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Growing up in Michigan almost always meant fried fish on Friday nights. Here in Wisconsin, the Friday-night fish fry is taken to a whole different level. Almost every restaurant has its own rendition of a fish fry, but the classic supper club spread tends to include battered and fried haddock, french fries, rye bread with butter and coleslaw.
I personally love this combination, but on occasion I like to stay in on Friday nights and make a unique version of the classic Friday-night fare. Fresh white fish is tossed in seasoned flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs and baked until tender and flaky with a crispy exterior and served with homemade caper dill tartar sauce with a side of hand-spiralized and roasted beet and sweet potato fries with just the right amount of color, crunch and saltiness. And don’t forget the old fashioned cocktail—make it a brandy sweet.
2 medium unpeeled sweet potatoes, washed
2 medium unpeeled beets, washed
2 Tbsp. oil
1/4-1/2 tsp. coarse salt
4 (4-6 oz.) white fish fillets (cod or haddock), skin removed
1 tsp. each coarse salt and ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. chopped capers
1 Tbsp. chopped dill pickles
1 tsp. pickle juice or lemon juice
Pinch each coarse salt and ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Using a spiralizer, spiralize sweet potatoes and beets. Place on a greased baking sheet and toss with oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake 25-35 minutes until very crispy, tossing occasionally with tongs. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt if necessary. Then coat a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack with cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle fish fillets with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set up three bowls: one with the flour and a pinch of salt, pepper and cayenne; one with beaten egg and a pinch of salt and pepper; and another with panko and a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Coat fish fillets with flour, then egg wash, then panko and place on the greased baking rack. Coat each fillet with cooking spray. Bake 10-12 minutes, flipping once and coating with additional cooking spray until outside is crispy and interior temperature reaches 145 degrees.
5. While fish and curly fries bake, prepare tartar sauce by whisking together all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve fish with tartar sauce and a side of crispy curly fries.
Julie Andrews is a registered dietitian and culinary-school trained chef who loves sharing fresh, wholesome food recipes on her food blog, The Gourmet RD.