Fried Fish With Tunisian Curry, Avocado Labneh, and Tehina
12-16 oz. catfish (or tilapia, redfish or grouper) filets, cut into 2-inch by 1-inch pieces, with skin, scales and small bones removed
2-4 cups canola oil
For the dredge:
⅔ cup all purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
¼ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric
Optional toppings, for garnish:
- Combine all ingredients for the dredge with a whisk. Lay in a shallow dish and set aside.
- To cook the fish, heat a large frying pan with the canola oil to about 350°F. Toss the fish in the dry dredge mixture, gently shake off the excess, and then gently drop into the oil. With a slotted spoon, move them around so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook 4-5 minutes, remove using the slotted spoon, and place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the grease.
- Sprinkle the fish as it comes out of the oil with a little salt and serve with the dipping sauces. You can garnish with some fresh herbs and a few wedges of fresh lemon.
Tunisian Curry Ingredients
¾ cup canola oil
⅔ cup garlic cloves, pureed in a food processor or minced
5 tablespoons smoked paprika (hot or sweet, whichever you prefer)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, ground
1 tablespoon cumin, ground
1 tablespoon coriander, ground
⅔ cup tomato paste
2½ cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Tunisian Curry Directions
- Put the canola oil in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring often with a whisk. It should be slightly golden brown and fully cooked through.
- Add the paprika, cayenne, caraway, cumin and coriander and mix well with a whisk over medium heat for 2-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and whisk into the curry.
- Cook on low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Add in the water, whisk and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes over low heat.
- Add the salt and remove from the heat.
Avocado Labneh Ingredients
3 whole preserved lemons, pith and insides removed and peels roughly chopped
¼ cup labneh (or Greek yogurt)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 avocados, pitted and skinned
Avocado Labneh Directions
- In a blender, add the chopped preserved lemon, labneh, lemon juice and salt and puree until the liquid is totally smooth.
- Add in the avocados and puree until smooth. You may need to scrape the sides of the blender top to puree it all together.
- Refrigerate until needed, tightly covered with plastic wrap.
3 garlic cloves
1⁄2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups tahini, raw
1½ cups water, ice cold
- Crush the garlic cloves on a cutting board with the side of a large knife and add to a small bowl of lemon juice. Let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, puree the garlic, lemon and salt mixture for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, whip the raw tahini for about 5 minutes on high speed. Decrease the speed to medium and slowly drizzle in the garlic-lemon juice. The tehina will get very grainy and tight in texture but will get smooth immediately after.
- Slowly add the ice cold water with a steady stream. Once all the water is incorporated, turn the speed on high for 5 minutes. You’ll see the tehina become smooth and glossy and become very airy like an aioli or a mousse.
*Does not include dipping sauce
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