We are moving full-speed-ahead around here. We returned from a fine weekend in northern Minnesota, full of good music and beautiful weather. There were no funnel-cakes to be had at the festival, but we did consume several tacos, an order of fried cheese curds, a milkshake or two, and at least one foot-long hot dog. We spent the next couple days scurrying around to get ready for school, which starts tomorrow!
We learned that there is no better way to slow down than to partake of a traditional Mississippi catfish fry. Seriously. It's not the weather that makes people move slow in the south, its the catfish and hush puppies. Guaranteed, full-blown food coma here.
This dinner is an excellent, once-in-a-while treat.
Marc was in charge of this dinner from the start. In fact, had we suggested any other meal besides fried catfish and hush puppies, I fear he would have deserted this project all together.
I wasn't able to get fresh catfish fillets, but frozen worked just fine. They were seasoned with salt and pepper, dunked in buttermilk, then dredged in a combination of flour and cornmeal. Marc heated peanut oil to the "hot but not smoking point" and fried the fillets until they were golden on either side. This was quick, about 8 minutes.
While the last fillet was frying, the hush puppies got their turn. These are decadent treats--like savory doughnuts. Crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy inside. I always think I could eat them all day, until I get started and feel immediately stuffed.
Marc used a variation on the following recipe, which came from my new favorite state-dinner resource.
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 T flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
6 T onion, finely chopped
Oil for deep frying
Sift dry ingredients together. Mix egg with milk, buttermilk and onion. Stir dry and liquid ingredients together. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into hot oil along with (or immediately after) frying catfish. Drain on paper towels.
On the side, we served refrigerator pickles, a summer favorite here, and fresh melon from our CSA farm. Neither kid was too excited about this meal, I was surprised that neither of them liked the hush puppies. (how can you not like hush puppies??). Lucy was put off by the onion in the batter and Maia was generally unimpressed with them. Maia preferred the fish and ate most of hers. Lucy found it tasteless, despite experimenting with lemon juice and malt vinegar. Marc and I ate enough for several people (hence that food coma I mentioned earlier), so it was a hit for at least two of us.
Next stop: Rhode Island!