CrappieNow 2019 Recipes

Ver(n)onique Fillets

I thought I would personalize this French fish dish by adding the letter (“n”) into the term Véronique, which means to “prepare with or to … Continue reading Ver(n)onique Fillets

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I thought I would personalize this French fish dish by adding the letter (“n”) into the term Véronique, which means to “prepare with or to garnish a dish with grapes”, usually a white seedless variety. Grapes don’t show up until late in the preparation but let’s look at grapes and wines that will pare deliciously with Veronique fillets.

Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are the three most popular white wines in the world and get the most attention, but there are 20 different white varietals that are very popular. Here’s a closer look at the top three wines plus my favorite, Pinot Grigio, with a focus on which wine regions produce the best wines with these grapes.

Chardonnay is one of the world’s most popular white grape varieties and wines made with Chardonnay grapes can be found on just about any wine list. The legendary Burgundy wine region of France is traditionally acknowledged as the home of Chardonnay grapes, although Chardonnay wines from California and Australia are also popular. Californian winemakers began experimenting with a Chardonnay to rival those from Burgundy in the 1960s and by the mid-1970s had created wines that were the equal of any from Burgundy.

Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape variety best known for its crisp, dry and refreshing white wines. The traditional home of Sauvignon is in France, especially within the wine-growing regions of Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. Sauvignon Blanc grapes are is very expressive of its local natural environment including factors such as the soil, topography and climate, and can range in flavor from grassy to sweet and in aroma from floral to fruity, depending on whether the grape is being grown in a cooler or more tropical climate.

The traditional home of Riesling grapes is the Rhine region of Germany, especially the wine-growing sub-regions of Mosel and Rheingau. Riesling wines are noteworthy for being highly aromatic and high in acidity, usually with floral or tropical fruit notes. Unlike other grape varieties, Riesling is almost never blended with other grapes.

My favorite wine, Pinot Gris (also popularly known as “Pinot Grigio”) is the product of a white grape variety belonging to the Pinot family that includes Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. The berry skins of Pinot Gris tend to be rose-colored and the resulting wines are often deep golden yellow in appearance. There are two main types of Pinot Gris wines. Within France (and especially Alsace) the wines are spicy and full-bodied. Within Italy, however, the Pinot Grigio wines are lighter-bodied and more acidic. All these wines go well with Veronique Fillets so pop a cork while you prepare this delicate fish dish.

Ver(n)onique Fillets

1 ½ pounds crappie fillets

3 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ cup flour

½ cup milk

1 cup seedless green grapes

1/3 cup whipping cream

Combine salt, pepper, nutmeg and flour on a plate. Dip fish in milk and press fillets into flour mixture until thoroughly coated. Shake off excess. Melt butter in medium hot frying pan. Add fish to butter and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until fillets flake under the fork test. Keep fillets warm in a serving dish. Turn frying pan to high heat and add grapes. Stir quickly until grapes are warm and then spoon over fish. Add cream to hot skillet, bring to a boil, stirring constantly until cream turns a golden color. Pour over fish and grapes. Garnish with orange slices and parsley sprigs. Serve at once. Wild rice goes well with this recipe.


Hot Hush Puppies

1 ½ cups cornmeal

½ cup flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup finely chopped jalapeno chilies

1 cup milk

1 beaten egg

3 tablespoons canola oil

Combine dry ingredients and then blend in remaining ingredients. Form balls with a spoon and drop into hot oil. Dip your spoon in hot oil before forming each ball so the batter drops off easily. Fry the puppies until they float, cut into one to test for doneness; drain and serve.


Light Beer Batter for Crappie

1 cup flat beer

2 eggs

1 teaspoon canola oil

½ cup cornmeal

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Open beer and set out to “go flat”. Separate egg yolks and beat them while adding canola oil. Add beer cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper. Beat egg whites and fold them into beer batter mixing well. Dip fish in flour, then in the batter and fry until done, fillets flake under the fork test.


Tangy Fish Sauce

¾ cup sour cream

3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon onion powder

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Mix well and serve over fried or baked crappie fillets.


Oven Poached Crappie Fillets

2 pounds of thick crappie fillets

1 ½ cups water

Juice of 1 lemon

I bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place fish in a baking dish large enough to hold fillets snuggly. Combine water, lemon juice, bay leaf and thyme. Pour over fish and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with Tangy Fish Sauce (above).


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