August 2018
Homeplace & Community

Chef's Corner: Revisiting Some Old Favorites

This month I wanted to revisit some of my favorite recipes we’ve published over the past couple of years. Maybe you missed it or your copy was lost, but I’d hate for you not to have a chance to try these dishes this summer.

We are also going to try something new this month, an "Ask the Chef" portion of the article. If you have any questions regarding cooking, please feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I’ll do my best to help you out.

You never know, you may even have your question published!

 

CATFISH GUMBO

 

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4
2 cups water
2 cubes beef bouillon
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 (8-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen okra
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 pound catfish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces

In a 3-quart pot, bring water to a boil. Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water.

In a medium skillet, heat vegetable oil. Cook celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic until tender.

To boiling water, add tomatoes, okra and cooked vegetables. Season with salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, bay leaf and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add catfish, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until catfish is flaky and tender.

 

 

BUFFALO CATFISH NUGGETS

Servings: 2-4
Oil, for frying
1 pound U.S. farm-raised catfish nuggets or fillet cut into small pieces
1 package favorite fish fry (Louisiana, Zatarain’s, etc.)
4 ounces wing sauce (I like Texas Pete)
Carrots and celery, as desired
4 ounces ranch or blue cheese dressing

In a skillet, heat oil to 350°. Thaw catfish nuggets and rinse well.

Into a bowl, pour fish fry mix. Dredge nuggets in mix, making sure to coat evenly and thoroughly.

Place nuggets in hot oil. Fry until golden and crisp, maybe a little longer than you normally would. Remove nuggets. Drain well on rack or paper towel-lined plate.

In a large bowl, toss nuggets with wing sauce to coat evenly. Put in center of a plate. Serve with carrots and celery. Dressing can be drizzled over top or served on side as a dipping sauce.

 

SOUTHERN FRIED CATFISH

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound Portico 5/7 ounce U.S. catfish fillets
1½ cups fine cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (I like Old Bay)
1 quart vegetable oil, for deep frying

In a small bowl, mix buttermilk, water, salt and pepper.

Into a flat pan large enough to hold the fillets, pour mixture. Spread fish in one layer over bottom of pan, turning to coat each side. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

In a deep fryer, heat oil to 365°.

In a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag, combine cornmeal, flour and seafood seasoning. Add fish to mixture, a few fillets at a time. Tumble gently to coat evenly. Repeat until all are coated.

Deep-fry fillets until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Avoid overcrowding fillets to give room to brown properly. Fish should be slightly crisp outside, and moist and flaky inside. Drain on paper towels.

 

 

FRIED ALLIGATOR BITES

Servings: 4
Serving size: 4 ounce
1 pound SouthFresh Alligator Meat
8 ounces fish fry (such as Zatarain’s)
Oil, for frying
6 ounces horseradish sauce (recipe included)

Heat oil to 350°. Prepare alligator by cutting into 1-1½ inch pieces. In a gallon resealable plastic bag, pour fish fry. Add gator pieces. Shake well to coat. Dust off excess breading.

Fry, a few pieces at a time, until golden brown and floating, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. Serve with horseradish sauce.

 

HORSERADISH SAUCE

4 ounces mayonnaise
2 ounces prepared horseradish
1 lemon, juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir well.

 

Brian Taylor CEC, CCE is the corporate executive chef for SouthFresh Farms.