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kappydell

what do I do with catfish?

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Mary (my room mate) & I picked up some fishing licenses yesterday (extremely cheap because we are both on disability). So today we went fishing just for fun (and because we hadn't since she came back to Wisconsin) and lo & behold she lands two 20 lb flat-head catfish! We were the talk of the fishermen present, who couldn't believe that two "old" ladies could catch such nice ones using home-caught nightcrawlers on a dead-line rig. (You know how much fishermen love their gadgetry...) But now how do I cook them? I'm used to Lake Michigan salmon, you just cut them into inch thick steaks and away you go. But catfish? I didn't even know they lived in Wisconsin. But you can bet we will be fishing some more.

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Per my old grandfather - long deceased, nail the tail to a tree, skin it, gut it, cut the head off. You can then slice it into fillets or steaks. Roll in corn meal and fry them up.

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Per my old grandfather - long deceased, nail the tail to a tree, skin it, gut it, cut the head off. You can then slice it into fillets or steaks. Roll in corn meal and fry them up.

Per my my family too.

 

Salt-n-pepper mixed in corn meal, coat fillets or steaks and fry until crispy on the outside.

 

Or...

 

Salt-n-pepper/seasoned salt and BBQ for blackened catfish.

 

 

Congratulations on the fine catch!

 

 

Mmmmmmmm Mmmmmmm good. :feedme:

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A Thai lady I knew washed them, cut them into fillets (they are unbelievably easy to fillet), and cut the fillets into thick cubes, which she dredged in spiced cornmeal and fried with the skin still on. I could not believe I was eating catfish skins, but they were fine.

 

Skin it, gut it, cut the head off, rinse it, and cut it into fillets, skeleton slice, and wing-slices (actually belly flaps, but wing slices sounds better). Cut the fillets of a very large fish into smaller sections you can handle easier, and that have more or less uniform thickness.

 

My grandpa kept a study hook on a door post at the smokehouse. He hooked the fish up by its gills, cut little horizontal slits under the skull line, grabbed the slit edge of the skin with pliers, and yanked the skin off in long strips. Make a little slit at the base of the tailward end of the long fins, grasp firmly with pliers, and yank headward (while holding the tail--trust me on this part). Do not step on any housecats, yardcats, barncats, or feral cats while you're doing this. Do not trip and break your fool neck while trying to step between the cats.

 

If you have trouble peeling them with pliers, then fillet them, flip a fillet, and slide a knife between the skin and the meat. This is easier with bigger fish.

 

Wash the meat, salt it, pepper it, dip it in buttermilk, and dredge it in spiced cornmeal (or a fifty/fifty cornmeal and flour mix). Then bake or fry. Do not throw away the skeleton slice. It fries up just as well as the rest, and it tastes mighty good. The tailfin crunches delightfully.

 

For what you can't eat today, get a quart sized freezer container. Layer as many raw fillets as you can get in it. Fill in the interstices with lightly salted water. Freeze. Thaw these blocks under cold running water when you want more fish.

 

There are fancy recipes for farm-raised catfish. These tend not to work well with wild-caught catfish, which have a stronger flavor.

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We will be going fishing again tonight. Lots of recipes now to try out! Thank you all! Now if the 'cats' will cooperate (heeere kitty...I got chicken livers....!...and more nice fat nightcrawlers....!)

Edited by kappydell

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My dh cleans his fish then puts them in a bowl of water sprinkled with garlic powder (rather liberally but could be to taste) and then lets sit in the garage fridge overnight. In the morning we drain the water off and put in baggies for freezing. We also fry in a cornmeal mixture - we sometimes us a cajun seasoning to spice it up :) Yummy!

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Per my old grandfather - long deceased, nail the tail to a tree, skin it, gut it, cut the head off. You can then slice it into fillets or steaks. Roll in corn meal and fry them up.

 

I put my corn meal in a large baggie, add salt, garlic powder, onion powder, some Zataran's and fry them also. However, I use my cast iron chicken fryer to fry the fillet's in. Yum, yum! Serve 'em up with beans, cole slaw & dirty rice!

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OMG...fried up some of my cats tonight (caught 3 more channel cats last night, so I filleted them for dinner)after marinating 5 min in buttermilk, dredging in crumbs seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, and a shot of chili powder. I could not believe how tasty. I'm glad Mary does not eat fish, I would have had to be forced to share...Just for fun I also filleted the sheepshead I caught last night too. Not much meat, but what there was was excellent. Those cats though...I can see why people rave!

