Making Fish Two Delicious Ways: Cornmeal Fried Catfish Bites and Potato Crusted Baked Fish Sticks with Cajun “Rémoulade”

If you’re looking for just a few more ways to prepare fish, this one recipe provides a lot of options. Choose your breading – either cornbread mixl or potato flakes, then your cooking method, either pan frying or oven baked, and you’re on your way to a delicious meal. The “rémoulade” sauce features a kicked-up little Cajun Spice Blend available from The Spice & Tea Exchange®, and though not a classic rémoulade, it’s as easy and delicious as it gets. (Rémoulade is a simple mustard-flavored mayonnaise spiced with garlic and pepper.) For your Perfect Pairing, The Vineyard at Hershey Gewürztraminer is a great aromatic wine. This is the perfect counterpoint to the spiced seasonings layered on the mild fish.

 

Recipe: Cornmeal Fried Catfish Bites and Potato Crusted Fish Fingers with Cajun “Rémoulade”

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

For Cornmeal Fried Catfish Bites

1 1/2 pounds fish fillets (choose catfish, cod, tilapia or any mild firm fish) rinse and pat dry

¼ cup flour

2 eggs lightened with a splash of buttermilk (or milk) and some water

About 1 tablespoon hot sauce (to taste), optional

1 cup corn muffin mix (such as Bob’s Red Mill®)

2 tablespoons TSTE® Cajun Blend

Peanut oil, for frying

 

OR, to make Potato-crusted Baked Fish Sticks

1 1/2 pounds fish fillets (choose catfish, cod, tilapia or any mild firm fish) rinse and pat dry

¼ cup flour

2 eggs lightened with a splash of buttermilk (or milk) and some water

About 1 tablespoon hot sauce (to taste), optional

1 tablespoon TSTE® Cajun Blend

1 cup potato flakes (such as Betty Crocker® Potato Buds®)

 

For the rémoulade

1 small shallot, fine chopped (about 1 teaspoon)

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon capers, fine chop

1 teaspoon TSTE® Cajun Blend

2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

 

Preparation

Cut fish fillets into desired size and pieces. Combine the eggs, buttermilk and a splash of water. Add the hot sauce (if using) and lightly beat with a fork to combine.

 

 

 

Prepare the other ingredients for breading by placing the flour in one bowl and the breading (corn muffin mix or potato flakes and seasoning) in separate bowls. Bread the fish by dusting each piece with just a bit of flour, placing it into the egg and then into the breading mixture. Optional: return to egg mixture and then to breading for a second coating, which makes the fish extra crispy. For Fried Fish Bites set aside on a sheet pan; for Baked Fish Stick, coat a baking (cooling) rack with non-stick spray and set in a rimmed sheet pan. Preheat the oven to 350 F and set the bread fish sticks on the rack.

 

To Pan-fry: Pour enough oil into a heavy metal pot to coat bottom with about ½-inch of oil. Place medium heat until the oil “shimmers” and a drop of the breading begins to fry up within a second or two. Fry breaded fish until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with just a bit of salt. Note: the potato flake coating is a bit fussy to work with in this method. I suggest using tongs and a spatula to help keep crust in place when turning.

 

To Bake: Place prepared pan into preheated oven and bake until the fish is golden brown, about 20 minutes (depending on thickness). Your fish should be golden brown, flake easily and the interior opaque and moist.

 

Make the Cajun rémoulade. In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients. Set aside and let flavors come together. For an easier “remoulade” simply add the seasoning to prepared/store-bought tartar sauce.