Recipe courtesy Jay Ducote and Aimee Tortorich, chefs, Gov’t Taco, Baton Rouge, LA
These tacos feature core elements of Baton Rouge cuisine: catfish, collards and maque choux (similar to a succotash). It’s a nod to the increasingly global quality of the region’s food scene. Jay Ducote is a local chef and writer with a popular blog and radio show/podcast. His first restaurant, Gov’t Taco, will open in the newly redeveloped White Star Market food hall early next year. The maque choux is also great as a side dish with any meal.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup sweet mustard, Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard preferred
- ¼ cup Louisiana-style hot sauce*
- 1½ pounds catfish fillets, cut lengthwise into ½-inch strips
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup masa harina
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning preferred
- Canola oil (for frying)
- 1 bunch collard greens, stalks removed, sliced thin
- 12 corn tortillas
- Corn Maque Choux (recipe below)
Combine heavy cream, mustard and hot sauce. Add catfish, and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, masa harina and Cajun seasoning in shallow bowl or platter.
Add 2 inches oil to wide, deep pot (like Dutch oven). Warm over medium-high heat to 350–375°F.
Remove catfish from marinade. Dredge strips in cornmeal mixture, shake off excess, and add to pan. Work in batches, if necessary, so fish doesn’t touch. Fry for 3–5 minutes, turning occasionally, until deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Working in batches, if necessary, lower greens into oil and cover quickly (they will spatter). Fry for 30 seconds, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Heat tortillas just before serving. Divide catfish among tortillas. Top with maque choux, and garnish with collard greens. Serve with Louisiana-style hot sauce. Serves 4–6
*Louisiana-style hot sauce is based with vinegar and made with red chiles. Some available brands include Crystal, Trappey’s and Slap Ya Mama.)
- 4 ears corn, shucked
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning preferred
- ¼ tablespoons white wine, for deglazing
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
Rub corn with 1 tablespoon olive oil. On outdoor grill or grill pan over high heat, cook corn until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Slice kernels from corn.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add corn, garlic, jalapeño, onion, bell pepper, herbs and seasoning. Cook until onions and peppers are very soft, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with white wine, and stir until wine nearly evaporates. Reduce heat to low, and add cream and butter. Cook for 3 minutes. Keep warm.
Morgadío 2016 Albariño (Rías Baixas); $19, 90 points. This wine acts like a zippy squeeze of citrus to cut through these rich tacos. The juicy orange and rip grapefruit flavors refresh the palate and play well with the spicier flavors.