23 Aug A Simple Catfish Fry
John first introduced me to this way of frying fish when we were still dating and it pretty much convinced me he was the one. We gathered our family recently and fried up a bunch. Added to the mix was homemade hushpuppies with chopped jalapeños, a tangy and creamy tartar sauce and coleslaw good enough to slap your mama. (Do NOT slap your mama, she gave you life.)
Instead of using the ubiquitous egg wash, beer batter combo John makes this catfish by first dredging it in a combo of hot sauce and plain ol’ yellow mustard and coating it with Zatarain’s Crispy Southern Fish Fry. Drop it in the fryer with your choice of oil (peanut oil for us) at 350 degrees and what you end up with a crispy, flaky pile of spicy goodness.
Given the spicier nature of this fish, plenty of coolness is needed to even it out. The yummy tartar sauce takes care of a lot of that balance but you of course need beer. We filled our old wheel barrel with ice, Rolling Rock and Budweiser and sat it in the shade. Who needs a fancy drink cooler?
The coleslaw and hushpuppies are the perfect pair for the dense catfish. Bagged coleslaw was always a staple at my granny’s table simply because she didn’t want to fool with making it from scratch and I don’t blame her. Chopping cabbage and shredding carrots are the most fun tasks. Now normally, if I were serving this coleslaw with a pulled pork sandwich or hamburgers, I would use mostly green cabbage and chop it up thin. For the fish though, I wanted something heftier and crunchier. I chopped red cabbage in almost 2 inch long strips and left the carrots coarsly shredded and what I ended up with was a more salad style coleslaw and it was utter perfection.
For my hushpuppies I altered an old family recipe to add in chopped jalapeños and whipped egg whites instead of whole eggs. The result is a lighter hushpuppy that comes out of the fryer crispy and light instead of dense and greasy.
All in all this is the perfect summer supper for a crowd and one we will definitely repeat! What is your favorite meal to feed a crowd? Let us know in the comments below!
Spicy Fried Fish
A blend of hot sauce and mustard replaces traditional egg wash for a fried catfish recipe that is the best you will ever eat!
- 12 oz box of Zatarain's Fish-Fry Crispy Southern Breading
- 3 pounds catfish filets or nuggets
- 2 cups yellow mustard
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- peanut oil for frying
Prepare your catfish filets by patting dry. Heat peanut oil for frying to 375. In one shallow container mix Zatarain's Fish-Fry and garlic powder. In another shallow container, yellow mustard, hot sauce and whole milk until combined. When oil it hot and ready for frying, dredge fish filets in the mustard mixture and then the fish fry. Fry each filet for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with tartar sauce.