A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Deviled Crab Fritters with Spicy Tartar Sauce Fresh Tuna Salad Fish & Corn Chowder Frozen Lemonade Pie [caption id="attachment_153690" align="alignnone" width="1140"] Photo Credit Enabled[/caption] Deviled Crab Fritters with Spicy Tartar

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Deviled Crab Fritters with Spicy Tartar Sauce Fresh Tuna Salad Fish & Corn Chowder Frozen Lemonade Pie [caption id="attachment_153690" align="alignnone" width="1140"] Photo Credit Enabled[/caption] Deviled Crab Fritters with Spicy Tartar

Hook, Line, & Summer: A Seafood Spread

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Deviled Crab Fritters with Spicy Tartar Sauce

Yield: 16 to 20 fritters.

For the tartar sauce:
1½ cups mayonnaise
¼ cup hot pickles, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons hot sauce
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

For the fritters:
2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, sliced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup buttermilk
8 ounces beer
1 pound backfin or special crabmeat
Vegetable oil (for frying)

For the tartar sauce: In a medium bowl, combine all sauce ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the fritters: In a large bowl, add cornmeal, flour, sugar, Creole seasoning, onion powder, baking powder, baking soda, red bell pepper, and green onions. Stir to combine.

Add the eggs, buttermilk, and beer to the flour mixture and stir, incorporating all ingredients.

Gently fold in crabmeat, taking care not to break up the crab. Let batter sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Pour 4 inches of oil into a Dutch oven. Heat until oil reaches 365°.

Working in batches, carefully drop batter by the tablespoon into hot oil. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until fritters begin to brown. Remove fritters and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain. Keep fritters warm in a 200° oven until ready to serve.

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Fresh Tuna Salad

Yield: 6 servings.

1½ pounds fresh tuna steaks (ahi or yellowfin)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅓ cup mayonnaise
Juice from 1 lemon
¼ cup red onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 tablespoons dill pickle juice
½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Butter lettuce (optional)
Hard-boiled eggs (optional)

Heat a heavy skillet on medium-high.

Coat tuna steaks in olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Place tuna in the hot skillet and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until there’s no pink left and the internal temperature is 145°. Place tuna on a plate and chill in refrigerator for an hour.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together mayonnaise, lemon juice, red onion, celery, pickle juice, and Old Bay.

Add chilled tuna steaks to the mixture and break them up using a fork. Mix and serve on a bed of butter lettuce with hard-boiled eggs.

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Fish & Corn Chowder

Yield: 6 servings.

6 slices bacon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 sweet onions, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
2 bay leaves
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
2 stalks celery, chopped
1½ teaspoons salt
2 cups fresh corn (about 4 ears) or frozen corn kernels
1½ cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
1½ pounds firm white fish fillets (cod or halibut), cut into 1½-inch chunks
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp. Remove, let drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside.

Add butter and onions to the remaining bacon drippings. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add stock, clam juice, bay leaves, potatoes, celery, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in corn, milk, and cream, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in fish and black pepper. Continue to simmer for an additional 3 minutes until corn is heated through. Remove and discard bay leaves. Crumble bacon on top, sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes, and serve.

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Frozen Lemonade Pie

Yield: 8 servings.

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
⅔ cup evaporated milk
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup thawed lemonade concentrate
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon zest or peel (for garnish)

For the crust: Combine all ingredients.

Using the bottom of a metal measuring cup, press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Place in refrigerator to chill.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and pudding mix.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese until light and fluffy.

Blending on low speed, add lemonade concentrate and vanilla extract to the whipped cream cheese. Add pudding mixture and continue to blend until all ingredients are incorporated. Batter will be thick.

Pour mixture into crust and spread evenly to all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set.

Freeze pie overnight. When ready to serve, let pie sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with lemon zest or peel.

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This story was published on May 17, 2022

Lynn Wells

Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.