Deep South “Perfect” Fried Fish
What makes a perfect fried fish? Is it the crunch when you bite into it? Is it the kick of spice? Is the moist, buttery center of the fish? Well, you guessed it–it’s all of those!
**Disclaimer**: Remember all fried foods are NOT bad. Everything in moderation. So be sure to couple this dark green vegetables and/or baked potatoes.
Here’s a great recipe that combines a little heat from the south with the sweetness from my mom’s kitchen. Perfect for your fish fry, dinners, or brunch.
Peanut, canola, or cottonseed oil, for frying (roughly 2 1/2 – 3 cups)
2 – 2 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets (snapper, flounder or white fish will also work)
1/4 cup mild hot sauce
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup white flour (or cake flour)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
(or make your own with equal parts (1 teaspoon each) paprika, dried oregano, ground black pepper, dried basil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme, and granulated garlic)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fill a heavy or cast iron pot with a few inches of oil and heat on medium-high until it reaches 365° to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels or a brown paper bag.
If the fillets are large, slice them in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise into tilapia “fingers.” Whisk hot sauce and eggs into a mixture and put in a shallow pan (think pie pan size) and set aside.
In another shallow pan, whisk the cornmeal, flour, cornstarch, creole seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne, and black pepper until combined. Then…