Celebrate Chicago Black Restaurant Week with Luella's Gospel Bird

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Black Restaurant Week was designed to create a platform for African American-owned food and beverage businesses in the Chicago area and surrounding suburbs to be recognized and further patronized.

Launched in September 2015, and out of the mere desire to expose and support African American businesses, Lauran Smith created what is now known as "Chicago Black Restaurant Week."

Chicago Black Restaurant Week is the first of its kind in Chicago, and falls during Black History Month by design. It goes from Feb. 9 to 16 and includes more than 30 restaurants. Visit chiblackrestaurantweek.com for more information.

Darnell Reed, owner of Luella's Gospel Bird, visited ABC 7 Chicago Saturday to talk about the event. Visit luellassouthernkitchen.com/gospel-bird for more information.

Recipe: Luella's Crispy Catfish Sandwich

6 oz. catfish, cut into 2 pieces (3 oz. each)
1 brioche bun
2 cups cornmeal for dredging
canola oil for frying
2 tsp kosher salt

Combine the yellow cornmeal and salt in a stainless steel bowl. Dredge the fish in the cornmeal to coat all sides. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat until drops of water "dance" in the pan. Add enough canola oil to submerge the fish strips. Once the oil has heated to 325 degrees, fry the catfish in the skillet, turning it at regular intervals to cook through on all sides, until it is golden brown. Remove from pan and place fish on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Season with salt to taste.

Buttermilk Marinade

2 cups buttermilk
3 tsp creole seasoning
3 tsp chopped garlic

3 tsp chopped shallots

Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, stirring together until well blended. Place the catfish strips in a large bowl or container and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover the bowl or container and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.

Vinegar Slaw

1/4 cup julienned red cabbage
1/4 cup julienned green cabbage
1/4 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs whole grain mustard
2 Tbs orange blossom honey
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1.5 tsp celery seed
2.5 tsp granulated sugar
black pepper

Combine the vinegar slaw vegetables in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare the Vinegar Slaw Dressing by combining the dressing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisking gently to blend the ingredients evenly. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, stir and add salt and pepper to taste.

Creole Remoulade

1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 boiled egg
1/4 cup minced capers
4 tsp Dijon mustard
4 oz hot sauce (1/2 cup)
black pepper

Hard boil one egg and place in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high speed until the remoulade is smooth and evenly blended. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the bun. Spread remoulade on the top and bottom bun. Top the bottom bun with the fish then vinegar slaw then the top bun.
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