It's a Fish Fry

  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 pounds catfish fillets

2 cups buttermilk

Essence, recipe follows

3 1/2 cups cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

2 cups homemade mayonnaise

1/2 cup minced onions

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 tablespoon minced garlic

juice of two lemons

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Jalapeno Hush Puppies, recipe follows

Maw Maws Slaw, recipe follows

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Jalapeno Hush Puppies:

1 teaspoons hot sauce

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup minced onions

1/2 cup flour

2 fresh jalapenos, minced

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

Maw Maw's Salad:

1/2 pound white cabbage, shredded

1/2 pound red cabbage, shredded

1/2 pound spinach, shredded

1 cup julienned red onions

2/3 cup chopped green onions

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

1 cup homemade mayonnaise

1/4 cup Creole Mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons honey


  1. Preheat the fryer. Marinate the fish in the buttermilk seasoned with 1 tablespoon Essence. In a mixing bowl, mix the cornmeal and flour together. Season the mixture with Essence, salt and pepper. Remove the fish from the buttermilk, removing any excess. Dredge each fish in the cornmeal, coating each side completely. Lay the fish in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper-lined plate. Season with Essense. In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onions, garlic, lemon juice, hot sauce, and herbs together. Mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for 1 hour.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
  2. Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Jalapeno Hush Puppies:

  1. Preheat the fryer. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, hot sauce, onions, and jalapenos, together. Stir in the eggs and milk. Mix until fully incorporated. Fry 1 tablespoon of the batter at a time. Fry the hushpuppies for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are golden brown. Stirring constantly will ensure over-all browning. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper-lined plate. Season with Essence.

Maw Maw's Salad:

  1. In a mixing bowl, toss the cabbages, spinach, red onion, green onions, garlic, and parsley. Stir in the mayonnaise and Creole Mustard. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and honey. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Mound on a platter and arrange the fried fish and hushpuppies around the slaw. Garnish with parsley and Essence.