Home Fish Fry

Growing up in a Catholic family means you always have something to look forward to on Fridays in the first part of the year– Fish Fry!

My parish had, naturally, the best fish around. I always got a #2, fried and fries. Baked was ok but too hit-or-miss for me, and I outgrew the Mac and Cheese at age 8.

Fast-forward to today, where I still crave fish and can’t fathom eating meat on Friday during Lent! Normally if I can’t make a fish fry, I stop for my favorite alternative, a BK Big Fish sandwich. I know, you are rolling your eyes right now… but I just love them!

This year, I gave up fast food for Lent, so no BK for me. PLUS I work nights so I can’t hit up a fish fry for a delish fried and fries. Enter…

Hand-Breaded Pan-Fried Catfish Nuggets and Baked White Potatoes!

Catfish and Potatoes

I start the potatoes first, since they take about 40 minutes at 400. They are super easy though– I quarter mine and then cut them into similar sized pieces. Then just toss them into a pan with some garlic, olive oil, s&p and spices (I prefer rosemary and lemon juice; but today I used basil, herbs de provence, and rosemary). They will be soft after about 25 minutes, but I like to get mine crispy. If you microwave them for a few minutes first, they will cook faster. However, with the longer time you get plenty of time to do the fish prep while they bake up nice and crispy!

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While those are cooking….

I get the nuggets frozen from my grocery store and cut them into one- or two-bite pieces so they are easier to dip … and eat! For the breading, I don’t measure anything out, just kind of shake it out on the plate until it looks good.. and tastes good. If it doesn’t taste good now, it won’t at the end either!

Breading

Breading

for the dunk: egg, touch of milk, hot sauce to taste {one egg is enough for about 2 servings of nuggets}

for the breading: cornmeal, flour, s&p, chili powder, garlic powder, seasoning salt, cayenne, or any other spices/spice mixes you like {I used about 3/4 to 1 cup total and had just a little left over for 2 servings}

for the pan: {oil, salt for sprinkling when you flip the fish}

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Pat the fish dry, heat the oil in the pan, dunk, breading, flip, toss in the pan. The nuggets cook for about 2 minutes in the oil, then flip, sprinkle with some salt and finish them off for another 2 mins. I keep a spoon handy so if they curl I can spoon oil into the basin to make sure it cooks. Since I;m cooking them in oil, I drain them on a paper towel.

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I test mine as I pull them out to make sure they are flaky. If not, I toss them into the oven for the last ~10 minutes to finish up while the potatoes finish.

The cornmeal makes these nice and crispy with great texture. The hot sauce and spices give them a nice kick, but definitely not overwhelming. If you don’t like spicy food, don’t be afraid to use it OR skip it!

I normally make my own tartar sauce, but I had a bottle so I just stirred in some plain yogurt, Worcestershire, and chili powder to spice it up and give the bottled stuff a little flavor boost.

Catfish and Potatoes

Add a little broccoli, and Fish Fryday is ON!

Best part, make extra potatoes and you can bake them again for even more delicious crispiness!

Seriously, making your own breaded fish (or chicken) could NOT be any easier. If you’re a fan of nuggets of any type, you’ve got to try making them yourself!

What are you cooking today?

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what a champ!

First things first: You’ve seen the dress, if you recall it’s a royal blue/purple color. Now my debate is what shoes to wear with it. I tried to get pics of them, but apparently Charlotte Russe only has the black ones available in nude now, and the Santana ones look… not silver. Plus, oddly enough, the heights listed online are different than mine. Strange! Apologies for the terrible pictures, but hopefully enough to give you an idea:

For the specs: Silver are Carlos by Carlos Santana Prestige, bought last year for my sister’s wedding. They are suuuuper tall and high, difficult to squeeze my feet into, do not come off and involve mucho pain the next day.

However. They are 5 inches high, and I’m 5’3.  They make my legs/stomach/ass/boobs/face look fantastic. (Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but i look bomb.) And while I’m actually wearing them, they are pretty comfy (at the wedding I danced until 2am). Plus they make the dress look slightly more summery and fun, and make pedicured toes look adorable!

The blacks are my $20 go-to heels for all occasions: Charlotte Russe Faux-Patent Peep Toe Pump (they’re are an older version so not quite the same). I wear them all the time, always get compliments, are super comfy while wearing them and the next day it just feels like I did a hill workout– so its practically like exercising, right??

Downside, they are a little beat up, but nothing some black nail polish won’t cover up. Also they do not show off my pedi at all. And I wore them to the wedding last week. I think you can tell which way I’m leaning, but I need input… HELP!!!

Anywho, I obviously spent a good chunk of today trying both shoes on with the dress while avoiding what I was supposed to be doing: packing up all my stuff to move on my last free day before I actually have to move!

Other exciting alternatives…

(heart Annie’s Organics and esp this Annie’s Homegrown Natural Shells and Real Aged Cheddar!)

Then some actual packing followed by measuring my new place to make sure all my sweet stuff can fit.

One of my least favorite parts of moving is taking down my favorite wall decoration, my bulletin board. I’ve had some incarnation of this reminder of all my favorites since college, and every time I move I take down the whole thing, pack most of it in the scrapbox, and leave just a few staples to remind me of where I came from. I recently gave it an update in anticipation of this move, but you can believe it will be the last thing to leave the room!

As a reward for all my hard work, I invited a friend over for dinner!

Tessa opened up the bottle of Honey Moon Viogner I got at TJs the other day (here’s a review if you’re into that sort of thing), enjoyed my awesome appetizers of 3 shrimp and a chocolate-banana-straw/blueberry smoothie. She was really excited to try one of my smoothies after this post the other day, so obvs I had to make her one. She was not disappointed!

While she drank up, I got busy on our delish dinner plans: shrimp and chicken enchiladas! They are super easy and I wowed Tessa with how I just made them and didn’t check a recipe… and made some modifications on the fly!

Seriously easy:

  1. thaw/cook/shred chicken
  2. toss garlic + onion (to taste) in a pan with some olive oil
  3. add enchilada sauce (I love Old El Paso), shredded chicken, and cheese
  4. warm and stir occasionally
  5. pour some extra enchilada sauce in a baking dish, coat tortillas on both sides.
  6. spoon chicken mixture into tortillas, wrap up, and coat with more sauce + cheese
  7. bake for 20ish mins at about 350.

seriously. (have you seen this site?)

Then, because I’m adventurous, I also made shrimp enchiladas. No really good picture of this one cuz I was too busy eating it, but I’ve got the combo plate:

I had to go a different route with the shrimp, so I layered the shrimp/sauce mix with half tortillas in a small dish and topped that with some cheese… resulted in a much messier but equally delish final product.

Add in some asparagus and you’ve got yourself a dinner of champions! (I’m calling her a champion even though she forgot to put the wine into the fridge… hence the ice cubes :/)

Have a sweet day! This girl has to get busy taking out the trash, exchanging my dress for the right size, buying a card, deciding if I should get another spray tan, working a double… what a busy life!

Peace out, girl scout!