Peixe Frita Fortaleza (Fried Fish Fortaleza)

Based on a recipe in Tasting Brazil by Jessica B. Harris

This is a simple fried fish dish from Fortaleza on Brazil’s northern coast, a city known for its beaches, baby clothes, and handmade linen. My family was asking if we could go to our parish’s Lenten Fish Fry held every Friday this Lent, but I said we’d go to one and have our very own fish fry the rest of the Fridays.

2 pounds cod fillets
the juice of 1 large lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons farinha de mandioca
vegetable oil for frying
Lemon wedges

Place cod in pan large enough to accommodate the fish in one layer. Pour lemon juice evenly over the fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Marinate for 1 hour, turning occasionally to redistribute flavors. Put milk in a shallow dish. Combine flour and mandioca in another dish. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Pat fish fillets dry with paper towels. Dip briefly in the milk and coat with the flour mixture. Fry in the oil just until cooked through and golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.