- 2 (6 to 8-ounce) catfish filets
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup Creole mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
- 4 to 6 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (wear gloves please!)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 pound shredded white cabbage (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 pound shredded red cabbage (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 8 crispy corn tortillas
Using a sharp knife, cut the catfish filets into 1-inch thick strips on the diagonal. Place fish in a medium mixing bowl along with the milk, Creole mustard, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and cayenne pepper and stir to thoroughly combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the Chipotle Slaw by combining the chipotle pepper, mayonnaise, honey and lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Stir well, then add the shredded cabbage, red onions, green onions and stir to thoroughly combine. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and refrigerate until ready to assemble the tacos.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet or a deep fryer until a thermometer registers 350 degrees F.
In a shallow plate or bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, and Essence. Dredge each piece of fish in the flour mixture until well coated on all sides. When the oil is hot, gently place the fish in the hot oil and deep fry until the fish is golden-brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a paper-lined plate to drain. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Using tongs, quickly dip the corn tortillas in the hot oil until they begin to sizzle. Transfer to paper-lined plates to drain briefly, then serve, with the catfish and slaw divided among the hot taco shells.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.