Virgil’s Tartar Sauce


* ¾ cup mayonnaise

* 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

* 2 tablespoons capers

* 1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped

* 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

* Juice of ½ lemon

* 1 tablespoon scallions (greens only), finely chopped

* 1 ½ tablespoons celery, finely chopped

* ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce


1. In a small mixing bowl, blend all the tartar sauce ingredients.

2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Fried Chicken Spice Mix


* 6 tablespoons kosher salt

* 6 tablespoons sweet paprika

* 5 tablespoons onion powder

* 5 tablespoons garlic powder

* 3 tablespoons dry mustard

* 3 tablespoons cracked black pepper

* 1 tablespoon ground cumin

* 1 tablespoon dried thyme

* 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

* 1 tablespoon dried oregano

* 1 tablespoon dried sage

* 1 tablespoon chili powder


1. Thoroughly blend all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Transfer to a covered container.

3. Keep in a cool dry place until needed.

Makes 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons.

Virgil’s Creole Seasoning


* 2 cups seasoning salt

* ½ cup paprika

* ½ cup granulated garlic

* ½ cup cracked black pepper

* 2 tablespoons granulated onion

* 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

* 1 tablespoon dried oregano

* 1 tablespoon dried thyme


1. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together in a covered container.

2. Cover and store in a cool dry place.

Makes 4 cups.

Universal Flour


* 1 cup yellow cornmeal

* 2 cups all-purpose flour

* 1 tablespoon granulated garlic

* 1 tablespoon granulated onion

* 1 tablespoon kosher salt

* 1 teaspoon dry mustard

* 1 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1 teaspoon dried thyme

* 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

* ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.

2. Whisk together until incorporated.

3. Transfer to a covered container.

4. Store in a cool and dry place.

Makes 3 ¼ Cups



* 2 ½ cups canola oil

* 2 cups buttermilk

* ¼ cup hot sauce

* 1 tablespoon Fried Chicken Spice Mix

* ½ teaspoon Virgil’s Creole Seasoning

* 2 cups Universal Flour

* 4 (7-8 ounce) fresh catfish fillets

* 2 lemons, cut into halves or wedges


1. In a large, deep saucepan, heat the canola oil to approximately 350°F.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, Fried Chicken Spice Mix and Creole Seasoning.

3. Set out the Universal Flour in a separate small bowl.

4. Place the catfish in the buttermilk mixture for 3 minutes.

5. Remove and dust with the Universal Flour.

6. Shake off the excess and gently slide into the hot oil.

7. Fry the fillets for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown on one side.

8. Flip and fry for 3 more minutes, or until golden brown. (Fry the fillets in two batches of two fillets each. They will be much easier to maneuver.)

9. Remove the fried fillets to a large plate covered in paper towels.

10. Blot with paper towels to dry.

11. Serve immediately with ¼ cup of tartar sauce and a lemon half for each fillet.

Serves 4.

Find more tasty recipes for your next tailgate.

Camille Ford has been in love with and playing football since the 2nd grade. A professional foodie for over 10 years, she has a passion for great eats, you-can-do-it recipes and community, making her a tailgate regular. Follow her exploits @CamiFord and on her website.

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