Bring On The Catfish
Bring On the Catfish
I’m taken with “catfish.” Why? Because I had never tasted any in my entire life until my husband Peter and I went on a Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise. The entrée was baked catfish in an almond crust. Initially, I was nervous about this, but I was won over in seconds. It was delicious! CLICK HERE to read more.
Or, as one catfish fan says, “As far as I can tell catfish is just plain white, mild fish, with a moist succulent texture. Pardon me, it’s a Southern favorite – y’all will just love it.” She’s absolutely right and that’s why I got caught up in an article titled, “The Miracle of Catfish” written by Sid Evans, the Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living, July 2018.
THE BEST CATFISH EVER
Evans starts by saying, “The best catfish in America is served at Murry’s Restaurant, just off U.S. 70 in Hazen, Arkansas. It’s hard to say what makes Murry’s catfish so special, but if you ask Murry’s son-in-law who has worked there for close to 50 years, he’ll tell you the secret is starting with a good catfish fillet. He doesn’t believe in using a heavy batter – just a seasoned cornmeal mixture. ‘This will give you a perfect light, flaky fish,’ he says.”
If you’re ever in Arkansas: stop by this rustic, low-slung brick building surrounded by rice fields and sporting a simple, weathered sign that says, “Murry’s Restaurant.” You won’t be sorry.
PREPARING CATFISH THE WALLACE WAY
In the same issue, Mississippi-based chef, Nick Wallace, who has appeared on the Food Network, has very definite ideas on how to cook catfish. Take a look.
CHOOSE CENTER CUT – He prefers Delacata Style Catfish Fillets because they are thick and meaty from end-to-end, which means they cook evenly. CLICK HERE to read about Delacata.
REMEMBER THE SOAK – Catfish has a mild flavor. Wallace gives the fillets a bath in whole milk or buttermilk, to lessen any fishy odor.
FLAVOR THE BREADING – Add seasonings to the cornmeal-and-flour mixture to give a touch of spice to this mild fish
KEEP IT CRISPY – Fry the fillets, then transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and place in a warm oven so they remain crispy.
THAT’S IT: NOW LET’S TALK TURKEY
Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 22nd so let’s have a few tips about cooking The Big Bird. I don’t think many people eat catfish on this special day. In my research I found a number of Turkey Tips. I don’t agree with many of them – take a look.
ORGANIC, FRESH OR FROZEN I always buy fresh and not necessarily organic.
FIGURE ON 1 TO 1 1/2 LBS. of turkey per person. For example, eight people will require a 12- to 14-lb. turkey. My rule: Just buy plenty. Everyone loves leftover turkey – especially at midnight when no one’s around.
COOK THE TURKEY on a rack of vegetables. I toss them all around the front, back and side of the bird.
KEEP THE STUFFING ON THE SIDE. Not in a million years! Half the fun of Thanksgiving is digging out that stuffing – especially a midnight when no one’s around.
BRINING KEEPS IT MOIST. I’ll pass on this one, too. Sounds like something from the18th century.
TO TIE OR NOT TO TIE? What spoilsport came up with this? For fun you tie ‘em up tight – and cut ‘em loose at the end.
RUB THE TURKEY WITH BUTTER or oil. I say “butter” – nothing is better than butter according to Julia Child.
SKIP THE BASTING. Are you mad? Yanking the oven open every 30 minutes and letting all that deliciousness waft out is part of the fun.
BUY A GOOD MEAT thermometer. Why? My mother always said, “Figure 20 minutes cooking time per pound.” Works every time.
TENT YOUR TURKEY WITH FOIL for 15 minutes after it’s out of the oven. With everyone howling for eats? You must be kidding!