Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Southern Fried Catfish and All Da Trimmin's

Earlier today I seasoned up a bowl of catfish strips with our own Cajun seasoning mix and parked the fish in the fridge.  I do this so the salt in the seasoning draws some of the moisture out of the fish and they up fry better that way.  About the same time, I started a pot of white beans to simmer with some leftover holiday ham pieces that we had squirreled away in the freezer for this very purpose.  I added some fresh onions from Sam's garden, our own Cajun seasonings and chopped onion green tops.  These simmered on the back burner, getting stirred  "watered" when needed.  
      This afternoon I took the seasoned fish out of the fridge and whooped up some egg wash:  Three eggs, a splash of milk and a Tablespoon of Grey Poupon mustard. ( The fancy mustard not cause we are snobby, as ya can more than plainly tell,  but 'cause it is wheat and gluten free.  We prefer regular ole Frenchy's yellow mustard but alas, due to recent changes over there, we can no longer trust them.)  ...So, our fish went through the egg wash and landed in a zip lock bag full of Zaterains Wonderful Fish Fry, which is a lightly seasoned corn flour that we use to fry everything when we want a good crust on it.  
The fish sat in the corn flour while Peggy sent me to the store for a jug of hamburger dill pickle slices.  Ever since I first turned her on to fried pickles we can't fry anything without dropping a batch of these in the grease.  Since I don't like to season my flour or egg wash, she waits to do the pickle slices last after the highly seasoned fish has passed through the egg wash and flour.
The most important thing about frying stuff is the temperature.  Folks who claim fried food is bad for you don't know how to fry food.  The magic temperature is 300 degrees.  As long as the temperature does NOT get below 300 degrees, the escaping steam from what you are frying escapes fast enough to keep grease from creeping into the food.  With thin things like fish strips or shrimp or thin cut chicken strips you can fry hot like 375-400 degrees  and they will crisp up and float when they are done to perfection.  With thicker things like chicken you have got to lower your cooking temp to like 325 so they can cook in the middle before the outside gets burnt.
 When done correctly your fried food will be crispy and delicious and take virtually no oil at all into them.
Add to that some white beans and rice and some gluten free pasta salad and you have a feast fit for a couple Round Robins 

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