Saturday, July 14, 2012

From River to Plate in Under Four Hours

After a hot sweaty muddy four hours at a river, resulting in being browned to the color of a baked turkey, we managed to catch four catfish to keep (James 1: Frankies 3)!
Finally, keepers. One got tossed back because it was too small, so after we gingerly removed the hook from his mouth, being thankful he hadn't gulped it up like the previous two, he was released into the muddy wild.

James got to catch his first catfish ever, finally, after we convinced him to
a) use a worm instead of luncheon meat (our local catfish aren't high falutin) and
b) standing on our lucky rock, where we had caught all four of our catfish in under an hour, after attempting other spots...and had abandoned completely upon our second major snag and losing our second bobber of the day.

So...what did they look like?

Meet Kevin the Catfish, James' catch...yeah, he named him...right before I gutted him.

And this was ours (*ahem* the biggest one of the day)...

The two smaller ones did not get photo opps.
So, what did we do with those lovely creatures of nature?

Deconstructed Catfish Tacos with a Simple Slaw
After you have cleaned the fish (find your own YouTube video, we didn't like any of the ones we saw, and none of them did it like we do), including removing the skin, cut the fillets into 1-1 1/2" strips, and soak them in milk.
Soaking them in milk extracts some of the "muddy" taste that some people taste in catfish (we have never had a problem with it, personally). Make sure the liquid covers the fillets.

We soaked ours in a mixture of milk, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and a lime-honey mustard we found in the fridge, for an hour. 

Then we made a breading out of cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, parley flakes and dried oregano flakes.

There are literally no measurements. You're the boss here.

Fry those babies in just under an inch of hot oil, drain, and add to your dinner.

We made a quick slaw with red cabbage, green cabbage, white onions, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Served it with flour tortillas (corn is preferable) and some sliced tomato. James added mayo to his, while we opted for the spicy kick of Sriracha (a Vietnamese chilie garlic sauce)

A Sriracha funny from the humorous The Oatmeal (

It was a good day, playing in the mud, playing with worms and pulling in some catfish.

No, we're not Southern.

It was fun to see James eat something that had been in a river, swimming around, a mere four hours earlier...and being gutted on the kitchen counter in under two. It's the first time he's eaten something that fresh (he's fished, but only European carp, which is "sport fishing", so he's never had to gut a fish).
He may have been a bit weirded out by it, but he's has to get used to it...the eating something hours after it's been alive, we're going to be farm dwellers by next year this time, and eating animals we raise...with a little added luck, anyway. We're still in the patience portion of real estate Hell.

Today was just what we needed.

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