Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Oven-Fried Catfish

One of the small catfish stalked in the pond.
With pink Barbie Zebco fishin' pole in hand, my 3 year old daughter followed me down to the pond in search of some not-so-illusive catfish. I've taken her fishing, briefly, a couple of times before, but without any luck. Usually she's too distracted with everything else going on around her she can only focus on fishing for about 5 minutes before she runs off to chase squirrels. Today wasn't much different, however, we did triumphantly catch a couple catfish for our evening meal, even if it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

I found this fish farm slash seafood store, Cedar Creek Fish Farm, out in the country outside of Fayetteville, NC while perusing the internet for a place that sells catfish fillets. All the grocery stores in town only sell freezer burnt catfish "nuggets" and I wanted something fresh. This fish farm sells catfish, oysters, crabs, etc., and will let you fish for a small fee out of their ponds and charge you per pound of fish caught; no catch and release. I thought this would be perfect to take my daughter out to. Whether it was on the end of her line or out of a tank, we were bringing home dinner regardless.

Admiring the catch of the day with her orange face from snacking on Cheetos.
We cut up a large shrimp we bought from the storefront and put some on a small circle hook 5 feet below a bobber. It only took about two minutes before we had our first fish on. I reeled it in most of the way and then gave her the pole. She had a hard time reeling it in so she just walked backwards until it was up on the bank. I put it on a stringer and threw out another cast. Sure enough, within 30 seconds we had our second fish, which slid down the bank and back into the pond after I removed the hook. When we had our 3rd fish on I decided to give her the net and let her net it. We took our 2 fish up to the storefront and had it filleted, put on ice and took it home.

Here is how I cooked it.

Oven-Fried Catfish

1 Beer
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 Tablespoon corn starch

Marinate the catfish fillets in about a half a can of Beer and a half a cup of hot sauce in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. Drink the remaining Beer. Mix enough cornmeal to dredge the fillets through with the corn starch and as much salt and pepper as you want to put in there. When the fillets are done marinating pat them dry and coat them in the corn meal mixture. Place the fillets on an oiled baking sheet and then spray them with some cooking spray. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees. It's that easy.

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