Mom de Cuisine


Catfish Po’ Boys with Chipotle Aioli
October 27, 2011, 5:16 am
Filed under: Fish, Main Course | Tags: , , , , ,

 

I have to make a confession:  I was not a very good wife in my last post.  I said after a weekend of indulgence that we needed a healthy meal to kick off the week.  Well, when I said we, I really meant my husband and my children would be eating a healthy meal.  You see, I was leaving my family for the evening to attend a Pampered Chef party.  If you haven’t heard of the Pampered Chef catalogue and line, it’s cookware, bake ware, and kitchen utensils that are totally unnecessary and any foodie would happily spend too much money on.  It was nice to get out of the house, socialize with some  lovely ladies, and buy kitchen stuff. 

So after a night out, I was feeling a bit guilty that I made my family stay home and eat soup (to be fair, it was good!) and I was out tasting recipes from Pampered Chef.  The next night, I would make it up to my dear hubby. 

One of our favorite places in the world isNew Orleans.  My husband and I took a trip there before having kids and it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on.  We spent the whole time listening to Jazz, walking the French Quarter, eating around the clock, and of course, drinking (also around the clock.)  I was determined to try every restaurant’s version of gumbo, jambalaya, fried catfish, red  beans and rice.  And we loved every bite and every minute. 

I’d wanted to make something reminiscent of our time in NOLA lately, but some of the ingredients used in Cajun cooking can be hard to come by here.  A short time ago, I was shopping and saw a bag of frozen catfish fillets and Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning (all in the same store, in the same trip, I might add) so I grabbed them and waited until the right time to bust this meal out.  As I fried off the catfish, my guilt about the previous night disappeared with each batch of crunchy and golden fish nuggets, as I knew “E” was going to love it; and he did!

 

 

CatfishPo’ Boys with Chipotle Aioli

 

Ingredients

2 lbs catfish fillets cut into 1 inch chunks

2 cups flour

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups cornmeal

1/4 cup Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning, divided

Vegetable oil, for frying

1 cup mayonnaise (or miracle whip for those of use that hate mayo)

1/4 cup chipotle hot sauce (or more or less to taste)

1 loaf crusty French bread

1 head lettuce leaves removed

Lemon wedges, optional

 

Preparation:

To make the catfish:  set up a battering station by lining up a shallow bowl with the flour, one for the eggs, and one for the cornmeal.  Add the Cajun seasoning to the flour and cornmeal and mix to combine.  Heat the oil to 350 degrees, and while the oil warms, batter the fish.  First into the flour, shaking off the excess; then into the egg, again shaking off the excess; then into the cornmeal, coating evenly.  Once all of the fish has been breaded, fry in batches. and Drain on paper towels.  The catfish can be kept warm by placing it in the oven at 200 degrees on a wire rack after draining on paper towels.

While the catfish fries, combine the mayo and chipotle sauce and set aside.

To assemble the sandwiches, split the French loaf and add lettuce, and catfish.  Drizzle with aioli and serve with lemon wedges. 

 

 



Make-Ahead Monday: Curried Chicken “Hot Pockets”
October 10, 2011, 12:17 pm
Filed under: Chicken, Main Course, Snacks | Tags: , ,

I picked up the latest copy of Food Network Magazine this weekend and of course, I bookmarked tons of recipes.  One of their features was for different versions of a DIY hot pocket.  I used to love those things as a kid; my favorite was pepperoni Pizza.  I knew that this would be a great make-ahead meal.  I tried it out once over the weekend with eggs, bacon, cheese, and pesto. It was great.  I thought I’d redo my childhood favorite for an easy dinner, but the curried chicken pockets in the magazine were stuck in my head. 

When I went to pick up another loaf of refrigerated French bread dough (which I easily found in only one trip, YAY!) I passed by the spice isle and the hot curry powder was just calling my name.  So I decided, never mind to pizza hot pockets, I was going to give the curried chicken salad a try.  My experience eating curries is limited and my experience cooking with it is nonexistent so I was very unsure of what to expect.  I tried to follow FNM’s recipe, but when I mixed the chicken salad, I felt that it still lacked a strong curry flavor that I was expecting, so I added aLOTmore. 

Overall, this was a great meal that came together very quickly.  It was easy enough to make a head of time and just pop it in the oven when we got home.  By the time the kids are finished washing their hands and sit down at the table, fresh, homemade Hot Pockets will await them!

Curried Chicken “Hot Pockets”

*adapted from Food Network Magazine

 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 clove garlic

1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

1/4 cup fresh spinach

1/2 cup miracle whip (or mayo or yogurt)

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon lime juice

Flour for dusting

11 oz. tube refrigerated French bread

1 egg

 

Preparation:

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, curry powder, ginger and garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about one to two minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the chicken.

Stir in the cilantro, spinach, miracle whip, lime juice to the chicken and let the mixture cool completely. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and brush a baking sheet lightly with oil.  On a floured surface, roll out the bread dough to a 6×8 inch rectangle. Divide in fourths.  Put one quarter of the filling inside the center of each rectangle.  Fold over the two shorter sides, then the longer sides to enclose the filling.  Pinch the edges to seal.    Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.  Place the packets seem side down on the baking sheet.  Brush the bread with the beaten egg and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the pockets are golden brown.