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.
Southern Living JULY 2007
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.
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