I landed on something that sounds very promising, although the recipe is based on fresh herring (hard to come by), I think it could be easily adapted for a variety of different fish, maybe even chicken or pork. The kicker is something home brewers are very familiar with, rolled oats. I think that a light breakfast stout or potentially a classic English nut brown would make a tremendous pairing with this flavorful coating. Thanks to Rick Stein for the inspiration...
- 4 fresh herring, cleaned and filleted (be creative here, use a rich, oilier flavorful white fish, such as mackerel, skate, cod - make sure to pick the freshest possible) If using another fish, use four 6-8 ounce portions. Thick portions may not be desirable, this is a quick fry process.
- 1 cup rolled oats, ground in a food processor
- 1 Tbl canola oil
- 4 thick cut bacon slices, cut into lardons (1/4" thick slices)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving
- Season the fish on all sides with salt and pepper. Spread the ground oats onto a plate or pie dish, roll the fish in the oats and press lightly to make sure the oats adhere. Making sure the fish is dry will ensure the coating adheres.
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Fry the bacon lardons until they are fully rendered and crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon to a clean plate. Be very careful not to let the fat burn, as you will be cooking the fish in the rendered bacon fat.
- Return the pan to the heat, add the breaded fish portions, flesh side down if the fish has skin. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish, but one to three minutes per side is a good ball park figure. Fish is done cooking when the center is beginning to turn opaque and just begins to flake.