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I'd better get fishing if you are all dropping by for catfish!

 

Tonight we caught some sunfish and another sheepshead. Tomorrow the water ski team will be putting on their practice/show (we go cheer them on - they do a great 5-high pyramid)so the fish lay low until the day after, then they come back hungry! As we catch our 'rough fish' I am breaking out the recipes I have collected for these often un-eaten fish to try. Methinks it might be a good thing to know how to cook, just in case we need to eat those fish to survive in a pinch. Yes, even carp will be tried (much to the shock of many). A good old-fashioned Door County fish boil has a variety of fish but leans pretty heavy on the salmon, so it is horizon-broadening time!

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Congrats! And it is nice to hear you are enjoying the 'food'. :cook:

 

 

We have caught 30 trout and four sunfish so far this year. We have found the fish like the people's activity above them. We will throw the line in before/after they float by, it seems to cause them to bite. Of course, where we are fishing, the floating hoards are dropping snacks and stuff...

 

 

This time, I soaked them in brine and smoked them. Not bad, next time I will skip the brine, it made them too salty for me. Might be good on a cracker as a snack. Usually, I'll put a portion in the microwave for 3 minutes with margarine/butter, salt and pepper or lemon pepper. Quick, easy, and tasty for me. :yum3:

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I told Mary we had to catch a carp - Im craving pickled fish...any sunfish I hope to salt down and dry (like salt cod used to be). Tonight we took more bait (chicken livers) out of the freezer to make up for tomorrow. Catfish & carp beware! Mary won't eat fish, but she loves to catch them; me, I eat what I take, be it by hook or by bullet.

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More fish! Mary & I are fishing quite often, for the last week catching pan fish. She was getting a little cranky on nights when things were slow. Well, tonight she got another good size catfish (5 lbs - much to the envy of the other fishermen present). She does not mind catching the panfish, but she reeeealy likes the big cats; she says they are as much fun to catch as the salmon we used to fish for 10 yrs ago. The big ones, she does not mind cleaning & cutting up. We also got 3 bullheads (mini-catfish), a couple bluegills and a sheephead. I like to see all the other fishermen hot-footing it over when we pull our stringers to see what we have as we seem to be an oddity - two older women (no husband/kids in tow)-just plain fishing. I told her now she has to get me that carp to pickle!

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Yay! Mary caught a carp. (The night after she caught a Northern Pike, much to the envy of all the others at the fishing lagoon.) She kept it solely at my request - she says they creep her out, looking like giant goldfish and all. So last night I I ate carp and did NOT die...matter of fact it was pretty good. Buttermilk kills the 'muddy' taste (that and removing the 'mud vein'). I think I scored it on the wrong side however - the Y bones did not dissolve in the cooking fat. Im pickling some, along with some Northern Pike (also known for Y-bones) using a recipe from the local Dept of Natural Resources. I'm glad Mary caught a carp, I have been craving that pickled fish!

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Many years ago when I lived in Arkansas, a neighbor family loved to catch and eat carp.Said they preferred carp over all other fish. They cooked the carp in a pressure cooker instead of a skillet. They used a combo of cornmeal and seasoned flour, then pressure-fried the fish with a very small amount of oil or fat. I tried it and it was tasty. I prefer a good, crispy catfish steak .

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Hey Pigzilla! Long time no see! How are you?

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Hi Dogmom, Thanks for asking. A big long whiney list of life is what happened. In 1 years time, my Dad died and left me his Jeep. But befor I could get it, his house was broken into and the jeep and a lot of other stuff was stolen. Finally recovered the Jeep, and was able to pick it up 3 months later. Glenn had his 3rd back operation in Oct. He is now fused S1 to L1. Then in Jan. he had a total knee replaced. We were still battling with the bank over a loan mod on our house. They offered a 'real good deal' by lowering the payment by $200. BFD! Computer kept trying to die, but I guess I threatened to throw it off the roof enough times that its working again, mostly.

 

The only good thing that happened, I was left a bit of stock investments my Dad had. I called the bank and asked if they would consider a lump sum of 3/4 of what we owed on our house to pay it off. Rude does not even begin to cover the attitude of the bank people. So I told Glenn those SOBs would not get another penny from me. We came up to Oregon and found a great house, offered cash to the sellers, got a good deal. I called a moving co. and said so-long to Cali. We sold the house on a short sale for $5,000 less than I had offered to pay them. Go figure.

