Our Version of a Fish Fry

Fish Fry-Duo Dishes

Have you ever been to a fish fry or pig pickin’?  Each one could be classified as classic, and some would say integral, food experiences characteristic of the South.  Although neither one of us had the time or desire to hoist a 100 pound hog on a spit and roast him up, we decided to thaw out a few fresh fillets and have our own ‘lil fish fry.  “So what’s on the table at a fish fry?”, you may be asking.   Fried catfish, grouper or mullet, hush puppies, french fries, fried okra, tartar sauce, cole slaw, sliced onions and dill pickles, baked beans, sweet tea, pound cakes, pecan pies, lemon pies.  It’s not the day for counting Weight Watchers points people.  It’s the day that you come hungry, happy and ready to get down.  Ask where you might be able to find some grilled chicken or steamed broccoli, and you may hear a scoff.  If you happen to stumble upon a fish fry, find some way to squeeze in.  Southern hospitality is a real thing.  Ask nicely, and maybe they’ll let you make a plate.

The main thing we love about a fish fry is hush puppies.  Seeing those two words gets the heart a-flutter.  We had to have them.  Instead of submerging them in a deep fryer, we used a cast iron skillet.  That’s why they’re flat, and we’re calling them patties…not puppies.  We also had fresh salmon in the freezer.  We figured we could do something better than just frying the fillets, so we made salmon croquettes.  A little different than how our grandmas used to do it, but still good!  You have to have a veggie in there somewhere, even if it is laced with cream, butter and sugar.  Hello, sweet corn purée.  Now to top it off, we went with another granita.  The first time we did these, we were blown away.  Although sangria is not Southern nor central to a fish fry, it’s implementation into a granita was enough to please our palates and remind us of the times we spent eating slushies on the front porch in the humid evening hours of our long past North Carolina nights.  Memories and food make good buddies.

Oh, and it was also a great way to celebrate 100 posts since November 2008!  Time flies, huh?

Salmon Croquettes – Serves 6 to 8
1 pound salmon
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon sriracha
2 tablespoons creole seasoning
1/2 medium red onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium red bell peppers, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, minced
1/3 cup fresh parley, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon, minced
Grapeseed oil

1.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl, except oil, until well combined.  Add more breadcrumbs if the mixture does not come together enough to form patties.

2.  Shape into patties and place on a separate platter.  Pour flour onto another platter and set aside.

3.  In a large pan or cast iron skillet, begin to heat a good swirl of oil.  As oil heats, dust patties lightly on both sides with flour.

4.  When oil is hot, lay patties—about 3 to 4 at a time—in oil and fry until browned, approximately 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove and set on paper towels to drain.

Sweet Corn and Red Pepper Purée
– Serves 4 to
16 ounces frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 red large red bell pepper, minced
1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk or heavy cream
1/8 habanero pepper, minced
Kosher salt

1.  Place butter and olive oil in a pan and heat over medium flame.  When hot, add garlic, onion and red pepper.

2.  Once onions and red peppers have softened, add corn and remaining ingredients, except salt.  Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated from the corn, approximately 6-9 minutes.
3.  Remove from heat and spoon into a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Salt to taste.

Hush Patties (adapted from The Neelys) – Serves 6 to 8
1 cup ground yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 medium red onion, minced
3 scallions, minced
1/2 serrano pepper, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
Grapeseed oil

1.  Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Batter will be fairly thick.

2.  Heat a swirl of olive oil in a pan or cast iron skillet.  Once hot, drop batter by the 1/8 cup into the pan.  Cook both sides until browned, approximately 1 minute per side.

Parsley Parmesan Tartar Sauce – Approx. 1 1/2 cups
2 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup relish
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
1 scallion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon, minced

Mix all ingredients until combined.  Chill for at least 30 minutes for flavors to set.

Sangria Granita-Duo Dishes

Sangria Granita – Serves 8
2 bottles Merlot
3-4 cups mango juice
2 oranges, peeled, deseeded and quartered
2 limes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar

1.  Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Slowly pour about 1/3 of the liquid into a blender and blend until smooth.  Slide a jelly roll pan into the freezer and pour the liquid onto the pan.

2.  Repeat with remaining liquid, pouring blended mixture into jelly roll pan.

3.  Freeze for an hour.  With a fork, break up all of the half frozen mixture then smooth out again.

4.  Continue to break up the ice mixture every 15-20 minutes or so for another 2-3 hours.  Complete freezing time will depend on how thick your pan is and how much liquid is in there.

Click HERE for printable recipes.

Just so you know, we’ve been nominated for the 2009 Black Weblog Awards. Vote for us!

My site was nominated for a Black Weblog Award!


36 thoughts on “Our Version of a Fish Fry

  1. Hey – I just passed the 100 posts mark myself this week – so well done, I know what it’s like! And congrats on your nomination, I just popped over and voted 🙂

    Other than that, I just want to say that I would love to have a down home Southern fish fry with you guys – who knows, might happen someday!

  2. congrats on the award nom!!! SO deserved! seeing those (albeit flat) hush puppies is making my mouth water. i love, love, love hush puppies. god, i need something fried in my life soon.

  3. I have been to neither Southern event…sounds like a blast. We do have salmon cakes up here and that I can relate to!

  4. Of course, you KNOW I’ve been to both fish fries and pig pickin’s. Being from south Georgia and all that. But, wow! What a great spin you guys have put on that old fish fry menu with this! Great job!!

  5. I’ve never attended a fish fry. I’d love to go to one and I’d love to try your salmon croquettes. 😉


  6. That’s downright good stuff right there. We’re big fish eaters. I don’t always fry, but when I do, it’s all out.

    Cast my vote btw…

  7. “Fried” is my husband’s main food group…and those hush puppies have his name on them. Everything looks fantastic–I want to come!

  8. Nice!! I love hush puppies, too. I tend to save those for last whenever I eat them. I’m loving that tartar sauce. A nice little kick with the sriracha. Just my kind.

  9. Wow, love them all…specially the sangria granita…great for the summer…nevertheless, the salmon croquettes look delicious with the sauce. Yummie!

  10. hush “patties”. nice! as a kid, i couldn’t stand salmon patties. these days i can’t get enough of ’em! haven’t been to a pig pickin’ in a while, though. pass the sweet tea! 🙂

  11. hahaha oh I am going to have to come back to this post to see all the non-southern responses 🙂 at my elementary school, we used to have a pig pickin’ every year as our annual fundraiser. very southern– and very good! fried okra in the intro made my mouth water!

    I want to try all of these recipes, but especially the hush patties!! YUM!! You guys are so creative!!

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