Lunchbreak: Crispy catfish tacos prepared by Luella’s Southern Kitchen chef Darnell Reed and details on Square Roots Festival

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Chef Darnell Reed

Luella's Southern Kitchen
4609 N. Lincoln Avenue
(773) 961-8196

Square Roots Festival
July 8 - 10
Lincoln Avenue, between Montrose & Wilson Ave.

For more information:

Crispy Catfish Tacos

36 oz. catfish, cut into 24 strips (1.5 oz. each)
24 warm corn tortillas (3 per serving)
2 cups cornmeal for dredging
canola oil for frying
2 tsp kosher salt
microgreens as a garnish
lime wedges as a garnish

Combine the yellow cornmeal and salt in a stainless steel bowl. Dredge the fish strips in the cornmeal to coat all sides. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat until drops of water “dance” in the pan. Add enough canola oil to submerge the fish strips. Once the oil has heated to 325 degrees, fry the catfish in the skillet, turning it at regular intervals to cook through on all sides, until it is golden brown. Remove from pan and place fish on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Season with salt to taste.

Buttermilk Marinade

2 cups buttermilk
3 tsp creole seasoning
3 tsp chopped garlic
3 tsp chopped shallots

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, stirring together until well blended. Place the catfish strips in a large bowl or container and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover the bowl or container and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.

Vinegar Slaw

1/4 cup julienned red cabbage
1/4 cup julienned green cabbage
1/4 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup julienned daikon
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs whole grain mustard
2 Tbs orange blossom honey
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1.5 tsp celery seed
2.5 tsp granulated sugar
black pepper

Combine the vinegar slaw vegetables in a medium sized bowl. Prepare the vinegar slaw dressing by combining the dressing ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisking gently to blend the ingredients evenly. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, stir and add salt and pepper to taste.

Creole Remoulade

1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 boiled egg
1/4 cup minced capers
4 tsp Dijon mustard
4 oz hot sauce (1/2 cup)
black pepper

Hard boil one egg and place in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high speed until the remoulade is smooth and evenly blended. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Place warm 3 warm corn tortillas on a plate for each person. Place a fried catfish strip on each tortilla. Top each with remoulade, then vinegar slaw and garnish with micro greens. Serve with lime wedges on the side.