Pan fried Basa with cheesy grits and sauce Piquant

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Pan fried Basa with cheesy grits and sauce Piquant

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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It’s no secret that I love Southern food— BBQ, Smoked, Etouffe and Gumbo to name a few—- so coming up with this “dinner winner” was easy as pie and although it may appear to be a bit time consuming in the making it is definitely worth the effort.

When I first started out to make this one I had every intention to use Catfish because it is such a staple of Southern cooking however I soon found out that my local grocery store (we don’t have an easily accessible fish monger) does not sell it anymore because it is so expensive to get in and no one buys it so I did the next best thing—- Basa and since Basa is Vietnamese Catfish it fit into the recipe quite well.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 medium Basa or Catfish filets
  • 4 cups Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Canola plus 2 tablespoons oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned Grits
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 3/4 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped and divided 1 for Grits 2 for Piquant
  • 1/2 cup Corn flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped green onion for garnish.

Putting it all together:

For the Sauce Piquant…..

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, 1 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, red pepper and stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Transfer to a food processor or blender, and puree on high speed. With the motor running, add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil through the feed tube and process until smooth. Serve warm.

For the Grits…..

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine broth and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Slowly stir in grits; reduce heat to low, and cook until grits are tender, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter.

For the Fish…..

  1. Mix the Corn flour with 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  2. Coat the fish in the seasoned flour
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pan and fry the fish until golden brown, about 10 minutes
  4. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels

To plate the fish simply spoon some grits onto the center of a plate, place the fish on top and spoon some sauce Piquant over the fish. Garnish with some green onion and enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                            Bon Appetit

 

 

 

 

Shrimp and Grits

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I think the first time I heard reference to Grits was in an old John Wayne movie and the person talking about them turned his nose up and said they were basically gross. I didn’t give it any more thought until a few years ago when I started watching the Food Network, specifically Diners Drive Ins and Dives, and I started to see episodes where people were making Grits and I thought “Wait a minute. They don’t look gross” and a love affair with grits was born.

Now for the uninitiated Grits are merely coarse ground Corn Meal and a staple in any Southern, or in my case Northern, kitchen and they are a very versatile ingredient that can be made in many different ways but my absolute favorite is Shrimp and Grits.

Here’s my take on a classic Southern dish.

Ingredients:

–           1 cup stone-ground grits

–           Salt and pepper

–           1/4 cup butter

–           2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

–           1 pound shrimp, 35-40 peeled and deveined, left whole if small and roughly chopped if medium or large

–           6 slices smoked bacon, chopped into tiny pieces

–           4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

–           2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

–           1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts

–           1/2 Medium white onion, diced

–           1 large garlic clove, minced

–           2 Tablespoons corn flour

–           1 Tsp of Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning and Smoked Paprika

–           4 Cups chicken broth

Directions:

–           For the Grits bring 4 cups chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the grits and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well with a whisk. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook the grits until all the broth is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve.

–           Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned and crisp, then drain on a paper towel. Add the diced onion and garlic to the bacon grease. Add two tablespoons corn flour and mix well. Let the flour cook out before adding enough chicken stock to make a roux to your liking. Mix in the Cajun seasoning, Old Bay and Smoked Paprika and bacon and blend well. Add the shrimp and sauté over medium heat just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook! Remove the skillet from the heat.

–           Pour the grits into a serving bowl. Pour the shrimp mixture over the grits and garnish with chopped green onion

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I thank you for dropping by.

Bon Appetit

Biscuits and gravy

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I’m not a morning guy which by extension means I’m not a breakfast person either or let’s say not a traditional breakfast type of guy. My breakfast may be anything from peanut butter toast to a fried egg and cheese sandwich however when the mood strikes me or we have brunch quests I will put out quite the spread and one of my favorites is Biscuits and Gravy.

This is the quintessential Southern breakfast dish which is right up there with Grits and one that I trot out when I have a lot of hungry people to feed.

Gravy Ingredients:

–         1 pound sausage meat

–         1 medium White onion – diced

–         2 Garlic cloves minced

–         1 Tsp salt

–         1 Tsp fresh ground pepper

–         4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

–         3 Cups milk

Biscuits Ingredients:

–        2 cups flour

–        1/4 cup sugar

–        1 teaspoon vanilla

–        4 teaspoons baking powder

–        1/4 teaspoon baking soda

–        1 pinch salt

–        3 ounces cold butter, diced

–       8 ounces buttermilk

Method:

–         Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

–         For the biscuits combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined

–         Using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter

–         Slowly add the buttermilk and begin to mix all the ingredients trying not to overwork the dough

–         Turn out your dough on a table dusted with flour and knead for approximately 4 minutes (dust your hands with some flour so the dough will not stick)

–         Flatten the dough with the heal of your hand until it is about ¼ inch thick

–         Using a standard water glass cut out your dough and put it on a baking pan

–         Put the biscuits in the oven for approximately 12 minutes or until the top is golden brown

–         While the biscuits are baking heat a large frying pan and brown the sausage meat

–         When the sausage is browned remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon while RESERVING the grease in the pan

–         Add the onion and garlic to the grease and sauté until the onion is translucent, about three minutes.

–         Add the flour and whisk until blended— this is a Roux

–         Slowly add the milk while constantly whisking and you will see the gravy start to thicken

–         Add back in the sausage and salt and pepper to taste

–         Split a biscuit and pour the gravy over top.

Now I never claimed this was a healthy recipe in fact a friend of mine calls it a heart attack on a plate but this is just so darn good and when you add scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and toast you just may die. The other thing I wish to point out is that this is not just a breakfast dish but one that can be used for dinner all on it’s own.

I hope you enjoy this one and if you try it be prepared to loosen your belt.

        Bon Appetit