The Perfect Union of Two National Days

What an awesome day! On the National Food Front, today is a celebration of Southern Cooking and (yum) Blonde Brownies. It’s also Friday. We all know that in our house, Fridays are Old School from a Catholic perspective. It’s a meatless day.

While I know that most Southern Fish Fries utilize catfish, for this recipe just about any firm white fish will do. Besides, Catfish is an acquired taste. Catfish are bottom feeders, and even farm raised cats can have a murky flavor. As a girl growing up in the Central Valley of California, I’ve spent many a day sitting on the banks of the rivers and sloughs fishing with my Dad. Today I wouldn’t think of eating those wild-caught fish. Sad, really. Maybe we can stock ponds with catfish like we do trout ponds. The bottom line is, like anything you eat, know your source.

My favorite fish are Dover Sole, Mahi-Mahi and farm raised Tilapia. Since this recipe works well with just about any kind of white fish, go with what you like. Just remember, the thicker the fish (such as cod) the longer it will need to be cooked through. The downside of preparing fish is that unlike meat that becomes tough or dry, when fish is overcooked, it turns to mush. That’s a hard lesson to learn.

One of my favorite things to do is meal planning. Putting together simple dishes or elaborate suppers, I love the creative process. Cooking is a creative outlet for me. Hope you enjoy today’s union of Southern Cooking and Blonde Brownies.

Southern Cooking
Fish Fry with Spicy Tartar Sauce
Deep-Fried Hush Puppie

National Blonde Brownie
Southern Pecan Blondies

Southern Fish Fry with Spicy Tartar Sauce
Tartar Sauce

1 tablespoon Dried Onion Flakes
1/2 tablespoon Hot Water
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Mustard
3 tablespoons Hot Pepper Relish
1/2 tablespoon Roasted Garlic Powder
Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste
Sea Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix dried onion flakes with hot water to rehydrate. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

In a serving bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, Hot Pepper Relish, garlic powder, rehydrated onions and hot sauce to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and let the flavors mellow in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Fish Fry
4 (6 oz) White Fish Filets
1-1/2 cups Cornmeal
1 tablespoon Roasted Garlic Powder
1 teaspoons Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
2 teaspoons Salt or to taste
1-1/2 cups Buttermilk

Heat a deep fryer or high-sided skillet filled halfway with vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Trim fish as desired into uniform pieces or strips for even cooking, set aside.

In a large bowl mix cornmeal with seasonings. Fill a second dipping bowl with buttermilk. Dip each strip in buttermilk, let excess drip back into the bowl. Lightly coat with the seasoned cornmeal. Carefully lower fish into the hot oil.

Fry until brown and crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes, depending upon size. Remove from the fryer with a slotted spoon place on a cookie rack to ensure crispness. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

Hush Puppies
1-1/2 cups Flour
1-1/2 cups Cornmeal
2 tablespoons Baking Powder
2 heaping tablespoons Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1 1/4 cups Buttermilk
2 Eggs
Canola Oil for frying

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, Kosher salt, and onion powder. In another mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs.

Combine the two bowls into a third bowl alternating and folding gently until just mixed. Do not over mix the batter. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, but up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to warm, about 270 degrees. Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and hold in the oven.

Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a high sided Dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot. Heat oil to 350 degrees.

Drop batter into the hot oil one tablespoon at a time. Cook hush puppies in batches to avoid overcrowding. Fry until outsides are a crispy, golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes.

Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Transfer to the rack on the prepared baking sheet and continue to hold in the warm oven to keep heat until all are fried and ready to serve.

Don’t forget to serve this Southern Fry Supper with plenty of tangy Coleslaw and Sweet Tea.

These sweet Blondies make for the perfect end to a wonderful evening.

Southern Pecan Blondies
1 cup toasted Pecans, chopped
1 cup Butter
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder

Heat oven to 375 Degrees F. Rub the bottom and sides of a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan with margarine. Sprinkle with Wondra Flour, shake to coat and dump out excess. Set pan aside.

Chop pecans, place in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Shaking the pan every few minutes, lightly toast pecans. Set aside to cool.

Melt butter in a microwave proof measuring cup. Place brown sugar in a mixing bowl, pour melted butter over the brown sugar, Stir until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Mix well.

Add flour, baking powder, and pecans to the butter and sugar and mix until there are no white streaks remaining, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan.

Place into the heated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

5 thoughts on “The Perfect Union of Two National Days”

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