My Best Fried Fish & Hush Puppies Are Yummy
My Best Ever Fried Fish Dinner ... Southern Fried!
Many people would probably go out to a restaurant and have a sit down dinner of fried fish if that's what they like. I do that as well but to have a gathering of family and friends to a sit down fish fry at my home is more than rewarding even though it involves a bit of work. That's where the gal time in the kitchen comes in with the talk, laughs and a feeling of accomplishment.
I live close to the Gulf Of Mexico so I've been out there fishing a few times. We also have many rivers in the area to fish in as well. The Withlacoochee River, in west central Florida is one river that my family has had more than a few great fish dinners out of.
I know you are going to think this is a fish tale but I've seen Breem (a pan fish like a blue gill) come from that river that went from the end of a truck tailgate to the separation between the gate and the truck bed. There's definitely a few big holes in that river that can supply a big fish dinner.
Do you like a great fresh fried fish dinner? I sure do and we do it southern style right down to the hush puppies. I've tried many different kinds of coatings and breading but my favorite is called Alabama Seafood Breading. You can find it in the south in the breading section. The reason I use it is that it stays on my fish fillets or even a fresh cleaned whole pan fish. It will not leave a mess of over fried crumbs of breading in your pan to 'muddy' up your fry oil.
The first thing we do is to clean our fish of course and rinse them under cool water. If you use store bought fish or fillets rinse them well under cool water. I place milk or egg wash in a shallow bowl or pan. I then pour out some dry Alabama Seafood Breading in another shallow bowl or pan. I dip my fish in the milk or egg wash and then roll them in the Seafood breading. I then set the fillets or whole fish aside and let them set for about 20 minutes to let the breading absorb the liquid. You can double dip them if you like. I prefer not to do that.
While my fish are sitting I heat my oil to med hot about 375-380 degrees. I use a good peanut oil since it doesn't smoke at a hot temp. I put about an inch of oil in the pan. Make sure you leave room for the oil to rise once you've added fish. You don't want hot oil boiling over the pan. I use a cast iron pan that is about 3" deep and big enough to handle a few fish or fillets at a time. I like the cast iron because it distributes the heat evenly and also holds the heat as well. For safer fish frying if you have an electric frier with a closing lid that should work just as nice. Which ever you choose to use make sure your fillets have very little water in them, either by letting the breading soak up enough or using a paper towel to absorb the excess moisture so that you don't get a boil over from the oil.
Once my oil is hot enough to start cooking the fish right away I carefully lay my fish in the oil. (You can test your oil for the right temp by adding a small cube of bread. It should brown in one minute). Fry your fish on the first side until light brown then flip it over and start the other side browning. I flip my fish twice and brown the fist side until golden brown. Keep in mind the fish will still cook from the hot oil after you remove them so don't let them get too dark brown or they will have a burned taste in the breading. Medium Golden brown is dark enough. The fish will cook fairly quick unless you have real thick whole fish like catfish or huge breem (which is a fresh caught pan fish from lakes and rivers) with the bone left in. Once you've fried your first batch you can add the next until you've fried all of the fish you wish to fry. Just make sure your oil doesn't get to hot in between batches or to cool for that matter. Regulate you heat up or down accordingly so that you get a nice medium golden brown outer fried coating. Alabama Seafood Breading fries very nicely and is pretty hard to scortch. It has a great taste too.
Also I use tongs to turn my fish over. That way you don't puncture the coating.
I set my fried fillets on a pan or plate with paper towel on them or even a paper bag to absorb the extra oil and I place them in the oven to keep them warm.
I've had many fish fries with family and they rave about the outcome. We usually do things the southern way by having grits with butter, salt and pepper. We also have baked beans with our meal and don't forget those spicy deep fried in the fish oil hushpuppies.
By the way here's a tip: Your oil can be used for another fish fry if you pour it in a clean container carefully or pouring it through cheesecloth which will leave any fried crumbs out. Then you purify the oil by frying a slice of potato or an inch cube of bread in the oil before you fry fish again.
I'm going to add a recipe or two for hushpuppies below. I'm also going to add some ideas for a day out fishing.
Although I'm an avid motorcycle rider I think a day out fishing is one of the most relaxing things I've done and I enjoy it immensely.
Camping And Cooking A Great Meal Over Your Campfire!
If you like to go camping and fishing combine a relaxing time with a great meal cooked over your open campfire, outside of your camper or Motor Home. After all who goes camping without having a beautiful fire to sit by, roast Marshmallows on long sticks over it or just watch the gorgeous colors spring up from the flames. If you plan ahead and build your fire to cook on then you have the perfect setting for a great fish fry and relaxing day.
Below you'll find some great tips on fish frying and camping. Relax, enjoy and above all leave the stress behind because it's all good!
Start Frying With A Pan & The Right Temp Oil
This video gives you a slick tip on how to get your oil at the right temperature on an open campfire.
HOT OIL IS "HOT"!
and makes for awful burns!
A Jack Daniels Fishing Story
Not Just Any Fishing Story
I got this joke in an email so I thought I'ld share it...
I went fishing this morning but after a short time I ran out of worms. Then I saw a cottonmouth snake with a frog in his mouth. Frogs are great bass bait.
Knowing the snake couldn't bite me with the frog in his mouth I grabbed him right behind the head, took the frog, and put it in my bait bucket.
Now the dilemma was how to release the snake without getting bit. So, I grabbed my bottle of Jack Daniels and poured a little whiskey in its mouth. His eyes rolled back, he went limp. I released him into the lake without incident and carried on fishing using the frog.
A little later, I felt a nudge on my foot. There was that same snake with two frogs in his mouth.
Life is good in the South.
Let's Make Some Hushpuppies
I love hushpuppies, those little round balls of fried dough filled with minced onion, garlic and spices, fried in with my fish or right after using the same oil. I drop rounded teaspoons of the dough in the hot grease and turn as they brown. If your dough is very stiff the centers might not get completely cooked even if they look nice and brown on the outside so break one open to check it before removing them all. Use a slotted spoon to remove the hushpuppies from the hot oil and drain on paper towels.
I use a hushpuppy mix from the local grocery. You can make them from scratch as well. You can probably find a good recipe on Allrecipes.com. You can use my idea as well.
Buy your mix from the grocery store and grate some onion and garlic into them, the amount is to your taste. I like to add some paprika, salt and a little pepper as well. Old Bay seasoning adds a nice taste to them. You could add cayene pepper as well if you want them hot and spicy. It's up to you what you want to use. Make them to your liking or just use the mix the way it is. It's totally up to you. Make them special or plain. There's people out there that really like their hushpuppies so have fun.
Don't forget the grits. Use the directions supplied and the ideas they offer for cheese grit casserole or changes to them. If you don't like grits them make your favorite rice or potatoes as a side dish. Like I said before we always have our baked beans with our fish to compliment our dinner.
Have fun and have a great fish fry!
This Gal Does A Nice Job Making Hushpuppies.
Everything you need to know to make hushpuppies.
Every Good Meal Starts With A Good Recipe
You Have To Coat It To Make Good Fried Fish
There's lots of breadings out there. Choose one that'll make your fish special.
Fish Fry Pans
Let's get the right equipment!
Fry Fish On An Open Fire While Camping - Cast Iron Fry Pans
There's nothing like the smell of your fresh caught dinner cooking over an open fire!
Hushpuppy Mixes You Can Be Proud Of
A must have with any fried fish dinner!