 

Our new home has a huge plum tree in back. The kind with the burgundy colored leaves. And plums the size of cherries. I used my steam-juicer and got 42 quarts of juice to make into jelly- later. There are blackberrys all over around here. The field behind us is loaded with almost ripe goodness. And a u-pick blueberry farm just up the road.

 

I have been lurking mostly, hardly ever posting. I'm glad you missed me. Hope all is well with you and your family. pigz

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That would certainly work, the pressure cooking would dissolve the Y-bones, and once you cut out the 'mud vein' that is the only down side to carp. I'm buying a new pressure cooker next payday since I don't want to drag out the canner to try cooking just enough for one meal. BTW, the pickled carp was excellent! Not a Y-bone anywhere, and very tasty! I plan on canning some carp, too, since I like both salmon and tuna, and carp is said to taste like one or the other depending on what you put in with it. I'm sold on carp - their nice big size alone is enticement enough to try them. For anyone who might want it, here is the recipe I used (from the local DNR)It was designated as a good pickle for fish with Y-bones.

 

 

PICKLED FISH

Northerns are best. Cut fish in domino size pieces. Put in cold water for 1 hour or more. Then put in jars. Add 4 cups vinegar and 5/8 cup canning salt. Put in refrigerator for 1 week. Drain. Mix and bring to a boil 1/2 box mixed pickling spices, 4 cups sugar, 4 cups vinegar. Cool before putting on fish. Put layers of onion and fish. This is ready to use in one week. (Total recipe time 2 weeks)

 

 

The only change I made is that I did not use pre-made pickling spice (too many cloves) but used 1 TB each mustard seed and celery seed, and 1/2 bay leaf per quart jar. I did have some extra pickling syrup left over (I made only 2 quarts to start) which made lovely coleslaw dressing with the addition of a little oil! I made 1 quart using just carp, another using just northern pike. Both were excellent.

Edited by kappydell

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Today I scored 10 lb of frozen 'sucker' fish from the owner of a local bait shop. He got them bow-fishing, and says he does not have time to cook them. He will give to me in exchange for two pint jars of pickled sucker. Caught two channel catfish yesterday, and a two stringers totaling 20 bullheads (we were turned on to a new fishing hole...). Im sure cleaning a lot of fish, LOL! Getting out the canner to try the fake smoked (canned) fish recipe from the univ of Fairbanks, AK. True it is for 1/2 pints jars only, but so what? For canned fish I will open two jars...

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:hi: Kappy.

 

Your fishing expeditions sound fun, and yummy. :feedme: Don't forget to bury the scraps in your mulch bin/garden.

 

The area we fish, has been over-fished. However, by diving, I know where they are hiding... :happy0203: Hoping, next week, to try to catch some, God willing.

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Had my first 'public' catfish fry...one where I fed guests catfish fillets we caught down at the river. It was raved over...just soaked them in buttermilk 1 hour, then breaded them with panko crumbs seasoned with Mrs Dash garlic & herb seasoning, then deep fried. OMG, now I remember why I had been resisting buying a deep fryer all those years. That stuff is addictive. I even made some extra for fish sandwiches the next day and they were excellent as well. Now THAT is what I'm talking 'bout when I think of summer...fried cat, with garden goodies on the side (coleslaw, tomato wedges, corn on the cob...all picked fresh). I think I gained 'bout 5 pounds! I have lots of volunteers to come eat again whenever I want to clear out the frozen 'cat fillets a bit, plus a couple others who heard about it and insist on being added to the invite list next time.

 

On another fishy note, I put the 'suckers' I am pickling into the 2nd pickle (from the recipe in part one) so in a week I will go bearing pickled suckers back to my bow-fishing benefactor. If they turn out anywhere near as tasty as the pickled pike I made from that recipe, then he will probably scarf the extra pint I'm giving him on the spot! (I like to spoil those who give me free food; it encourages them to do so again....)

Edited by kappydell

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Anything fried in panko is delicious...as far as we're concerned. Found a Mennonite store that sells it by the big bags. I pay about the same for a 3# bag as I would for a box at the store. They're unseasoned so I can season them any way I want!

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I'll have to check the Mennonite store in my area...I use a lot of panko whether I fry or bake my foods.

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