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BellaOnline's Cajun & Creole Editor

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Cajun Fish Fry

Guest Author - Sandie Jarrett

Love to cook outdoors but are tired of grilling? Why not have an old fashioned Fish Fry? It's fun and easy to do and won't mess up your kitchen! Wondering what to serve with your fried fish? Why not make up a batch of my Bayou Coleslaw or my Southern Pea Salad? Both go great with fried foods. And since you're heating up a pan full of oil, why not fry up some of my Cajun Fries? Links to these recipes are included at the end of the recipe.

If you aren't a seasoned Fry Cook, please read my Tips on Deep Frying for some additional information on frying foods: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art58078.asp

Serves 6

I have 1 recipe with 2 different methods of preparation; the first is for frying in a large Dutch oven or outdoor propane turkey fryer and the second is for frying in a large cast iron skillet. If I'm not cooking for a crowd, I prefer the skillet method because I hate wasting oil. When cooking for a crowd, or when we want to cook and eat outdoors, we use our propane turkey fryer. It's great for Crab Boils, Fish Fries, Chili Parties, Jambalaya Jams, and anything else that we can cook and eat outdoors when we don't feel like grilling.

If you aren't a seasoned Fry Cook, please read my Tips on Deep Frying for some additional information on frying foods: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art58078.asp

Serves 6

I have 1 recipe with 2 different methods of preparation; the first is for frying in a large Dutch oven or outdoor propane turkey fryer and the second is for frying in a large cast iron skillet. If I'm not cooking for a crowd, I prefer the skillet method because I hate wasting oil. When cooking for a crowd, or when we want to cook and eat outdoors, we use our propane turkey fryer. It's great for Crab Boils, Fish Fries, Chili Parties, Jambalaya Jams, and anything else that we can cook and eat outdoors when we don't feel like grilling.

For frying fish, you can use any firm-fleshed white fish (tilapia, Pollock, cod, etc.). Use good quality, mild flavored oil; safflower or canola work well.

Follow your taste when it comes to seasoning. If you don't like hot and spicy, use an all purpose seasoning like Old Bay. Like it hot? Use Cajun seasoning. I like to combine Old Bay with Bayou Blend.

If you want to make a batch of Cajun Fries as well, follow the link at the end of this recipe.

Ingredients

Safflower or canola oil for frying
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning, such as Bayou Blend (see where to purchase below)
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 bottle beer, ice cold
2 pounds firm fleshed whitefish (cod, tilapia, cod) cut into 2 ounce pieces
Cornstarch

Method

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and seasoning in a bowl. Whisk in the beer until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. The consistency should be like a thick pancake batter. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Don't chill longer than an hour or the batter will go flat.

Heat the oil over medium high heat to 350 degrees. If you have a fryer basket, you can put it in the fryer. It makes removing the fish from the oil easy. See information below.

Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Working in small batches, dredge the fillets lightly in the cornstarch. Dip in the beer batter and then carefully immerse into hot oil. Long handled tongs work great for this. Cook until golden brown.

Dutch Oven or Large Fryer Method
For frying in a large Dutch oven or fryer, fill about 1/2 full with oil. Fry in small batches – do not over crowd. Frying time is about 2 - 3 minutes. Make sure that the fish is completely immersed in oil.

Skillet Method
For frying in a large deep skillet, you need a skillet with high sides. I think that cast iron works best. If the sides are high enough (a little more than double the thickness of the fish), you won't have to turn the fish over during frying. The oil should be deep enough to completely cover the fish but should be several inches below the rim of the skillet. Frying time is 2 – 3 minutes. If you need to turn the fish over during frying, be careful – it is messy and the oil is deadly hot! Cook for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes or until golden, turn with long handled tongs, and cook on the other side until golden and the fish is cooked through.

Drain the cooked fish on a rack over a cookie sheet (to catch the oil). I like to add a sprinkle of Bayou Blend and Old Bay Seasoning as soon as the hot fish is out of the skillet. Serve immediately!

Serve hot with your favorite fish condiment, tartar sauce, malt vinegar, lemon wedges, hot pepper sauce, etc.

Make an easy cocktail sauce by combining grated horseradish from a jar (Morehouse makes a good one) with Ketchup. You can make it as hot as you like. Make ahead and chill for best results


Cook's Notes

For frying in a large Dutch oven fill about 1/2 full with oil. Fry in small batches – do not over crowd. Frying time is about 2 - 3 minutes.

For frying in a large deep skillet, I think that cast iron works best. If the sides are high enough, you won't have to turn the fish over during frying. The oil should be deep enough to completely cover the fish. Frying time is 2 – 3 minutes. If you need to turn the fish over during frying, be careful – it is messy and the oil is deadly hot! Cook for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes or until golden, turn with long handled tongs, and cook on the other side until golden and the fish is cooked through.

When I used the outdoor propane turkey fryer, I was able to cook all of the fish in 1 batch. The strainer basket that comes with the fryer made it so easy. I also cooked a double batch of Cajun Fries in 1 batch. The down side is that you use a lot of oil. The upside is that you can double or triple the recipe and cook a ton of food for a crowd really fast.

When using a propane burner on a stand, make sure that it is on a stable surface, preferably concrete. Make sure that you follow the directions and precautions that came with your fryer/burner combination. NEVER use a propane turkey fryer setup indoors! NEVER!

When using an electric deep fryer or a large propane turkey fryer, always follow manufacturer's directions for filling the oil receptacle.

Here is my recipe for Cajun Fries: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art58079.asp . After all, how can you eat fried fish without fried potatoes????
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Southern Pea Salad Recipe
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Content copyright © 2014 by Sandie Jarrett. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sandie Jarrett. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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