Cracker-and-Parmesan-Crusted Fish Fillets

cracker fish
This Rachael Ray recipe for breading fish was my favorite yet I think. It turned out crunchy and light tasting and was packed with subtle flavors. It was a huge hit with the whole family!

* 1 cup oyster crackers (I used saltines)
* 1/3 cup Ritz crackers, a generous handful
* 3/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese
* 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
* 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (I used 1 t dried thyme)
* 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (I used Tony's Creole)
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
* Flour, for coating
* 2 large eggs, beaten
* Splash heavy cream or half-and-half (I used 2% milk)
* Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for frying
* 4 sole or tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry (I used some tilapia and some catfish)
* Salt and pepper
* Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Using a food processor, grind the oyster crackers, Ritz crackers, parmigiano-reggiano, parsley, chives, thyme, Old Bay seasoning and garlic powder, if using. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Place the flour in another shallow bowl. In a third shallow bowl, beat the eggs and cream.
2. Fill a large skillet with enough EVOO to reach a depth of 1/4 inch and heat over medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 200°. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Coat the fish with the flour, shaking off any excess; coat with the egg mixture, then with the cracker crumbs. Working with 2 fillets at a time, fry the fish in the skillet, turning once, until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer each batch to the oven to keep warm.