It seems September came and went without much ado from me. I’m pretty sure it’s because last September, I was like a zombie, sans the green pallor and blood-soaked clothing. I didn’t really want to celebrate the one-year anniversary of storm flooding. However, the lasting impact has me struggling on a daily basis.
For new readers, a recap: Hurricane Ike made landfall on the coast of Texas on September 13th, 2008. LilSis and I drove from north Louisiana through hurricane winds and rain all that day to get down the bayou to see the damage to our properties. We drove as far as Houma, LA, and then had to hitch a ride on a boat to go the last 20 miles. Can you imagine? And when we arrived “down the bayou”, we had to wade through water to get to Camp Dularge. But four miles farther down the road at my home, the flood water was too deep to walk through.
The loose strings have to do with my home being barely livable one year later. Needless to say, we’ve not done any entertaining in our home since the flood waters of Ike added to the damage from the 2005 flood of Rita.
Hurricane evacuation, which is mandatory here, turns your life upside down. Pre-Hurricane Season 2005, I was a very organized person, but being displaced twice for 6-8 weeks at a time in a 3-year period has rendered me a messy, discombobulated pile of boxes, books, odds and ends.
The strings will just remain loose until I am forced to deal with them–forced by the demolition of the place we’ve called home for the past 13 years.
But you know what? October brings speckled trout from the Gulf into the lakes, my cooktop still works, and it’s hard to beat good fried trout.
We already cooked the white beans, so let’s fry the fish now!
Start with fresh trout fillets. The 12-inch fish make tender, mild tasting fillets, although the 20-inch trout are really fun to catch.
First, marinate the fillets in mustard. Yep, just plain hot-dog mustard! The seasoning you see is a Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.
In your favorite frying pot, heat oil on medium until very, very hot. I think the temperature for an electric deep fryer is 350.
You can use a boxed coating like above, or you can make your own using corn flour or corn meal and flour.
We like a fine coating like this, and you can buy either seasoned or plain.
Dredge the mustard-moistened fish through the Fish Fri until lightly coated.
Place gently in hot oil and raise heat to high (but not burning!).
TIP A little Houma Indian woman taught me her secret to perfect fish every time, and I’m feeling generous, so I’ll share it with you: Put a lid on the pot. You will hear the fish sizzling while steam escapes between lid and pot. When the sizzling and steam stop, the fish are done. Remove promptly.
TIP If you are out of paper towels, another older woman in my life taught me to line the pan with newspapers, which are very absorbent. And we all know they serve fish and chips in England in newspaper cones for this reason.
Doesn’t that look good? In typical bayou fashion, the fried fish are eaten with white beans and rice.
Loose Strings and Fried TroutPrint Recipe
- fresh trout fillets
- yellow mustard
- cajun seasoning
- Fish Fri or cornmeal with salt
- Marinate the fillets in mustard.
- Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat until 350 degrees.
- Dredge the mustard-moistened fish through the Fish Fri or salted cornmeal until lightly coated.
- Place gently in hot oil and raise heat to high (but not burning!).
- Put a lid on the pot. You will hear the fish sizzling while steam escapes between lid and pot. When the sizzling and steam stop, the fish are done.
- Remove promptly and drain on layered paper towels or newspaper.
There you have it! Your very own recipe for bayou fried speckled trout. Just remember where you read it and tell your friends!
Of course, as always, there are many other ways to fry fish, but the bayou people are a simple people — no egg wash, milk bath, or anything like that!