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Garfish Cakes with Pork & Beans, Cornbread, Slaw, and BBQ Sauce

This imaginative take on country favorites brings familiar flavors to your plate in a whole new way.

Cooking/Prep Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

Fish, Appetizer

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Ingredients

  • Garfish Cakes
  • 1 lb. garfish, cleaned, trimmed and chopped
  • 8 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery tops
  • 1/2 Tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. creole mustard
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • Batter
  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 cups white flour
  • 6 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • "Pork & Beans"
  • 2 cups white beans soaked in 10 cups chicken stock for 24 hours
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 4 strips of applewood smoked bacon
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • "Cornbread"
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, medium
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/2 small can sweet cream corn
  • 4 oz. sour cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch of saffron
  • "BBQ"
  • 12 oz. Abita root beer or your favorite root beer
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. steak sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • "Coleslaw"
  • 1 red apple, cored
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. tarragon, minced
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. horseradish

Directions

Garfish Cakes and Batter

1.) In a large pot, heat peanut oil to 350°F. In a large bowl, season fish with salt, pepper, cayenne, hot sauce and creole mustard.

2.) In a small skillet over medium heat, sweat onions and celery in butter until onions are clear. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add to fish mixture and combine well. 

3.) Add panko breadcrumbs to absorb any excess moisture. Portion mixture into 4oz patties. 

4.) In another bowl, combine eggs and milk. Fill a pan with flour and another with panko breadcrumbs. Batter the cakes by first coating in flour, then dipping in the egg/milk wash, then coating in panko by gently pressing the panko into the cakes. Deep-fry the cakes in peanut oil for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. 

"Pork & Beans"

1.) In a pressure cooker, bring white beans to a boil in the chicken stock. Reduce to a simmer then cover for 45 minutes. Immediately shock the beans with ice once done. Drain well and set aside. 

2.) In a large skillet, render bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from pan then add red onion and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes. Add white beans and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, fresh thyme, lemon zest and lemon juice. Chop the bacon and add to the beans prior to serving. 

"Cornbread"

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the egg, butter, cream corn and sour cream. Bake for 40 minutes.

2.) Heat heavy cream and saffron until cream begins to simmer. Reduce heat and keep warm. Crumble baked cornbread into a mixing bowl and pour in the saffron cream. Using a stick blender or food processor, puree the mixture until smooth. 

"BBQ"

1.) Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let the sauce reduce for 20 minutes. Strain before serving.

"Coleslaw"

1.) Add the water to a bowl and juice the lemon into it. Julienne the apple and jalapeño. Add the sliced apple to the lemon water until ready to use. Combine the mayo, sugar, vinegar and horseradish to make a dressing. When ready to serve, combine the apple, jalapeño, tarragon, and dressing and mix well.

*To serve, spoon some of the cornbread puree onto a plate. Top with a scoop of the white beans, a garfish cake, some apple slaw and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.