Filed under: Fish, Main Course | Tags: aioli, Baguette, Catfish, chipotle, Cornmeal, pescetarian
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
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
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.
Cornmeal Fried Okra
- 1 lb fresh Okra
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus an extra pinch
- vegetable oil for frying
- Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a plastic bag
- Rinse Okra, and without drying, add to flour mixture. Shake bag to evenly coat all the Okra.
- Heat oil to 350 and fry okra on each side until golden brown. Remove from oil with slotted spoon to paper towels. Immediately sprinkle remaining salt on Okra.
- Serve as an accompaniment to Shrimp and Grits.