This past week, Suzanne and I were able to get out of the hectic rat race that is Los Angeles for a nice quiet vacation at Big Bear Lake. It was a much needed trip filled with plenty of sunshine, fresh air, cooking outdoors and even catching up on some ever important sleep. A week or so before our trip, I did some research on some of the fish that were abundant in the lake. Big Bear boasts several fish species including: trout, large mouth bass, catfish and carp (although you can only bowfish for these…awesome). There’s even a pretty big crawfish population. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch anything except for a single catfish throughout the whole trip but it was enough to make some tasty fried fillets.
Since it’s summertime, I figured it would be a great time to make a spicy slaw and dipping sauce to go with the catfish fillets. Add some sweet potato fries cooked in lard, and this turned out to be an amazing southern inspired take on fish and chips. Since my girlfriend is from Alabama, I’d like to hope I did her proud.
- 1 lb catfish fillets, alternatively cod works just as well
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs cayenne pepper
- 1 tbs black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1½ cups ice water
- lard for frying
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and julienned
- Rinse fillets, pat dry and set aside
- Heat lard in a heavy bottomed pot or deep fryer to 350° F
- Using a stand mixer, beat egg thoroughly and whisk coconut flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt and pepper
- Slowly whisk in ice water until mixture reaches the consistency of pancake batter
- Dredge catfish fillets in batter and carefully fry in lard until golden brown. About 5 minutes. You may have to do this in batches.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove catfish from lard and place on a cooling rack to drain.
- Using the same fryer as the catfish, fry sweet potatoes until golden brown. About 5 minutes
- When fries are golden brown, remove from lard and place on a paper towel to drain. Salt fries immediately
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cabbage and carrots and set aside
- Blend mayo, vinegar, celery salt, salt and pepper in a food processor
- Add ¾ cup of the spicy mayo to cabbage and carrots and mix thoroughly. Use remaining ¼ cup of the spicy mayo as a dipping sauce for catfish and sweet potato fries
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