Spicy First Course: Crappie Soup
Thinking of a way to kick off your Thanksgiving feast? Think spicy crappie soup. This hardy dish will take the edge off the hunger that’s been growing in your guests’ tummies ever since they arrived and began circling your kitchen like starving vultures.
1/2 pound crappie fillets
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (4-ounce) can green chili peppers, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups canned peeled and diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup shrimp
- 3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
Spray a large saucepan with the vegetable cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute`, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder and saute` for 2 more minutes. Then add the chicken broth, chili peppers and cumin, stirring well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes, green bell pepper, shrimp and crappie. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. Gradually stir in the yogurt until heated through. This makes 4 servings, make multiples of this hardy soup that will calm those gnawing critters wrestling around in your guests’ eager tummies.
- 12 ounces crappie fillets
- 1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Toast almonds in a dry skillet until lightly golden, tossing once or twice, about 5 minutes. Set aside. On a large plate or shallow bowl, combine flour, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Dredge fillets in the seasoned flour. Shake off excess and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the fish until brown and flakeyon both sides and transfer the to a plate. Wipe out the pan and add remaining 2 tabelspoons butter and 2 tabelspoons oil. Add almonds and stir to coat. Stir in lemon juice and Worcestershire. Stir sauce thoroughly, season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pour over fillets. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve while warm. Makes 4 servings.
Chili Chips & Fried Hot Crappie
This is more of a tip than a recipe and it’ll add extra heat to your fried fish. I discovered years ago that I could make spicy popcorn by spiking the popping oil with seasonings such as powered onion, powdered garlic, blackening season or any other hare-brained spices that hopped out at me. By advancing that idea I found that I could season many dishes with this technique of seasoned oil.
Pour enough canola oil into your skillet or dutch oven for deep frying your fillets. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Slice three or more washed and dried jalapeno chilies into thin circles. Be aware that the moisture in the chili will sputter when added to hot oil. Once the slices are brown on both sides (turn once), then remove and drain. You now have tasty crispy pepper slices that rival potato chips.
Check the oil’s temperature and adjust it to be between 360 and 370 degrees. Now it’s ready for frying your fillets. The chillies will add a tongue-tingling treat to your fish. Once the oil is cool, you can save it in closed container in your `fridge for your next fish fry. As adventuresome as I am with spicing-up stuff, I haven’t perfected a way to fry chili ice cream… yet ;>)