Step away from the grill for classic fried fish
Need a break from the grill? Probably not, but it's still good to remember that there are classic summer foods that don't need an open flame to be delicious.
As a gentle reminder, we created this versatile and crazy delicious po'boy that fries up on the stovetop in a flash.
We like catfish in our po'boys, but flounder works, too. You even could use haddock or cod, but you'll need to trim the fillets down to sandwich size.
For maximum flavor, we make our own tartar sauce. And it's so much better than anything you'll get from a bottle.
Be sure to taste it after you mix it. Our recipe makes a mild version, but we like to jack up the heat with an extra splash of hot sauce. You'll want to adjust it to your liking.
Start to finish: 30 minutes
4 crusty grinder rolls or four 6-inch lengths of crusty baguette
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon Creole or other spicy whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup chopped sweet pickle
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Hot sauce, to taste
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
3/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
Four 4-ounce catfish or flounder fillets
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
Heat the oven to 350 F. Toast the grinder rolls or baguette until they have a nice crust, 6 to 8 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, celery, chives, mustard, chopped pickle, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and a bit of hot sauce. Adjust the hot sauce to your taste. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the Old Bay, cornmeal, flour, eggs and milk. Use paper towels to pat dry the fish.
In a large, deep skillet over medium-high, heat 1/4 inch of oil until a pinch of cornmeal dropped into it immediately sizzles.
Dredge one piece of fish through the batter, coating evenly on both sides, then carefully lower it into the oil.
Fry each piece of fish for 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillet, using caution not to splash the oil when turning the fish.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat until all the fish has been battered and fried, adding more oil and allowing it to come up to temperature as needed.
To assemble the sandwiches, split the rolls or baguette lengthwise.
Spread each with tartar sauce, then top with a piece of fish, lettuce, tomato and slices of dill pickle. Sprinkle with additional hot sauce if desired. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 780 calories; 400 calories from fat (51 percent of total calories); 45 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 185 mg cholesterol; 1160 mg sodium; 64 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 32 protein.