Crush the peppercorns and put into a large bowl. Add the dried herbs, cayenne pepper and some salt. Peel the garlic and crush it into the bowl, then add the polenta and stir thoroughly.
Skin the fish fillets if necessary, add to the herb and spice mixture and press it on firmly to coat well.
Heat the peanut oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan until it begins to smoke. Add the fish and fry for 1½ minutes on each side, or until the fillets are lightly browned and cooked through.
Meanwhile, cut the lemon into wedges. Drain the cooked fish on paper towels, then transfer the fillets to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the lemon wedges.
Serve this spicy fish with steamed new potatoes and a green salad or, to continue the Louisiana theme, the Cajun Potato Salad recipe on this site.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING, USING BREAM:
good source of vitamin E.
Any round white fish fillets are suitable for this dish. Fish cutlets can be used too, but you will have to allow them a little longer to cook – they will need about 6–8 minutes. Flatfish, such as sole and flounder, are too thin and too delicate to be cooked this way.