Catfish Beignets With Zesty Tartar Sauce

recipe
Beignets, time-tested New Orleans pastries, are usually sweet. We created a savory version that includes the diced onion, bell pepper, and celery that are considered the "holy trinity" in recipes with Louisiana roots.

Yield:

Makes about 2 dozen

Recipe from

Southern Living

Recipe Time

Prep: 20 Minutes
Bake: 25 Minutes
Cook: 10 Minutes
Stand: 5 Minutes
Rise: 30 Minutes
Fry: 4 Minutes

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, divided
3/4 cup frozen diced onion, red and green bell pepper, and celery
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/3 cup beer (not dark)
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 dashes hot sauce
3 egg whites
Vegetable oil
Lemon wedges (optional)

Preparation

1. Sprinkle fillets evenly with salt and 1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning. Arrange fillets on a lightly greased rack in an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan.

2. Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork and is opaque throughout. Finely chop fish.

3. Cook diced onion, bell pepper, and celery in 1/2 Tbsp. hot oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.

4. Cook beer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 105° to 115°. Remove from heat; add yeast, and let stand 5 minutes. Transfer yeast mixture to a large bowl; stir in vegetables, milk, flour, hot sauce, catfish, remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, and remaining 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning.

5. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes.

6. Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold into catfish mixture.

7. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven or electric deep-fat fryer; heat to 360°. Drop batter, by heaping tablespoonfuls, into hot oil; fry, in batches, 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce and, if desired, lemon wedges.

Note: Keep beignets warm in a 225° oven for up to 30 minutes.

July 2007
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