Hurry! Need catfish help! Now!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cabin Fever, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Okay, my wife, Wind In Her Hair (WIHH), has left for work. I have today off and would like to make her a surprise supper. Now as most of you know, WIHH is from Texas and I'm a fourth generation Minnesota yankee. I love to eat and catch fish, but all that I'm familiar with is walleye, northern pike, crappies and the like. WIHH keeps telling me how wonderful catfish is. Heck, I've never had catfish...it reminds me of bullhead...I hate bullhead!

    At any rate, I'm gonna surprise her by buying some fresh catfish that the supermarket has on sale...but the thing is, I don't know if there is any special way to prepare it to make it "southern-style." Do I prepare catfish by using my regular ol' breading mix or beer batter? Do I poach it in the oven like salmon? Do I grill it (hey, I still grill at below freezing temps). I NEED HELP!!! I wanna do this right!

    Is there a southern way of making catfish that will remind her of home??? A way to prepare it like all those catfish resturants do that I see when we visit down south.

    And if it ain't too much trouble, what about side dishes.

    Please hurry, this is gonna happen tonight.

    P.S. I don't need any help from any Iowegians or Cheeseheads.
     
  2. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Cabin, My wife makes a great pecan-crusted catfish and pours a little maple syrup over it. Don't know the recipe, but it sure tastes good.
     

  3. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Cabinfever
    Since I am south of the cheeseheads in the ''sucker state'' I will not give you any catfish cooking advice. I will say that a Jello salad would not make a good ''side''.
     
  4. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

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    Being a good southerner, I'd say fry it. Use whatever breading you like or possibly cornmeal or corn flour. If you can figure out hushpuppies, they are always a great side for good old catfish. Cole slaw is nice also.

    By the way, I'm a cajun living among cheeseheads.
     
  5. Mary in MO

    Mary in MO Well-Known Member

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    As a former southerner I'd say to deep fry it. Get some catfish breading mixture (they should have it by the fish dept at the grocery store). If you don't see it ask the clerk. Might be in with the flour. Pick up a bag of frozen hushpuppies - I like them with jalapeno's in them. Make some tartar sauce (mayo and sweet pickle relish). Find some good cole slaw.

    Go home, fill up a large pan (like you'd cook spaghetti in) with oil. Get out your frying thermometer and heat the oil to I think it's about 400 degrees (should say on the thermometer - mine says fish, donuts etc... at the right temp). Turn on the oven to about 350. Get a cookie sheet and put a rack on it (like you'd use to put cookies on), place that in the oven.

    Take your fish and there should be enough moisture on them to hold the breading. Pat the breading onto the catfish so they're covered real nicely. Put them on a plate next to the stove.
    Cook up the hush puppies first - they cook quick so watch 'em carefully. Put them on the cookie sheet.
    Next, start on the catfish. How long depends on the size of your pieces. I like the smaller ones rather than the filets. I'd imagine about 4 minutes tops. The breading should be nice and golden brown - not anemic looking. When you finish the first batch, put them on the rack on the cookie sheet and return it to the oven.

    Sides are pretty minimal... hush puppies, a good cole slaw maby some corn. She should be impressed. Since she's from Texas I'd vote twice for the jalapeno in the hush puppies. You can make them from scratch but that's a whole nother kettle of fish. If you can't find the hush puppies go with corn muffins and then you can add a small can of corn and some jalapenos and shredded cheddar cheese to the mix. Yummy.

    Good luck!

    Mary
     
  6. flutemandolin

    flutemandolin mark an eight, dude!

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    Cabin- you know I'm not a southerner, but I'm no cheese head or Ioweegian, and I just happen to like a good catfish dinner once in a while! My husband and I have two ways of preparing them, grilled or fried. For grilled cats, put on lots of Cajun seasoning (in the spice section of the grocery store, there are several varieties available; I like Louisiana brand, it comes in a big orange shaker, or McCormick's is good.) Wrap each fillet in foil with a couple pats of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some chopped garlic if you like. Grill for about ten minutes.

    I pan fry catfish in melted butter or peanut oil. I don't remember the proportions, but I mix a little flour and cornmeal and Cajun seasoning, roll the cats in it and fry a couple minutes on each side.

    I'd rethink the bullheads too. Last summer I had some huge yellow bullheads from the gill nets in one of our lake surveys. I pan fried them using the recipe above, and they were great! These Scandihoovians around here just don't understand the concept of seasoning, other than salt, pepper and a little onion. :rolleyes:
     
  7. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    What happened to my post? This is an emergency situation. Cabin could really screw it up by cooking it yankee-style. :eek:

    Dip the damp filets in cornmeal that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry in pan with about 1" of hot oil of your choice. Adding flour or bread crumbs will make the crust much heavier; I prefer it lighter. Serve with fries, cole slaw, and hush puppies. Texans usually like their pinto beans and green tomato relish, too. Don't forget the sides: sliced sweet onions, and plenty of tartar sauce.

