Ready, Set, Cook! Hidden Valley Recipe Entry. My hubby calls these "little golden nuggets of goodness"! I just call them delicious!! Little Spicy Ranch, Southern Fried Catfish Nuggets served with Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Tartar Sauce for dippin' 'n dunkin'! Best served hot with ice cold pitchers of beer and sweet tea, cole slaw, best friends, and....tall tales of how you caught that catfish!! Enjoy, y'all! ;-)
For the Mud Puppies
- 8 skinless catfish fillets, cut up large bite-sized or 3 lbs skinless catfish fillets
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumb
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dips Mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, can sub favorite hot sauce
For the Jalapeno Ranch Tartar Sauce
- 1 cup heavy mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1⁄4-1⁄3 cup chopped pickled jalapeno pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons hidden valley original ranch dip mix
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
Other ingredients needed
- peanut oil (for frying, about 1 quart)
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges
- For the tartar sauce: Stir all ingredients well in medium bowl, cover and chill.
- For the catfish: Cut catfish into large bite-sized pieces ( 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches). In one pie dish, combine flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, dip mix, salt, cayenne and pepper. In second pie dish, whisk buttermilk with sriracha sauce. Set a cooling rack over one baking sheet. Line a second one with newspaper.
- Heat oil in deep pot or dutch oven to 375 degrees. Adjust flame to keep at correct temperature.
- Toss each catfish nugget into the buttermilk mixture with a fork, rest on fork over dish and let excess drip away, toss into flour mixture and coat, tossing with other hand. Place onto cooling rack to dry. (Double-dip if you prefer more breading.) Let all dry and rest for about 5 minutes before frying.
- Fry a "test piece" for about 3-5 minutes til golden and fish is done in the middle. (Flakes when broken in half.) *Write down the time so you know how long to fry the rest. *This depends on what oil you are using, how hot your oil is and how thick your catfish fillets are. Every fish varies just a bit. ;) Fry about 8-10 pieces at a time *not overcrowding*. Place cooked fish onto newspaper-lined baking sheet as you go. (Keep warm in low oven if desired.) Serve just as is or transfer to a platter. Eat hot and enjoy with tartar sauce and lemon wedges!
Delicious! I used sea scallops that I defrosted, cut in half (making 32 pieces) and then pressed with weight between paper towels to get all the excess water out of them. I cut the flour, bread crumbs, cornmeal, and cayenne down to 1/2 the amount. Skipped the salt. Floured the scallops then dipped into the buttermilk and back into the flour mixture. I still had a lot of the flour mixture left over. So I suggest to keep most of the mixture aside in a separate bowl so you can save and use any leftover to make the next batch because you will make again. As for the tartar oh yum! I`m not a dipper but this was yummy. I made as an appetizer and for Po boys and had a lot left over this can easily serve 7 for a main meal as for appetizers it can feed 15. I will make again even though I`m not a fan of frying food. Wildflour you got a winner! thanks for making my DH very VERY Happy! Thanks for the easy to make and delish recipe. Good Luck!