Fried Catfish Sammies


Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings was a gifted cookbook that I honestly didn’t think much of at the time (it’s a pretty decadent cookbook—the mac ‘n’ cheese has nearly 10 cups of dairy), because I was doing Gwennie’s detoxes, trying to eat more raw veggies, and generally eschewing cheese, pasta, and bread.

Since giving the book a second chance recently, we’ve enjoyed her tuna melts, mac ‘n’ cheese, Cobb salad, and sriracha Caesar salad. For an unknown reason, I got it in my head to give her dad’s fried fish sandwich a try. Gastrologically, this was not a good idea, but they sure tasted real good.

Aside from my digestion, I’m also wary of making fried fish because the smell sticks around the house, but it was nice enough outside to have the windows open, and I remembered to put a curtain at the base of the stairs so it wouldn’t get up into the bedrooms.

Since I don’t own a deep fryer, we filled the cast iron with vegetable oil and turned it up, using the thermometer to check progess. I wish I had timed it so I could tell you, but I think it’ll depend greatly on heat source and vessel.

A vat of oil; highly unusual in this kitchen.

I “cheated” by using pre-shredded red and green cabbage with carrots mixed in. It is definitely more expensive per ounce, but I’d rather use that than buy two heads of cabbage to end up throwing away three-quarters of them. Really, the whole point of learning all this is about convenience and knowing that you can, and how to, substitute what you have in the fridge for what’s in the cookbook.

I have an overabundance of jars of relish, so I didn’t make the sweet pickles from scratch either. Come on.

Really, the whole point of learning all this is about convenience and knowing that you can, and how to, substitute what you have in the fridge for what’s in the cookbook.

– Amateur Foodie
Tartar and slaw.

The frozen fish (we opted for catfish) will thaw quickly in a bowl of running, cold water. If it floats, just plop a bowl on top!

Thawing fishes.

The batter is a tricky mixture of corn starch, flour, an egg, frozen vodka, and cold seltzer water, which is why I made the coleslaw and tartar sauce first. The required speed with which the fish are battered and put in the oil is a bit intimidating. So, the batter gets mixed up RIGHT BEFORE the oil is ready. Prepare your paper towels and get your tongs set!

I can smell the oil as I type (or maybe it’s cuz I’m writing this from a bar with a deep fryer). We waited for the suggested 3 minutes, but the desired golden-brown didn’t happen. In the interest of keeping things less, rather than more, greasy, I pulled them after about 5 minutes.

The second batch was a little darker, but that’s because the oil was slightly dirtier and probably a little hotter.

While all this is happening, the buns get toasted with butter and cheese.

All that saturated fat is good for you, right?

When the fish is cool enough, it can be sandwiched, topped with tartar and slaw, and enjoyed!

Thank Chrissy for her Laissez-faire attitude about tasty food and follow her on Instagram!