A Thai green curried chili that was the result of cabbage having soaked overnight, spiked with cilantro and flavored with Mae Ploy Sauce, on hot dogs, received praise: “I’m incorporating this salad into my repertoire,” Lynn said. But it wasn’t the “winning” dish.
Mississippi-Style Catfish Strips with Bacon-Fennel BBQ Sauce captured the attention and palates of dinner goers. Dinosaur BBQ originally created the dish for a fiery food show but some of the ingredients were altered. Although it happened to be Lent when Dino BBQ developed the recipe, I don’t think the Pope would mind having taken liberty with it. In the end, it was sinfully good.
1-pound catfish fillets
1 egg slightly beaten
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
Old Bay Seasoning
3 cups vegetable oil
Slice the catfish into ¾ inch wide by 5 to 6 inches long. Toss in a bowl along with the egg. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Fill a bowl with a mix of cornmeal and flour. Pour the oil into the skillet. Slide the oil-filled skillet onto a front burner and get it heating over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
Next, line up the cookie sheet, the cornmeal mixture, and the bowl of marinating catfish. Pluck the catfish from the marinade, drop it in the cornmeal mix, and roll it around in the mixture until coated. Then move the coated strips to the wax-lined pan.
Once the catfish strips are breaded, fry them in the hot oil in batches without crowding the pan. Cook, flipping once, for a total of 4 to 5 minutes until nicely brown. Drain on paper towels. Feeds 3 to 4.
8 strips regular-slice bacon
1 heaping cup slivered red onion
1 heaping cup slivered fennel
Pinch each of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup Dinosaur BBQ Creole Honey Mustard Sauce
Juice of ¼ lemon
Fry the bacon over medium-high heat just until crisp and brown. Pull it out of the pan, drain it on paper towels, crumble and set aside.
Pour off all but 3 to 4 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan. Dump in the onions and fennel, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sizzle over medium heat until brown and caramelized. Stir in the sauce and lemon juice.
Back to the meal
Ending the meal with Julie’s Peanut Butter Pie with an Oreo crust (she used graham crackers and Cool Whip instead of Heavy Whipped Cream) was a perfect conclusion to a summer BBQ.