Nov 28, 2009

Fish Po' Boys from down at da Camp

It's become an annual parents, my brothers, my nephew, and the three of us meeting "down at da camp" in November when the drum, sheepshead, reds, and specks are running.  My parents rent a camp down past Myrtle Grove around Lake Hermitage.

Lake Hermitage appears on maps as Lake Judge Perez, its "new" name.  However, the name Lake Judge Perez has been dropped for reasons I won't get into.   Ah...Louisiana politics.

The kids run around the camp and play in the boat and on the wharf and with the fish we catch...they have "fish eye ball fights" (don't ask).  Let's just say that drum eye balls are very bouncy.

Early morning, we all pack into two boats (it's crazy) and head down Hermitage Bayou to the marsh to my dad's X Spot (which I can't reveal in case someone actually reads this thing).  We fish for drum (black drum) mostly, which is a relative of redfish...think of them as the ugly doofus cousin.  Some people consider them trash fish, but anything you do to a redfish you can do to a drum.  Except look at 'em too much because they're uglier than reds.

So we fish out the boats in the marsh all morning until we limit out.  Then we go back to the camp and my dad and I clean brothers are worthless.  No, my brothers and husband keep the kids from running off the wharf into the bayou.  So I guess that's useful.  And my mom usually cooks up Camp Fish for lunch/late breakfast.  And that's useful too.

Then we all try to rest up for night fishing.  The camp has a patio underneath with more porch swings than a porch swing store.

It's nice to sit under the camp in a swing, beer in hand, with the breeze blowing off the bayou, watching the herons and brown pelicans and egrets.

a blue heron flying by

brown pelicans floating down the bayou

an egret waiting for a ride

We eat supper--fish of some kind and prepare for night fishing under the lights.  My dad pulls the boat over to the night spot.  The adults fish off the wharf, but the kids are contained in the boat.  We rarely catch anything at night...probably b/c the boys make so much noise in the bottom of the boat.  But I think it's fun to fish at night anyway...and act the fool with my brothers.  And we do cut up something bad.  Probably best to send the kids to bed when all that starts.   Then we clean up, go to bed, and start it all over the next day.

When it's time to go home, we split up the catch and head our different ways until the holidays.

I have a freezer full of fish from "down at da camp" plus I'm sick, sick, sick of Thanksgiving food.  So how 'bout a Fish Po' Boy today?

My dad and I go round and round about this...the fish po' boy.  He thinks it's a waste of fish and prefers oyster po' boys.  I think a po' boy is a perfectly sane thing to do with the fish we catch.

Usually catfish is the fish of choice for po' boys, but I have freezer bags on freezer bags of drum so there ya go.

I make fish po' boys pretty much the same as shrimp po' boys as far as the fry and method I use.  The difference is what I dress them with (see the shrimp po' boy post for what dat means).  I like remoulade sauce on shrimp and tartar sauce on fish.  I'll tell you a secret...I make some damn fine tartar sauce and sometimes I plan fish po'boys just so I can have the tartar sauce.

Mise en place for fish po' boys: same as for a shrimp po' boy except switch the obvious.  You'll need flour, yellow cornmeal, whatever seasonings you'd like, milk or buttermilk, hot sauce, and fish. 
You'll also need French bread, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles (up to you), and tartar sauce.  We'll make some homemade tartar sauce in a while.

Soak the fish fillets in buttermilk (or milk) mixed with lots of hot sauce.  Let that sit while you prep the rest.

Mix flour and cornmeal together.  I like a 2:1 ratio of cornmeal to flour.  Season with whatever your little heart desires.  I used Creole seasoning, lemon pepper, and cayenne this time.

Start heating your oil to between 350-375.  Get your frying station, fry, oil, draining area.

While the oil heats, prep the bread, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.

I like to cut almost all the way through the bread, but leave a hinge.  It helps everything stay in place.  Just make sure you stuff the hinge area full so your last bites have everything in them.

I also like to cut the bread on an angle so there's a nice little arrow pointing out the first bite.

Oh, and I also like my bread slightly toasted.
I'm not high maintenance or anything.

When the oil is hot enough (test with excess fish fry--drop a pinch in--if it sinks to the bottom and does nothing, wait a while, if it bubbles it's time to get frying), start frying up the fish until nice and golden.

Slop on the homemade tartar sauce (really, slop it on...don't be shy with it), add some shredded lettuce, sliced tomato (but if they aren't in season, don't bother), and pickles if you'd like.

But how do you make Homemade Tartar Sauce?  I'm glad you asked.  Take a look here.  You won't be sorry!

Fish Po' Boys w/ Homemade Tartar Sauce served with Brabant Potatoes.  Yeah, you right, dawlin'!

Linking with

@ Memories by the Mile
My Button!

Fish Po’ Boys
from Ms. enPlace

fish fillets (about 2 per person--depends on size)
buttermilk or milk to cover fish
hot sauce
all purpose flour
yellow cornmeal
salt, black pepper, cayenne, Creole/Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper (you be the judge)
oil for frying
French bread
shredded lettuce
sliced tomatoes (if in season)
pickles (if desired)
homemade tartar sauce

In a bowl, add enough buttermilk or milk to cover the fish. Add hot sauce to taste and stir. Add fish fillets. Place in refrigerator and chill for about 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, mix flour and cornmeal together. I like a 2:1 ratio of cornmeal to flour, but I like the texture of cornmeal. Some prefer equal parts of each, some half as much cornmeal to flour. Season the flour/cornmeal mixture with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, Creole/Cajun seasoning, and/or lemon pepper. Here’s where you use what you like or what you have. Mix the seasonings into the flour and taste. Yes, taste the flour mixture, just a little sprinkle. How else are you going to know if it’s seasoned right? Do you taste the seasonings? Do you see the seasonings? Yes? Good. Remember, the flavor has to punch through bread, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Don’t be shy here.

Also shred the lettuce, slice the tomatoes, slice your bread, and start heating the oil. Before frying, be sure that your oil is at 350-375 degrees F.

Drain the fish fillets. Pass them through the fry mixture to coat. When your oil is up to temperature, fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

If you’d like, you can crisp up your bread in the oven while the fish fries, but you don’t have to.

Place 2 fillets on one half of the bread. Dress the other half with tartar sauce.   Also dress with lettuce, tomato, and pickles and onions if you’d like.

1 comment:

  1. This recipe sounds like a reason to break out my deep fryer! Sounds like your family has a great time going fishing. I'm giving you bonus points for cleaning the fish yourself, you are a better woman than me! Love the tartar sauce recipe too.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.