Summer Entertaining: Lake House Fish Fry

buttermilk fried catfish southern summer entertaining rebeccagordon buttermilk lipstick southern hostess party ideas tailgating alabama footballSummer Entertaining

Southern Socials

Southern Fried Summer At The Lake

A community fish fry is a fun way to kick off Memorial Day festivities. These traditional southern-style events are generally held in a public place starring the fresh catch of the day & are wonderful ways to celebrate just about any occasion. I’ve attended fundraisers & wedding receptions featuring simple & delicious fried fish, often times served with an array of tasty dipping sauces, spicy condiments & plenty of ice cold beer. If catching & cleaning your own isn’t your thing, get a head count & pick it up from your local fishmonger. With just a few ingredients, you’ll be dining lakeside in no time.

Hook, Line & Sinker

It’s easy to host a casual gathering at your lake house. Luring guests over to launch a boat load of summer fun is relatively straightforward & something our family did often growing up.

An outdoor fryer with a butane heat source is a great option for frying large quantities of fish. Think… another use for that turkey fryer. If your grill has a burner, you can use that just as well or even fry the fish indoors following the instructions provided below.

A dredging station will be necessary & it can be contained on a small table. Line up the items in the order in which they will be used. I generally work from the right side of the hot grease to the left, the final item in my lineup being the wire rack to drain the hot fish over. Have several pairs of tongs to use for different tasks. A spider is a great tool for retrieving the fish from the grease.

Have guests bring a dish to share with the group for an ultra effortless get-together.
Follow my tips for making the day extra special with a few fresh catch entertaining ideas.

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rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickZesty Buttermilk Fried Catfish Strips
makes 8 appetizer servings

1 cup whole buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 {0.6-oz} packets zesty Italian dressing mix, divided
2 lbs catfish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 1/2 cups finely crushed soda cracker crumbs
Vegetable oil
Garden-Fresh Tartar Sauce 

Whisk together the buttermilk, the eggs & 2 teaspoons of Italian dressing mix
in a large bowl. Add the catfish strips. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Combine the remaining Italian dressing mix & the cracker crumbs in a medium bowl.
Dip the catfish pieces into the cracker mixture, shaking off the excess.

Pour the oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches in a Dutch oven & heat to 360 degrees.
Drop the catfish pieces into the oil & fry, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes
or until golden brown & the catfish is opaque.

allow the oil to return to 360 degrees before dropping a new batch

Remove from the oil & drain on a rack over paper towels.
Serve the catfish with the Garden-Fresh Tartar Sauce.

southern summer catfish fry at the lake rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick southern recipes buttermilk fried catfish

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickGarden-Fresh Tartar Sauce
makes about 1 cup

Freshly snipped herbs bait this classic favorite.

3/4 cup mayo
1 Tbsp minced scallion
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp grated cucumber, optional

Stir together the first 7 ingredients & the cucumber, if desired, in a small bowl.
Serve with the Zesty Buttermilk Fried Catfish Strips.

Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess Catfish Fry Southern recipes alabama football food tailgating FROM THE SOUTHERN HOSTESS OF BUTTERMILK LIPSTICK

{helpful advice}

lake entertaining rebecca gordon southern hostess buttermilk lipstick tailgating ideas buttermilk fried catfish garden fresh tartar sauceHow To Host A Summer Fish Fry
Keep it casual with these easy ideas

Fill a wicker creel with entertaining essentials.
Casual dishtowels wrapped with twine keep the look easy.
Buoys & fishing lures add a special touch.

Line wooden crates with linens & paper for servings of malt vinegar chips.
Everyday lunch sacks become serving boats for the hot fish.
Ice down lots of beer for one fabulous lakeside get together.

southern summer fish fry lake house entertaining party ideas casual tailgating alabama football tailgate wedding party rebeccagordon buttermilk lipstick southern hostess

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickFresh Catch Fishing Boats
Reel in servings of fried catfish in easy to make paper Jon boats

Brown lunch sacks come in handy for all sorts of casual entertaining.
Cut the tops from the sacks & use as liners for a large platter of hot fried fish.
The bottom portion holds individual servings that can be tossed away when done.

Fold the top of the sack down a few times to tidy up the look.
Line a paper towel in the bottom of each sack.
Top with the fried fish & a small serving of the tartar sauce.
Sliced lemons add bold color & fresh flavor.


Big Catch Entertaining

If you’re planning to serve a school of hungry fish, the recipes can easily be doubled or tripled. Have guests chip in & bring a covered dish. Visit these posts for classic summer side & dessert favorites.

Buttermilk Cole Slaw

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

Buttermilk-Lemon Meringue Pie

music to your ears
“Talking Fish Blues” Woody Guthrie

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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