Dredge. Dredging…Sounds a little ominous, but when you see the term ‘dredge’ in a recipe, don’t fear. It simply refers to the process of lightly coating food, usually with flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal or some other such coating, before frying or sautéing. Dredging helps brown the food and creates a light crust on the outside.
Put the flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal or whatever coating you’re working with on a large plate or in a dish with shallow sides. Give the plate or dish a shake to evenly spread the coating out. Pat food to be coated lightly with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Place the food you want to coat in the dish, pressing it gently so that the coating sticks. Turn the food over and repeat the process on the other side. Once both sides are coated, give the food a little shake so that any excess coating will fall off.