Fish Calas (Creole Rice Fritters) and Rémoulade

Contributed by Editor-in-Chief J. Townsend

This dish goes straight back to my culinary roots in New Orleans. I cut my teeth there cooking in some very reputable kitchens under some amazing chefs. This is one of my favorite New Orleans dishes.

You might be wondering, “What the heck are calas?”

Calas are basically doughnuts with rice inside. They trace their origin back to the street vendors of the 1700s. Mostly Creole women vendors would walk the streets in the morning singing, “Bel calas tout chauds!” (Creole for “Beautiful calas, still hot”). Calas are French Creole in their origin and were typically eaten as a breakfast food using leftover rice from the night before and some sugar, spices, flour, and eggs. Over time they evolved into something more commonly sold in restaurants and not on the streets. I originally learned how to cook calas with shrimp which were not sweet like the traditional calas. This recipe replaces the shrimp with white flaky fish. I decided to use some Yellowtail Amberjack from my last deep sea fishing trip. Any white flaky fish will work. I would certainly use trout, bass, or crappie.

Rémoulade is a French tartar sauce. This particular recipe is a New Orleans style rémoulade. There is some additional spice and seasoning as well as the cajun/creole trinity, bell pepper, onion, and celery.

Fish Calas

Ingredients:

  • 2 White Flaky Fish Fillets, cooked (smoked or roasted)
  • 2 cups of Cooked White Rice
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Corn Meal
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Oil for deep frying

Preparation:

  1. Flake the fish off the skin
  2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl
  3. Heat Oil to 350 degrees
  4. Drop in 1 tablespoon sized balls into the oil
  5. Cook until golden brown

Rémoulade

Ingredients:  This Makes 1 quart

  • ¼ cup minced Parsley
  • 1/3 cup minced Celery
  • ¾ cup minced White Onion
  • 1/3 cup minced Bell Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Prepared Horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce or Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • ¾ cup Ketchup
  • 2 cups Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Place the Parsley, Onion, Celery, and Bell Pepper into the food processor and chop to fine pieces
  2. Add in all of the other ingredients
  3. Mix thoroughly
  4. Refrigerate or freeze any remaining sauce after eating.

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