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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