A question for the "cooks" among us !

Come here to discuss fishing for all types of panfish and catfish. We also want to hear your favorite fish recipes too!

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A question for the "cooks" among us !

Postby RapalaRobb » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:36 pm

I thought it would be interesting and educational to get some favorite fried fish recipes from the members who like to cook.

So the question is - "How do you like to fry fish" ?

-Coating mixes - wet or dry
-Seasoning/spices
-Oil type
-Oil temperature
-Doneness check
-Oil vessel material -cast iron, aluminum etc..
-Favorite oil blotting method -cardboard box, paper grocery bag etc...
-Other tips
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Postby Blackwater » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:16 am

I use Fish Fri, new orleans style by Zatarains which is a seasoned corn flour. I salt & pepper the fish, cook in peanut oil when it is about 335 degrees, if you throw a paper match in the pot it will ignite and send up a bubble then its about right

When I think thet are done i cook them one more minute, i prefer cast iron but I have stainless steel custom made from sheet steel sized for a coleman stove and I have a heavy duty aluminum pot also.

I put a 5 or 6 layers of newpaper in a container covered by paper towel
nad drian the fish thoroughly so the oil gets back in the pot before putting them on the take out paper then keep the fish seperated and single layer for at least a minute or two after which you can pile them as high as you want.

Salt & Pepper
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Fish Fri Saking Fish in a Bag
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Peanut oil in My Aluminum Pot
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These were spread out on this platter lined with newspaper covered by paper towel then piled up
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Leah has the finished product in her hand
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Want my recipe for hush Puppies Too
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Postby Owl » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:39 am

I do! I do!


we used some store bought fry the other night on some chicken. I spiced it up a bit. I liked it, but it didn't make a real crunchy, thick crust on the chicken. Any ideas what to add or do to make that happen?

thanks! good thread! Nice pics Mr. B!
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Postby nokinrocks » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:15 am

Owl wrote:I do! I do!


we used some store bought fry the other night on some chicken. I spiced it up a bit. I liked it, but it didn't make a real crunchy, thick crust on the chicken. Any ideas what to add or do to make that happen?

thanks! good thread! Nice pics Mr. B!


I watched a cooking show one day and she added corn starch to her flour for crunchy chicken fingers.
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fish and chicken

Postby otter » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:43 am

Now I am not a health food nut. I like fried and I like flavor. A lot of the veg. oils are actually good for you. The following is from experimentation and as far as I know I may be the only person doing this as far as what I coat fish and chicken with.

First I have started using sunflower seed oil. It has a very high smoke point somewhere around 450 degrees and good for you from what I can read which is the two factors that drew me to it. If it weren't for health I'd use lard. However the best fish I ever fried were catfish fried in rendered chicken fat gotten from a poultry processing plant. Plant is closed and I don't know where to get chicken fat which is why I say lard if health would permit. The chicken fat for that one fry cost $1 a gallon and came in five gal. buckets, but that was back in the mid eighties. Me and some buddies were frying at my house for about 100 people. We got the chicken fat cause it was cheap, didn't know it was going to be good. Previously to the sunflower oil I mostly used peanut oil or canola oil. I bought the sunflower oil at first to fry eggs and then used it for chicken and fish. some ten years ago I gave up inviting people over for cookouts and have given away the smokers, grills and pots and burners. kept two large ss pots made from pipe out of nostalgia. Been at least 10 years since I used them. There is only my wife and I fry for now so I don't use much oil at a time. Kroger has sunflower oil pretty cheap in their brand.

I season with just Hain's seasalt and black pepper.

I use soybean flour to coat the fish or chicken. Some of the grocery stores may carry it, If not the health food stores do. I like the flavor. it has about a third of the carbs of corn meal and flour and a large percentage of protein. I started out using it as a substitute for a portion of the bread flour in the bread machine recipe. one day didn't have any corn meal or wheat flour when I wanted to fry some chicken so grabbed it and liked it. been using it ever since. If out of soy flour I mix corn meal and flour with the mix being about two thirds flour and one third corn meal. I add salt and pepper to what ever coating I am using as well as salting and peppering the fish or chicken. I still use flour to make milk gravey.

I add an extra egg yoke or two depending on the amount mixed to hushpuppy batter to insure the grease doesn't penetrate and the outside is smooth. I put chopped yellow onions or red in the mix and some sugar Sugar will really cause grease to penetrate and produce a thick greasy crust if insufficient egg yolk. The flour to meal ratio is about the same as the fry coating. I like a moist batter, but not a thin one.

I fry fish and chicken around 320 but run it up a bit higher to begin with and it drops to about 320 after adding fish. How high depends on how much fish I am adding to the grease.

