"Beignets are fritters, and I prepare them often with vegetables, fruits, meat, shellfish, or finfish. The batter can be made with beer, milk, and eggs; whipped egg whites; just flour and water; or, as in this recipe, with egg yolk, flour, baking powder, and soda water. You can prepare the batter a few hours ahead. After they are fried, it is important to keep the beignets on a wire rack so air can circulate around them and the bottoms don’t get soggy. The sooner you serve them, the better. The spicy sauce, a favorite of Gloria’s, is good with any fried fish or shellfish or with steamed or poached fish. Blackfish (tautog) is plentiful in summer on the coast in Connecticut. Firm and moist, it is excellent grilled, poached, or fried." --Jacques Pépin
Recipe: Blackfish Beignets with Spicy Sauce
Serves 4 as First Course
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup soda water
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 1 pound blackfish (tautog) or other firm white fish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 12)
For the Sauce
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
For the Batter
Put the flour, baking powder, egg yolk, and half the soda water in a bowl and mix until smooth with a whisk. Add the rest of the soda water and the chives and mix well. (The batter can be made up to a few hours ahead and refrigerated.)
For the Beignets
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Heat half the oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, until hot. Dip 4 pieces of the fish into the batter until coated on all sides and place in the hot oil. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining fish, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Serve with the sauce.
Note: If making the beignets ahead, reheat them under a hot broiler for a couple of minutes on each side before serving.
Recipe from Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin. Copyright © 2015 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.