In the South, most major celebrations (and just about any Friday night) are marked by fish fries, at which folks batter and deep-fry catfish and hush puppies. But even in my pre-vegetarian childhood days, I wasn't the biggest fan of fish. My family ate a bad batch of catfish once and I was turned off of all seafood forever (even though catfish really isn't seafood).
So I surprised myself when I decided to develop this Baked Tofu Fish Fry recipe for my cookbook:
I knew a good vegan Southern cookbook must include some faux catfish recipe, seeing as how its such a staple down here. But I felt like I already had enough fried recipes in the book. I don't want the whole cookbook to be a big fat fest, so I baked these tofu fish filets for a healthier spin.
The reddish brown stuff you see is dulse flakes, which is what makes the tofu taste like fish. And even though I'm not a huge fan of that fishy taste, these are tasty. The fish taste is mild, and I couldn't help but pat myself on the back for actually eating a healthy dose of sea vegetables.
I served my filets with vinegar and homemade tartar sauce (also in the book) and these Hush Puppy Corn Muffins:
If you've ever had a hush puppy, you know they're typically deep-fried. But if you're baking the faux fish, you can't very well break out the deep fryer for the hush puppies. These little guys have the same ingredients as my mom's fried puppies but without all the fat. The recipe will also be going in the cookbook.
Finally, I also tested out another of my mom's contributions for my cookbook — Fried Cabbage:
Last time I mentioned fried cabbage on the blog, a few commenters thought I meant "deep-fried" cabbage. But not so. It's really sauteed and caramelized with onions and a touch of sugar. But Southerners will label anything "fried" if they can get away with it.