When it comes to an everyday fisherman, fish doesn't get baked enough: it's an easy, near foolproof way to prepare fish –– especially delicate ones such as crappie –– without much added fat and without having to worry about them falling apart in the sauce pan, on the grill, or in the fryer. You don't even need to turn them!
8 crappie filets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup ranch dressing
1 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
One hour before preparation, remove the filets from the refrigerator and allow them to come to too temperature. Pat them dry with paper towels and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with the oil. Lay the filets in the baking dish, skin side down, with as little overlap as possible.
Measure the paprika, chipotle powder, cumin, salt, and pepper into a small bowl and blend with a fork. Sprinkle the mixture over the fish, using your fingers to spread it evenly, then drizzle the ranch dressing over the fish. Sprinkle with the crushed tortilla chips and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
To serve, transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the cilantro. Black bean salsa also goes well with this dish, pass a bowl of it around the table to compliment the fish!