Southern Fried Fish
When I say we never fry our food (which is pretty unusual, immersed as we are in deep-fry country– as Louisiana is known), I mean we NEVER fry our food. So when I defrosted a 5lb bag of frozen redfish generously given to us by a fisherman friend, I thought one of the easiest ways to use up a bit of it was by having a good old fashioned fish fry.
Um… “Easy” being the operative word. Right. Did I mention we don’t typically fry our food?
First thing’s first: get set up outside, because there is no way I will be able to sleep in a house that stinks of burnt grease and reminds me of the shame I will feel after eating said fried food. :/ Thanks to my brother-in-law we have a very nice outdoor fry burner that gets woefully neglected. (Well, maybe not “woefully;” but neglected all the same.)
Pot. Grease. Outdoor burner. Check, check, and check!
Next, heat the grease and prepare the ingredients. C. requested hush puppies, so I thought I’d whip up a batter and get to cooking. Easy-peasy.
Not. So. Much.
The hush puppy batter, which I likened to a simple and basic cornbread batter was a major failure. There was very little taste despite the generous amount of seasoning I incorporated into the mix. There was no savory scrumptiousness I very much expected from my first bite–only gooey, mealy blandness. Blah
Cross that one Off the list. I’ll be searching for a better recipe next time. (Damn you for letting me down, Paula Deen!)
While we lamented the loss of 1/2 our meal, C. prepared the fish and got them cooking. Thankfully, the outcome was exceptional!
2 cups stoneground cornmeal
1/4 cup + 1 T MexiCajun Seasoning
1 tsp salt
Mix ingredients in a sealable container (or ziplock bag).
In a bowl, cover fish filets with mustard, mixing by hand until each piece is well-coated.
Add fish in small batches to cornmeal mixture. Seal and shake until fish is completely battered. Drop into hot grease and cook until golden brown and thoroughly cooked inside.
Sacrificing a piece or two just to make sure they are cooked properly is the “unfortunate” duty of the home cook/taste-tester. ;)
And since I was so discouraged by my hush puppy disaster and was anxiously awaiting the verdict on the fish, I did not make any other sides or condiments to go along with our fish. We sat outside and ate the fish right off of the greasy paper towel-lined tray!
It was somewhat of an ordeal–dancing around the hot pot of grease as it gurgled and tried to spit on us; but, I have to admit, the fish were delicious. They were crispy and beautiful and tasty.
So now we know. 1) Never trust Paula Deen’s hush puppy recipe 2) always fry outside 3) my fish fry batter was pretty darn good. :D