1 lb. crappie fish fillets
1 lemon cut in half plus 2 tsp. lemon juice for the sauce
Salt to sprinkle on fish
Freshly ground black pepper to sprinkle on fish
4 T. butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ large onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, mashed and chopped
2 cups milk
2 scant T. prepared horseradish
3/4 tsp. salt for the sauce mixture, taste and add more, if desired
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper for sauce mixture
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup dried plain breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 light shakes from a 1.5 oz. jar of red cayenne pepper
3-6 English muffins (Bay’s brand refrigerated English muffins are my favorite)
3-6 Roma tomatoes, sliced vertically into 4 slices per tomato
Wash, drain, and pat dry the fish fillets with paper towels. Squeeze the lemon evenly over both sides of the dry fish fillets.
Spray-oil a 3 qt. glass-baking dish. Place the dry fish fillets in the baking dish and lightly salt and pepper; then squeeze ½ of the lemon evenly over the tops. Turn the fish fillets over and repeat the process. Set aside or cover and refrigerate.
Using a large non-stick skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in the flour to blend. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes – the color will get slightly darker.
Reduce the heat and add the onions and garlic. The mixture will be thick at this point, continue to stir and spread the thick mixture until the onions are soft, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and slowly stir in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil; then immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook and stir continuously for about 5 minutes; then stir occasionally for about 25 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Stir in and blend the horseradish, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce; then allow the sauce to cool.
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is preheating, use a small bowl to mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and cayenne pepper until all ingredients are blended and moistened.
Spoon the cooled sauce over the tops of the fish fillets; then evenly sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Finally, sprinkle with paprika for color.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes – the tops of the fish fillets should be a golden brown.
To serve: place 2 slices of tomato on each freshly toasted English muffin half. Use a spatula to lift a cooked fish fillet with the crispy sauce onto the toasted English muffin half. A dish of extra sauce can be served on the side.
Serves: 3 to 6.