Sunday, March 05, 2006

We got our Yellow Perch: And What a Recipe!

It being too windy to fish, I ended up driving in to the Lancaster, PA, Central Market. The stalls were closing down when I arrived shortly after 1 p.m., and little was left to purchase. A few minutes later, I would overhear: “Get there early and there’s great stuff. Get there late, and you’re screwed.”

Not me. For over a week, I’d failed to find yellow perch in Baltimore and would not have expected to find them here. But then, just as I was leaving, the clear bright eyes of some met mine at York's Fish Express, immediately adjacent to the door through which I was about to depart. Near them on the ice were about a dozen whelks and a few pairs of frogs’ legs. So much for this post and the next two----assuming the recipes work out.

For more about yellow perch, please refer to the archives from 2/26/06, relating to panfish. The recipe given here updates the one there and in my opinion is a significant improvement. The accompanying sauce was made by melting together the ingredients of a cucumber butter recipe from the Internet that I’d been unsuccessful at at mixing according to the instructions provided by that source.


2 large yellow perch
1 heaping tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne.


4 tbs. butter
½ medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1 teaspoon chopped scallion
salt to taste
dash of tabasco

Dry fish thoroughly and dip in seasoned flour cornmeal mixture. Heat butter and olive oil over moderately high heat until hot but not burning, then add the fish. Cook approximately three minutes or until cooked through and golden brown on each side. Remove and place on absorbent paper. Remove the skillet and with a thick enough wad of paper towel to protect your hand, wipe it out. Return it to burner and add simultaneously the cucumber butter sauce ingredients. When the butter is melted and the sauce has begun to bubble, pour over the fish. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges.