The weather has been gorgeous the past couple of days in New Orleans, which only makes social distancing – especially for social New Orleanians – even more difficult. Many families and groups of friends have gotten crafty when it comes to trying to spend time together while adhering to state guidelines. Today’s blog is a rewind to a previously published “Caterer’s Choice” from Chef Bryan Clark of Joel Catering and Events. Originally written for the Lenten season, we think taking a backyard fry party and tweaking it for social distancing rules can help everyone cope a little more and enjoy the gorgeous weather.




Last month, we introduced a new series called “Caterer’s Choice” where we have teamed up with Chef Bryan Clark, executive chef for Joel Catering and Events. Each month, Chef Bryan will be offering up some delicious recipes and additional food trends to give couples a plethora of ideas when it comes to engagement parties, reception options or just a lovely date night in for two.

Today, Chef Bryan brings us a New Orleans staple: fried seafood.

“It doesn’t matter what your religious faith is, because the Lenten season means fried seafood in New Orleans,” says Chef Bryan. “On Fridays, we go searching for the best fish fry, or head over to our favorite seafood restaurant for fried oysters, shrimp, and crawfish tails. But a third option is the backyard fry party; and it fits in nicely with our need to get out and celebrate warmer weather with friends and family. It’s not hard to do and with some good ingredients, you’ll be hosting a New Orleans tradition in your backyard.”

Chef Bryan has prepared everything you could need for your own fry station, from safety precautions to the ingredients you’ll need. The fry station is an excellent option for a springtime engagement party or couple’s shower.




Use a fryer such as this and make sure to follow the directions.


Safety precautions:

  • Make sure the fryer set up is not on a deck, on a flat surface and away from enclosed structures or overhanging tree limbs
  • Keep kids and pets away from fryer set up
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby just in case
  • When you’re finished frying, wait for the oil to cool and use a funnel to return it to its container. If the oil isn’t too dirty, you can reuse it.

Fried items:

  • Oysters – 1 GALLON
  • Louisiana Crawfish Tails – 5 LBS
  • Peeled Jumbo Shrimp – 5 LBS


Ingredients for frying:

  • Clear frying oil: Select a good frying oil such as a peanut and soybean blend.
  • Fish Fry – 4-5 boxes (48-60oz) (Zatarains or Louisiana Fish Fry)
  • Eggs – 10 each
  • Buttermilk – 1 1/2 quarts
  • Crystal Hot Sauce – 1 cup



  • Heat frying oil to 350F
  • Combine eggs, buttermilk, Crystal hot sauce (and whisk together for marinade)
  • Marinate Louisiana crawfish and jumbo shrimp; roughly 1 hour before frying
  • Strain oysters, toss oysters in fish fry mixture and fry until golden brown (3-4 minutes)
  • Strain Louisiana crawfish, toss crawfish tail in fish fry mix and fry until golden brown (2-3 minutes)
  • Strain jumbo shrimp, toss in fish fry mixture and fry until golden brown (2-3 minutes)



Dipping sauces: 

Remoulade Sauce – yields 1 pint 


  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Creole mustard
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 2 TSP Creole seasoning
  • 1 1/2 TSP lemon juice
  • 1 TSP hot sauce
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)


  • Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour


Cocktail Sauce – yields 1 pint 


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 TBSP horseradish
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lemon (freshly squeezed)
  • Tabasco to taste


  • In medium bowl, combine ingredients and mix together
  • Chill and serve


Horseradish Sauce – yields 1 pint


  • 1 cup horseradish (well-drained)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 1/4 TSP black pepper


  • Combine all ingredients into a small bowl, mix together
  • Chill and serve