Friday, February 12, 2010

Makin' Groceries with FRIED CATFISH ala Da Cajn Critter

My review of the cookbook, Da Cajn Critter - The Lifestyles, the Rules and Makin Groceries continues. Take a look at my last 4 posts to see an incredible cake, a Crab Salad, and TWO very different, but very tasty Pork Tenderloin recipes.

So far, I have been talking about the recipes (which ALL have been wonderful and easy to replicate). But, before I get to the catfish recipe, I should explain "Makin' Groceries". To the rest of the world, it might be just grocery shopping. But in Cajun country, Makin' Groceries is an attitude. Let me quote from the introduction...

Making Groceries is part of the fun and should be like a scavenger hunt. You may not know what you will find, but there are clues along the way. Remember there are people along the trail who you can stop to ask for directions. It is a time to get to make friends with your butcher, your produce manager and the customer service department at your local grocery store. You will be amazed at how much they actually enjoy assisting you - It makes their job more interesting and over over time you will have some friends to look for when you go shopping.
That little bit of advice will add a pep to your step when you are doing the mundane job of shopping. In fact, if you head to the store looking for an adventure, you will indeed find that Makin' Groceries is not mundane at all.

And sometimes, you get advice that guides you to something better and unexpected. Like my trip to the meat department to pick up some fish to cook for the book review. I had planned to make some trout, or if possible, there is a redfish recipe I had wanted to try (don't get much redfish in Kansas, so I was not optimistic). Now, without knowing the words, I found out I have been "makin' Groceries" for months. I regularly talk to and ask advice from the produce guys and the meat department guys. I find out what is fresh, and what is on sale (or will be going on sale. Getting to know these guys has saved me literally hundreds of dollars). This day, I asked for some trout. As my guy was pointing out what he had, he asked what I was going to do with them. I explained the book review and the recipe. He dropped the trout and told me that there MUST be a CATFISH recipe in a Cajun cookbook. The store had just gotten some fresh, never frozen catfish in and it was the best seafood in the store at that moment. Kansas being Kansas, we just don't hear "fresh and never frozen" very often when talking fish. So, while "makin' Groceries", I was directed to something that plain old grocery shoppers would not have discovered.

Now, I'm excited to go shopping today and let my buddy in the meat department know that his suggestion worked GREAT...

Here's the recipe for TROY HANNAH's FRIED Trout... er I mean CATFISH.

Mise en Place (assemble the ingredients)

3 eggs
3 TBS Milk
2 TBS prepared Mustard
1 cup unseasoned Fish Fry
Fresh Catfish Fillets
Vegetable Oil

Beat the eggs, milk and mustard in a bowl. Pour the fish fry (your store has this, it is a corn meal and flour mixture) into a bowl. Dip each piece of fish into the egg mixture, then into the fish fry. Fry in the oil until it is golden brown and the fish flakes.

Talk about GOOD! It's been years since I have eaten catfish, but I do have a history. My sainted mother hails from a little town near the boot part of Missouri. Her family lives on the edge of Lake Wappapello (really, it just sounds made up, it even has a Wikipedia entry... Click HERE). I know catfish. I have eaten great catfish and not so great catfish... this recipe is as good as it gets!

I plated this with a REALLY amazing sour cream corn bread and some bacon wrapped faux grilled bacon wrapped pineapple, but those are posts for another day!


  1. Now that's a great find - fresh catfish! We grill pineapple often, but I never thought of wrapping it in bacon! :o

  2. Catfish is one of my favorites! Looks delicious!

  3. That's some great looking fish Dave. i'll have to try the mustard in the egg dip.

  4. I firm up catfish with a little can be a bit mushy at times...

  5. Oh how I LOVE catfish! Yours looks mouthwatering. Oh yeah, I never did find out which was the un-lie. I bet you are getting ready for the move.

  6. mmmm, i don't eat catfish much, but my southern husband loves it! i have got to try this, and i need to get my hands on that cookbook!

  7. Perfectly browned! and I like your skewer!

  8. Yum! I've got to try me some of that fried catfish. Love that little skewer! Thanks for this recipe Dave.

  9. Hubby and I love fried catfish and yours is making me hungry just to look at it! Thanks for sharing with us today. I hope you and your "sugar" are staying warm!

  10. I really like the idea of "makin groceries". I always go to the supermarket with a plan but maybe next time I should just go and see where the wind takes me (my only fear being that the wind will take me to a $100 shopping bill). The catfish does look delicious. Can't wait to hear about that cornbread!

  11. Great fish recipe and with Lent rapidly approaching, I'll be giving this a try.

    I have to admit that I thought for a minute that your bacon-wrapped pineapple was a bacon-wrapped wine cork...LOL!

  12. You are really on a Cajun kick, cher! And you are speaking my language with the fried catfish. I had some for lunch today, at Pat's Downtown, except it was topped with crawfish etouffee!! And your sour cream cornbread and pineapple en brochette sound fabulous!

  13. Dave, that looks amazing. It's perfectly golden on the outside and just fork tender on the inside. Wow, for a bite of that. And the sides .. whoa!! The whole ensemble is just brilliant. Happy Valentine's Day to you!


  14. What a cool cookbook, I've enjoyed your review! The catfish looks so tasty!

  15. You had me at fried catfish - I was a catfisherwoman when I lived in Texas and loved a big fish fry after a good catch. Nice post!

  16. I haven't had catfish since being a girl in Texas, but miss it done well. This recipe looks good except for my pesky allergy so I'll eat it vicariously through this post.

  17. Dave, this has to be the best looking catfish I have EVER seen.