Cornmeal Fried Fish & Baked Mac and Cheese
Servings: 4 - 6
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional
Ingredients for Fried Fish:
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup water
- 2 pounds whitefish fillets such as catfish, whiting or cod
- 3 cups fine yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons creole or seafood seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Vegetable or Canola oil, for deep frying
- Lemon wedges
Ingredients for Mac and Cheese:
- 3 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 ¼ cups smoked gouda cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 ¼ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
Procedure for Mac and Cheese:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F degrees and lightly butter or spray a 2 quart casserole or baking dish.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and cool using cold water. Once the pasta is cool, set it aside (this can be done ahead of time).
- Add butter to a dutch oven or saucepan and melt. Whisk in flour and cook until it turns blonde in color, approximately 1 minute. Pour in the milk and heavy cream and whisk until smooth in consistency (no lumpy glumpies). Add nutmeg, garlic and onion powder. Stir to combine and taste; adjust seasoning as needed.
- Stir in ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, 1 cup of smoked gouda cheese, 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and taste. If necessary add salt and pepper. Add eggs and stir to combine.
- Add the cooked pasta into the pot, stir and transfer into the prepared baking dish and top with remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup of smoked gouda cheese and ¼ cup of sharp cheddar cheese.
- Bake at 375°F degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
- Let the macaroni and cheese dish sit for 10 minutes to set a bit before serving alongside the Cornmeal Fried Fish.
Procedure for Fried Fish:
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the buttermilk, water, fish and a generous pinch of salt. Allow it to marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, at a minimum.
- Fill a dutch oven or deep pot with 4 inches of oil and heat to 365°F.
- In a medium bowl or gallon size ziplock bag combine the flour, cornmeal, creole seasoning, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme and parsley. Once mixture is evenly mixed add the fish and dredge, taking care to ensure the fish is evenly coated.
- Carefully place the fillets in the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes. Fish should be slightly crisp outside and moist and flaky inside. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon and the baked macaroni and cheese.