All of this is elementary and I know that. Other than the soybean flour its about what everybody does.
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Postby Blackwater » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:23 am

Thanks Otter. I may experiment some with your information. I love to cook and want the best outcome possible. I mostly use seasoned corn flour and peanut oil. Soy flour and sunflower oil will be an interesting experiment. The only other differnce I noted was that I will almost always put chopped bell pepper chunks in my hush puppies along with sweet onion.
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hush puppies

Postby otter » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:24 pm

never tried bell pepper, but I like bell pepper have tried the corn add it sometimes. Some of the best I'ver ever eaten and never been able to duplicate was at a fish fry in Albany where a bunch had gathered to bass fish and eat fish afterward. They used cream styled corn and the batter and the ingredients held together well as a batter, but it was real thin almost runny. but they would hit the crease and come up off the bottom with good shape roll over as they should and eat great. probably had a large ratio of flour to corn meal and had to have egg yolk. I have a sweet tooth and could not stop eating them.
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Postby Owl » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:51 pm

Yeah, thanks otter! I'll try to look for that stuff next time we're at Kroger and give it a shot! :)

We don't fry food much. Maybe once a month if that. Our thing is grilling and smoking stuff. I've yet to tackle any pork butts, but we do ribs, chicken and pork loin alot. Next time I get some decent fish to bring home, I'm going to try smoking some fish! :)
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Postby otter » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:58 pm

The brand is Bob's RedMill. Its not cheap cause its organic, but I don't use a lot being just the two of us and I always save in the freezer the left over that I have seasoned.

Owl I love to grill and smoke meat. If I can locate it I have a smoked fish dip recipe that is great for soda crakers (saltines) and will put it on the forum. It calls for smoked mullet but I suspect any smoked fish will do fine I know the ingredients I just don't know the portions. Fried mullet is a great fish also long as you filet it off the bone and skin. If you do that it will keep in the freezer for several months. Leave a piece of bone or skin and where that is the flesh will turn to mush in my experience. They are an oily fish and it has something to do with the oil. I sneaked some fried mullet on the plate of someone once who vowed they would never eat a mullet. After they had made a hog of themselves I told them what it was and they were converted.

I couldn't tell if you were saying you did or didn't smoke butts. If you don't and want to try do this. get your smoker ready and put the butt on. slow cook until the flesh is firm to the touch--doesn't give much, if any, when you press on it. At that point wrap it in heavy foil and continue to cook checking occasionally until you can pull the bone out of the meat. At that point it will melt in your mouth. I have some bear claws and use them to shred it or I have a cleaver and chop it. Then I salt and pepper to my taste and I taste it frequently as I add salt and pepper until it is like I want it for my taste buds then I may put sauce over it and stir it in or just have sauce on the side. I don't use rubs or salt and pepper until the meat is done as described. I also use course ground pepper and course ground salt and more pepper than salt. Same procedure is good for fresh Hams.

Now ribs I don't use the tin foil. It will make the meat fall of the bones also but I like the meat cooked well and adhearing to the bone. I don't eat pork like I used to, but one of my BBG sauce recipes uses apple sauce for a base instead of katsup. Have to puree the apple sauce in a blender before adding to the pot, but thats the only difference in it and katchup as far as the cooking process. It has all the other stuff BBQ sauces have and is sweet. It is great on ribs, but oddly not good but acceptable on chicken and passable on sandwichs or pork plates. when the ribs were done which I could tell by the shrinkage of the meat on the rib I would lay the rib boneside up and baste ,close the lid and let the heat take moisture out of the sauce causing it to adhere (maybe 5 minutes at the most) and then repeat the process on the meat side of the rib. take off and let stand about five minutes and then with a knife separate the ribs and serve. HHMMMMMMMM I may have to step away from this no pork thing this weekend.

I also used to take cured picnic hams and slow smoke them (low heat) using green pecan wood. Those hams are good doing nothing, but slow smoking them with pecan wood really enhances them. Have to watch not over doing the smoke you want a mild smoke flavor.

Well didn't mean to ramble. A good weekend to all.
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Postby Owl » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:32 am

No Sir, I'm not brave enough yet to try butts. :) But I've seen 'em done on telie-vision. lol
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Re: A question for the "cooks" among us !

Postby blake » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:17 am

Use AP flour and white corn meal (Three Rivers is the best but no longer made), mixed 50:50. Add salt and pepper (lots). A little hot pepper or cajun season is good too. I prefer peanut oil, but turkey fryer oil (mixture of canola and sunflower, I believe) works ok. Dip fish in flour/meal mixture, then in egg wash (add a little water to beaten egg), then back into the dry mixture. (I use two separate containers of dry mixture).

Temperature, I have the thermometer marked but I believe the goal is 360-365. Anything below my mark, it gets greasy, and more than 10 above and it browns the coating too fast. As you add fish, you will have to adjust your flame as the oil will not stay the same temperature. Also temp will vary some with coating choice.

Doneness check, when the edges start to get golden, flip (I like using two chopsticks), the second side takes slightly less time. To test doneness rest on rack(at least 2 minutes) then break in half, cook needs to eat too. :D

For less than 4 people, use a frydaddy. More than that I like a cast iron dutch oven (no legs), the tall sides help keep splatter from getting all over. I usually use 2-3" of oil in the bottom of the dutch oven. Cook in batches and never over crowd the fryer.

If fried correctly (temp) you don't need to blot. Cookie rack with paper towel or newspaper underneath work well.
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Postby blake » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:19 am

Owl wrote:No Sir, I'm not brave enough yet to try butts.
If you can do ribs or loins, you will have no problem with butts. They are very forgiving.
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Postby Owl » Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:22 am

Well, that's good to hear. I'm really worried about having to cook them for so long, too. I mean, with our egg, you don't have to babysit it very much at all, but still it's alot longer than it takes for a pork loin or whatever. If I try it soon, I'll post up some pictures and let ya know how it goes. That and smoking some fish. I really wanna try that out too, soon.
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Postby Smartbass256 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:58 pm

I realize this is a wee bit off topic here but.....Blackwater, it looks as though you are one toe short there big fella. If so, would be interested in hearing how that came about.
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