    Mmmmm. Now I'm gonna have to hit Catfish King for lunch.
     
  8. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

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    The only way to have catfish is fried, like Mary said. We just always used yellow cornmeal for the breading. Don't forget the french fries and some thin sliced sweet onions would be good. Oh, almost forgot green tomato relish, that is IF you are lucky enough to find some in the store.

    Let us know how it turns out.
     
  9. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

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    catfish has a stronger fishy taste than crappie so I fist make a mixture of eggs, tbsp of mustard and lots of seasoning..salt, garlic powder,caynne pepper... then on the side I make the coating of a little flour, corn meal and lots of seasoning. dip the fish in the wet batter and let sit for about 15minutes then get oil hot test by dropping a little flour in to see if it sizzles.. in the mean time start battering the coated fish with the flour fry til they float. I make frys and hushpuppies and a green salad with mine sometimes we'll have a potao salad or baked potatoes. I'm from south Louisiana. Not sure if that's how they cook em in Texas happy eating Rannie
     
  10. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I hate to start a catfight on the forum, but I have to take exception to a couple of Mary in Mo's comments-

    First off, there is no such thing as a "former Southerner", you either are, or you ain't!

    I do, however, agree that frying is the way to go- BUT, use a dutch oven. And, I have never met WIHH, but no self-respectin' Southerner that I ever met would eat a frozen hush puppy. Make your own or forget it! Here, you can use my recipe if you want-

    1 cup cornmeal
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 small-med onion, minced
    1 egg
    1/4 cup milk

    Mix together the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and onion. Then break in the egg and beat vigorously. Add the milk, stirring to combine. Form the batter into balls.
    After the fish are fried, cook the hush puppies in the same dutch oven, in the fish fry oil, heated till almost smoking. Drop the hush puppies in, a few at a time, and cook until they are a deep brown color. Remove, drain on paper sack or toweling, serve hot.

    I don't use jalapeno in mine, but seein' as how WIHH is from Texas I guess that'd be ok- use your own judgement there. I also agree with her choice of cole slaw and corn as side dishes- the only way to go.

    From a dyed-in-the-wool Southerner (you know the saying-"American by birth, Southern by the grace of G-d"- don't give up your heritage so easily, Mary!) who just happens to be living in Minnesota at the moment (at least until I can convince my Yankee husband to take me "home", lol!).

    Good luck with your surprise, whichever way you go with it.
     
  11. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Okay, I'm back from the store and now I'll have to go back and get fries and cole slaw :rolleyes: I ain't gonna attempt no green relish.

    THANK YOU all for the receipts. I'm gonna fry these babies and try not to get oil splattered all over the stove and countertops.

    HERE'S THE NEW PROBLEM: WIHH has lots of corn meal type stuff around here and I don't know which one to use for the fish AND the hush puppies. Here are my choices:
    * Bob's Red Mill Cornbread Mix & Cornmeal Muffin Mix
    * Bob's Red Mill 100% Stone Ground Whole Grain Cornmeal - Coarse Grind
    * Quaker Yellow Corn Meal
    * Corn Masa flour mix
    Which one do I use?? Or do I go back to the store?
     
  12. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Either of these-

    Bob's Red Mill 100% Stone Ground Whole Grain Cornmeal - Coarse Grind
    Quaker Yellow Corn Meal
     
  13. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

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    quacker corn meal
     
  14. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't go with this one, unless you're fixing duck.

    Don't do masa. The others should be fine.
     
  15. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

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    Cabin, look in the pickle section of your grocery store for the green tomato relish. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you find some.


    Steve would you be any chance be in the Piney Woods area of Texas. Livingston to be more specific.
     
  16. mamabear

    mamabear Well-Known Member

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    "My wife makes a great pecan-crusted catfish and pours a little maple syrup over it."


    Syrup on catfish...
    Now that's different.

    Think I'll save the syrup for my pancakes though.

    Gotta have the sweet ice tea and let us know when it'll be ready so we'll know when to be there.

    mamabear
     
  17. cuphalffull

    cuphalffull Well-Known Member

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    If you deep fry, I think 400 degrees is a bit too hot. I think a good deep fry temp would be around 350-365 degrees.
     
  18. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

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    LOL :eek: yeah after I hit reply I saw the duck issue LOL Rannie
     
  19. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's Mrs Renfrow's green relish. We always used white cornmeal. (Wichita Falls)

    Oh hey...BBQ'd Bass is drop-dead out of this WORLD!

    Mon
     
  20. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Question-are you scaling or fileting these fish before cooking? I would like to know,thanks.

    BooBoo