoughts of pre-spawn dancing in their heads. Stripers are off limits in a lot of areas. But White Perch on light tackle? There's a day of fun followed by some good eatin'. The flesh of White Perch is a lot like the black bass of summer, so a lot of your black bass favorites would do just fine. But In the winter, I like to throw it back a great tasting, rib sticking, tummy warming favorite. Remember what mom used to throw on the green bean cassarole? RIGHT! Crispy onions! Here's what you need:
2 lbs fillets: This is not an exact science, if you want two fresh white perch fillets per person for four, you will need 6-8 perch by my estimate
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Creole seasoning ( or Old Bay or whatever is your favorite. I use Emeril's Seafood Spice.
1 (6-ounce) package french-fried onions, finely crushed ( crushing is always the fun part)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish.
Here's what you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lay fillets out in a ceramic baking dish just large enough to hold them.
Brush with olive oil and dust with a little of the creole seasoning, Don't go crazy with this, you are going to put more in the sauce (see below)
Sprinkle the tops with the crushed fried onions.
Bake at 350 for 15 to 18 minutes or until fish begins to flake apart.
MEANWHILE... Mix together the mayo, the one tteaspoon of creole seasoning and the horse radish. You are making a sort of cajun tartar sauce.
Puttin' it all together:
Serve fish with creole sauce (on the side so people can sauce to their taste) and lemon wedges.