John Folse, who owns the New Orleans-based specialty-food company Chef John Folse & Co., learned all about Cajun ingredients while growing up in a trapper's cabin in St. James Parish, Louisiana. After opening his first restaurant, Lafitte's Landing, Folse sought out a hot sauce that he could use in his elegant French-Cajun dishes. He automatically thought of the long skinny bottle of Louisiana Hot Pepper Sauce that was a staple on his family's dinner table because it seemed to go with everything. Folse located that sauce, but found that he liked a newer Tabasco-mixed chile version, called Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce, even better. He particularly liked that it's pure chile flavor was not masked by the addition of vinegar which he thinks interferes with the subtle flavors of foods like the buttery crab and andouille sauce that tops the succulent sautéed snapper here.
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups white rice flour or all-purpose flour, for dredging
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
Six 7-ounce red snapper fillets
1/2 cup vegetable oil
In a medium skillet, combine the crab, andouille, wine, Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce, lemon juice, scallion and garlic and simmer over moderate heat until the liquid has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and add 3 or 4 tablespoons of the butter, shaking and swirling the pan until it is melted. Continue adding the butter a few tablespoons at a time, shaking and swirling the pan until all of the butter is incorporated and the sauce is thick and creamy; do not let the sauce boil. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm over very low heat.
Put the rice flour in a shallow bowl and season it with salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and water. Dip the snapper fillets in the egg wash, then dredge them in the rice flour, pressing to help it adhere.
In each of 2 very large skillets, heat 1/4 cup of the oil until shimmering. Add the snapper fillets to the skillets and fry over high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 6 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the fillets.