I wanted to try deep-frying again after giving it a shot last month, so I decided to make the recipes for Fried Catfish and Hush Puppies from Cooking Light magazine. I don’t fry things very often, but I’ve seen recipes similar to the catfish recipe before. The magazine gives tips on healthy frying – keep oil at proper temperature, add leavening or carbonation to reduce oil absorption, drain on paper towels, eat in moderation – but ultimately, I wouldn’t say that this is anything new. These are all things to do to have food fried well.
I used a pound of catfish nuggets (there’s just me and Alex, and I knew it would be more than we should eat), so I halved the catfish batter and breading. There was still way too much of it – I was glad that there was enough, but I don’t like throwing out the breading and dipping liquid. It’s possible I didn’t add enough pepper to the flour (I can’t remember now if I measured it or not), but I rubbed an unspecified amount of salt on the fish itself (no measuring there).
I made the full recipe for the hush puppies. I didn’t feel like grating onion, so I put in 3 tablespoons of frozen minced onion – it wasn’t really the same, but I didn’t know what I’d do with the remaining onion if I’d grated it. I forgot to reduce the heat for the hush puppies, so I overcooked them.
I wouldn’t call it “healthy,” but overall I would call it pretty tasty. Definitely the prettiest fried food I’ve ever made.
Although these turned out very well, I think there’s room for improvement. I’d never made fried catfish or hush puppies before, but I’ve eaten enough to know that I wanted more flavor. The catfish wasn’t overly salty, although I think I did add extra to it on accident. I may not have had enough pepper in it, and I think that in the future I’ll look at other catfish recipes, if only to get other seasoning ideas for the batter. The breading on the catfish was nice and crisp, and the texture was better than most fried catfish I’ve had out. Hush puppies were okay. I think that it needed the grated onion and more/other seasoning, although I’m not entirely sure what. I also needed to cook them less – I think hush puppies are generally moist on the inside, and these weren’t.
I was able to prep the hush puppies batter while I fried the catfish, which is a plus. I think that these recipes are good foundations. The technique is there, but the flavor and seasonings need to be improved upon.