Friday, May 27, 2016

Fried Catfish Nugget Salad with Louisiana Orange Remoulade

     Louisiana Style Summer Comfort Food! 
     Catfish is a sustainable fish and that makes today's summer salad all the better.  The meat is light and flakey with a light savory whitefish flavor.  Catfish is great for exotic preparations and classic French sauces, but selling catfish as a fine dining item is not the way to go.  This is because catfish is traditionally resigned to being down home country style comfort food.  
     Going to a local restaurant to get the "Friday Night All-U-Can Eat Fried Catfish Special" is an old fashioned southern treat!  At a restaurant or in a home kitchen, the best way to prepare catfish is pan frying or deep frying.  Corn meal and cracker meal coatings are the best choice for this fish.  
     I have mentioned that Louisiana remoulade sauces are usually identified by their color.  White and yellow color remoulade sauces originated in France.  The addition of ketchup turns the French remoulade sauces a pink or orange color.  If a remoulade has a pink or orange color, most folks simply refer to the sauce as being Louisiana remoulade.    

     Louisiana Style Orange Color Remoulade:
     This recipe yields a little more than 1 cup.  (Enough for 3 or 4 large salad portions.)
     Yellow Remoulade is an old French style remoulade recipe that is made with the addition of yellow curry spices.  Adding ketchup to the recipe yields a Louisiana style orange color remoulade that tastes quite zesty.
     Louisiana style Creole Mustard is not always easy to find.  There really is no substitute for this specialty mustard. 
     In old Creole and Cajun recipes, the word shallot usually refers to scallions or green onions.       
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of mayonnaise in a mixing bowl.
     Add 3 tablespoons of Louisiana Creole Mustard.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Step 2:  Add 1 tablespoon of minced capers.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 3 tablespoons of minced baby dill gherkin pickles (or Cornichon Pickles).
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of minced green onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced onion.
     Step 3:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of yellow curry powder.
     Add 2 pinches of turmeric.
     Add 2 to 3 pinches of cayenne pepper.  (to taste)
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 pinch of tarragon.
     Add 1 pinch of basil.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 4:  Mix the ingredients together.  The remoulade should have a yellow tint.
     Step 5:  Add just enough organic ketchup while stirring, to give the remoulade an orange color.  (About 3 to 4 tablespoons.)
     Place the remoulade in a container.
     Chill the remoulade in a refrigerator for 1 hour, so the flavors meld.  
     Fried Catfish:
     This recipe yields enough for 1 large salad.
     It is better to have too much corn meal breading mixture than not enough.  Any extra can be sifted and frozen for later use.  
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of corn meal in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 cup of Masa Harina (Nixtamal Corn Flour).  
     Season the corn meal mixture with sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of cayenne pepper.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Set the breading mixture aside.  
     Step 2:  Place 2 large eggs in a mixing bowl.
     Whisk the eggs.
     Set the egg wash aside.  
     Step 3:  Cut a 5 ounce catfish filet into large bite size nuggets.
     Dredge the catfish nuggets in flour.
     Dredge the floured catfish nuggets in egg wash.
     Dredge the egg washed catfish nuggets in the seasoned corn meal mixture.  (Be sure that the catfish nuggets are coated evenly.)
     Step 4:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil or deep frying lard in a high sided pot to 360ºF.  
     Carefully place the coated catfish nuggets in the hot oil.
     Fry till the catfish nuggets are crispy golden brown and they are fully cooked.
     Step 5:  Use a fryer net to remove the fried catfish from the hot oil.
     Place the fried catfish on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Keep the fried catfish nuggets warm on a stove top.

     Fried Catfish Nugget Salad with Louisiana Orange Remoulade:
     This recipe yields 1 salad entrée.
     Step 1:  Mound 2 cups of trimmed Boston Lettuce leaves on the center of a plate. 
     Place 4 tomato wedges on the plate around of lettuce.
     Sprinkle a few very thin slices of onion over the lettuce.
     Step 2:  Place the warm fried catfish nuggets on top of the lettuce.
     Step 3:  Spoon a generous amount of the Louisiana Orange Remoulade over the catfish nuggets and salad.
     Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of diced red and green bell pepper over the salad.
     Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sliced green onion over the salad.

     This is a nice café style salad entrée!  

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