Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fried Crappie With Green Tomato Ragout And Trash Bag Potatoes

Well, three days of posting nothing is all I can stand, so I asked coach to put me back in the game. I saw this recipe in the newspaper the other day except it was for catfish. As I’ve said many times before, we have friends who keep us supplied with crappie filets, so most recipes calling for mild fish are made with them. Since it was the ragout that caught my attention, I ignored their fish breading and used our usual. We rolled the fish in rice flour, then dunked in the batter, then rolled in Panko for the extra crunch they provide. Our batter recipe is:

1 cup Flour, self rising
¾ can Beer - add slowly til right consistency
1 ea Egg
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Old Bay (2 tsp next time)

Mix everything together and, according to a local chef on TV recently, store in the fridge for at least 2 hours prior to using. Deep fry a few at a time in 365* oil. I kept them warm on the grill while the potatoes were cooking.

The ragout recipe came from Chef Jason Hill of Wisteria Restaurant, Atlanta, Ga.

2 tbsp Butter
4 ea Green tomatoes, diced
1 med Onion, diced
2 lge Beefsteak tomatoes, diced
2 ea Red bell peppers, diced
2 ea Poblano peppers, seeded and diced
2 tsp Old Bay
pinch Red pepper flakes
pinch Kosher salt
pinch White pepper
2 tbsp Minced garlic
2 tbsp Minced fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary-equal amounts)
1/3 lb Cleaned crawfish tails, shrimp, or catfish

To prepare ragout, heat oil and butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add green tomatoes, onion, beefsteak tomatoes, bell pepper and poblano pepper. Saute 4-5 minute or until onions are translucent. Add Old Bay Seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, white pepper, herbs, garlic and shallot. When onions are translucent, add catfish (I used shrimp) and simmer until warmed, about 3 minutes. Yield: 4 servings.

The trash bag potato recipe came from No Excuses BBQ and is as follows:

· 6-8 large (bigger is better) Yukon Gold, Yellow, or White Rose potatoes
· 1/3 cup minced garlic (feel free to use more if you like garlic)
· 4 tbs olive oil
· 2 tbs lemon pepper
· 2 tbs dried oregano
· 1 tsp salt (optional)

Slice potatoes in half and then into 1/4 inch slices (you can also cut them into wedges if you prefer). Put the potatoes into a plastic bag (I use leftover vegetable bags from the store and throw them out afterward) and pour the olive oil over them. Pour the rest of the ingredients over the potatoes, twist the top of the bag a few times, and mix everything up real good.

Spread the potatoes over the grill using indirect heat for the majority of the cooking time. Cover the grill and let cook for about 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes or so. At this point you can choose to move the potatoes directly over the coals long enough to brown them up.

Cooking times will vary depending on the heat of your fire, the thickness of the potatoes, and how close you have them to the coals. (I cooked them on the gasser over direct low heat and it worked fine). Pop over to his site for an explanation of the recipe name.

One final recipe was for tarter sauce courtesy of Cathy over at Wives With Knives, which I'd been wanting to make for a while. When I first made it, I thought it might be too salty or tangy, but after sitting in the fridge for a few hours, as she specified, the flavors married up well and it was outstanding on the fish. Check it out at her site.

Here's my plate.

All told a good meal. I believe we have the fish breading nailed and other than getting a little more salt and spices in it, I don't plan any changes. I will definitely use Cathy's tarter sauce recipe some more. I thought the ragout was pretty good but it didn't inspire me to make it again. Daughter, Wende liked it and took the leftovers home. I liked the flavors on the potatoes, but I've decided that other than baked potatoes I prefer vegetables cooked in a moist, or greasy, environment rather than grilled or baked. I know they're really popular and many folks love the concentration of flavors, etc, and I've tried to love them, but I guess I'm a victim of my up bringing.

Have a great day and sorry for such a long post.



  1. My but that looks wonderful Larry! Your wife is a lucky woman!

    If you have a free minute, check out my giveaway!

  2. I use the 3 step breading procedure for many different ingredients, last night it was fried zucchini, but I've never used rice flour. Sounds good.

    I'm happy you liked my tartar sauce recipe, Larry. Thanks so much for the link.

  3. Glad to have you back Larry. We've missed you.

    Rice flour huh? I'll have to look for it at our supermarket. I saw someone use it on a cooking show the other day. Is it lighter than regular flour - why do you like it?

    I'm with you on the Panko - they do make everything so nice and crunchy.

  4. Sounds like a great meal Larry. It is always fun to experiment with new recipes, even when you are not crazy about them.

  5. Sam - the rice flour is advertised to help the batter stay on better than wheat flour and it seems to be the case.

  6. How nice to see your post this morning! Your meal looks delicious. I was really excited to see a big ol plate of fried crappie - it reminded me of Mom's house.

  7. I think the whole meal looks wonderful. The green tomato ragout sounds amazing.

  8. You had me at fried fish!
    Nice looking plate. I do love old bay seasoning. I love to make a soup or stew and add it in. The house smells wonderful all day.
    That fish sure looks good!

  9. Larry, glad you're back! I agree with you on the Panko and it has been a long time since I've used rice flour. The best bakery in Louisville made a great crusty round loaf of bread using rice flour. Just wish I could find a recipe for it.

    Your ragout looks delicious as well as the fish. The trash bag potatoes kind of scared me for a second as I thought you were going to say you cooked them in a trash bag. lol Great dinner you had!

  10. Larry, it looks great. I love making the potatoes that way (new name though). great post, enjoy this time of year around the lake, my favorite time of year.

  11. Sometimes, the names of things are just way funnier than the food. Like Crappie. I'd think my pea=brained kids would just laugh too hard to eat!

    And I'm with you on the potatoes cooked either moist or greasy. I think they kind of dry up otherwise!

  12. Larry, Great looking fish and terrific looking potatoes! If I can build up the nerve, I'll have to try the potatoes on my grill. I'm just more of an 'eater' than I am a 'cooker' Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  13. Love this. Crap, Rag & Trash all in one post!! ;)

    That fish looks fantastic! Well, so does everything else, of course. But I've been craving some fresh fish - need to get on over to the fishmonger!

  14. Ooo that looks good. What is the texture of Crappie fish like? I'm guessing it is a fresh-water fishie.

    Here we mostly have fish from the sea - not suprising given no one lives more than 1/2 a days drive from the coastline!

    Keep on cooking and enjoying your glorious food in Eastern TN.

  15. I have been such a slacker, I have been intending to try his Trashbag Potatoes for over a year and havent gotten around to it.

    Nice cook, Larry, you've got a loaded plate there.


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