The Late, Great Austin Leslie’s Cornbread Muffins!!
New Orleans Mixed Seafood PoBoy
Mustard Fried Catfish, Mardi Gras Slaw and Homemade Tartar Sauce
Here in the South we will batter and fry ANYTHING that stands still long enough. My favorite is catfish. There is NOTHING like a hot, crispy, crunchy, thin slice of catfish right out of the fryer with a big puddle of Homemade Tartar Sauce to dip it in! Cool coleslaw with a tangy Creole Mustard based dressing and some Home Fries…….oh so good. If I have the time and the patience I will fry up some onion rings and batter up dill pickles for frying, too….yes, that’s right….DILL PICKLES! So good, especially when dipped in the tartar sauce!
If I’m not making Po Boys (a sandwich made with New Orleans light and airy French Bread), I will bake up some of Austin Leslie’s Cornbread Muffins. Sweet, hot, dripping with fresh butter…….Oh I really want some right now! I had the privilege of assisting Austin at a cooking class he did at our cooking school years ago. What an awesome individual that man was….He made the BEST fried chicken I have ever put in my mouth!!!
Hush Puppies are another favorite that I usually order at a restaurant because I think I’m the only one that likes them….especially love them if they have bits of fresh corn in them!
Mustard Fried Catfish
Thin sliced catfish fillets. Season catfish fillets with salt/lemon pepper/ and seafood magic to taste. (Or any low salt Creole Seasoning)
Yellow Mustard (French’s)
Corn Flour (Plain Fish Fry)\
Place a cup of yellow mustard in a plate and dip seasoned fish in the mustard. Cover lightly. Dip into Fish Fry. Heat Crisco oil in an iron skillet to 350*. Shake excess Fish Fry off pieces of fish and fry in hot oil for 2 min. on each side until the fish floats and reaches a nice golden color. Drain on paper towels.Serve immediately.
Ketchup, Tartar Sauce and Lemon wedges are a must!
Mardi Gras Slaw
1 large head green cabbage, finely shredded
1 small head purple cabbage, finely shredded
3 large carrots, shredded
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced
½ small onion, grated (optional)
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
3 tablespoons honey dissolved in ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teasp. salt
½ teasp. lemon-pepper seasoning
1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Creole mustard (or Dijon)
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, minced
Mix dressing ingredients in a blender. Taste and correct seasoning. Pour over salad and toss well. Cover and chill.
1 large large Egg Yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon Water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
FRESH Lemon juice (half a lemon, squeezed)
dash of salt
white pepper or cayenne to taste
1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil
Place all above ingredients except the oil in a blender or processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until it is all absorbed and thickened.
For Tartar Sauce:
Place Homemade Mayonnaise in a bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients:
1 teaspoon minced capers
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
2 thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Cover and chill until ready to use. Yields approximately 1 1/2 cups. Use within one week.
Austin’s Cornbread Muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 tabsp. baking powder
1 teasp. salt
4-6 tabsp. sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups milk
4 tabsp. melted bacon drippings or shortening
Grease 16 muffin tins. Preheat oven to 400* Whisk together first 6 ingredients; set aside. Beat together milk, eggs and melted bacon drippings. Gently stir wet and dry ingredients together just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX Allow to stand 5 minutes.
Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes until golden browned.
For variation add finely diced Jalepenos and shredded cheddar cheese to taste when adding wet ingredients.
I like to add a cup of creamed corn and finely crumbled, crisp bacon to the batter. It can also be spiced up with some Cajun or Creole seasoning.
Hush Puppies recipe in my cookbook page: 250
If all of these wonderful “fried” recipes aren’t enough…..you could try my Banana Fritters with some Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream!
2 Cups Self-rising Flour
2 Tabsp. Sugar
Pinch of freshly ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teasp. Gr. Cinnamon
1 Egg, beaten
1 Teasp. Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Milk
Mix above ingredients, gently. Fold in:
2 firm, sliced or chopped bananas
Place at least 1 1/2 inches Crisco oil in a deep skillet.
Heat oil to 375*
Carefully drop batter by tablespoon into the preheated oil and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve with a generous sprinkling of confectioners sugar.
Chiqui Note: If serving the fritters as a dessert, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with two or three fritters…and to further enhance it….top with Chocolate Sauce!!
………Until next time, Bon Appetit