Fried Catfish Breakfast

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Liketoeat
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/08/27 10:19:36 (permalink)
Bushie, sounds like you all indeed are located in some fine fishing country; really a greater assortment of fish than we have. Our main eating fish are crappie, bream, cat, and to some lesser degree, bass or trout. Sorry to hear you all also have gar. Do you all also have buffalo? Not a buffalo or carp fisherman, tho we have both, along with some drum and shad (which are really a good for nothing fish-all bone) and grinnel ("grinner") which cooks up so pretty but which I just can't get down. The more you chew on it the more it just grows in your mouth until its finally full and have to spit it out (know a few folks who can eat it , but it's that way with most people). Like you, don't do the amount of fishing used to do, but it is fun and a subject of great memories.
#31
Bushie
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/08/27 19:52:13 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Liketoeat

...Do you all also have buffalo? Not a buffalo or carp fisherman, tho we have both, along with some drum and shad (which are really a good for nothing fish-all bone) and grinnel ("grinner") which cooks up so pretty but which I just can't get down. The more you chew on it the more it just grows in your mouth until its finally full and have to spit it out...

LTE, I've heard people speak of buffalo as a trash fish, but I've never encountered one. I've never even heard of grinnel, but considering your description, I don't think I'm missing anything.
#32
Liketoeat
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/08/27 23:43:36 (permalink)
Bushie, I've never thought of buffalo really as a trash fish, but its always, in my opinion, been several rungs down the ladder from any sporting fish or catfish (though there are plenty folks who surely disagree with me on that statement). Guess it would be cloest to cat but with a "courser" texture and flavor, if that description makes any sense. It definitely rates above drum or carp, tho. Also, its a sucker which is usually commercially caught or netted and sold rather than individually caught. Don't know what it is about grinnel; it cooks up beautifully; looks like a big fine piece of cat & with similar texture, but when start to eat it, it just starts to grown and most people wind up with equivalent of a mouth full of cotton. I'd heard that all my life, but didn't believe till till tried it. Its so with me and most people, though there are a few who can eat it. Only "grinner" I was ever able to get down were a few thin, fried crips pieces (and with fish I like big, thick, soft white pieces).
#33
spadoman
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/09/25 07:21:08 (permalink)
Fish and eggs is great, especailly at the campground when on a fishing trip. I agree with most writers here that Crappie and Walleye are great. Catfish with a very crunchy coarse corn meal crust is one of my favorites. There is an outfitter on the Gunflint trail in northern Minnesota who used to pack a cast iron skillet and lard along with his own special recipe coating for your shore lunch when you rented a canoe trip outfitting package. Yhis added considerable weight, but he felt it was worth the expeience. Another ghreat fish for breakfast is at the South of the Border Cafe in Grand Marais, Minnesota. (South of the Canadian Border that is!) They serve, in season, fried herring and eggs. The herring is filleted from freshly caught fish from cold clear lake Superior. It is Deeeeeeelish!
#34
Mayhaw Man
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/09/25 08:51:01 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Liketoeat

Bushie, I've never thought of buffalo really as a trash fish, but its always, in my opinion, been several rungs down the ladder from any sporting fish or catfish (though there are plenty folks who surely disagree with me on that statement). Guess it would be cloest to cat but with a "courser" texture and flavor, if that description makes any sense. It definitely rates above drum or carp, tho. Also, its a sucker which is usually commercially caught or netted and sold rather than individually caught. Don't know what it is about grinnel; it cooks up beautifully; looks like a big fine piece of cat & with similar texture, but when start to eat it, it just starts to grown and most people wind up with equivalent of a mouth full of cotton. I'd heard that all my life, but didn't believe till till tried it. Its so with me and most people, though there are a few who can eat it. Only "grinner" I was ever able to get down were a few thin, fried crips pieces (and with fish I like big, thick, soft white pieces).


Liketoeat,
A redneck outdoor adventure tale for you,

When I was growing up my father was the city attorney in Monroe. The way governments are set up under our arcane system of rule the CA serves as a tacit city manager, so he had occasion to know pretty much everyone working for the city. Well, there was a mechanic at the city bus barn (who will be known in this story as Mr. Snopes) who my father helped out with some kind of minor game violation (I think it was shooting rabbits at night from a public road off of the hood of a truck). The guy owed him a favor so he offered to take my brothers and I camping on a little fishing trip to a place in Morehouse Parish known as the Rockpile (which is located on International Paper land and I am pretty sure that in itself was illegal, but what did I know? I was 14). This place was an old gravel pit that had running water (very unusual in the delta) and very deep channels. Well, the upshot of the fishing expedition is that we slaughtered em. Catfish, gaspergou, alligator gar, buffalo, and grinnel. Tons of them (almost literally) as fast as we could catch 'em all night. They were keeping everything with plans to sell them at the fish market in West Monroe (we also got a bunch of BIG frogs) and all of this stuff used to be legal to sell as food fish (they have since changed the law and you know need a license).

Anyway, Mr Snopes started skinning and cleaning a couple of the grinnel (I was horrified, no one I knew ever at them). He cut the meat up into fine pieces and added onion, chopped garlic, assorted spices and rolled the whole thing in egg wash and flour and cracker meal. They were then deep fried the same way that you fry hush puppies. Oh boy did they make a fine breakfast. Mr. Snopes said that he had learned how to cook this otherwise unedible fish from some Vietnamese guys that worked for the city. He said that the fillets would "blow up" in your mouth (just as you referenced), but that the little fish balls, for some unexplained reason, did not.

While I rarely run into a grinnel these days, I did use this technique not too long ago with one of those pesky "snakeheads" that have invaded our streams and they were damn good.

That was the beginning of a relationship that lasted until Mr Snopes died a few years ago. He had some great rabbit dogs, knew where all of the good fishing spots were, knew when the crawfish were running (crawfish sometimes do something akin to a "jubilee" and you can pick 'em up with your hands if you are in the right spot at the right time), knew just where so and so had a good dove field, could take you right to the wood duck holes, he had redneck outdoor activities wired. I learned alot from that guy and really do miss him. He couldn't read a lick. He was always in some kind of minor legal trouble, had a bunch of bad kids and a wife that came straight out of a Faulkner novel (hence the name Snopes), but boy did that guy know where to get the groceries.

Incidentally, his favorite outdoor snack was a melange of potted meat and oil can sausage served on store brand saltines topped with Crystal hot sauce
#35
Liketoeat
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/09/25 17:55:44 (permalink)
Hi, Mayhaw. Loved your tale of Mr. Snopes and you all's "gravel pit outing" and subsequent fish breakfast. Don't know what it is about those grinnel ("grinners"). I'd always heard but never believed they would just keep growing the longer you chewed on them (at least the big, fine thick pieces -the way I like catfish), but they surely do that with me (and apparently most people). Finally just completely fill my mouth and then can't swallow. I can get down a few small, thin, crisply fried pieces (the way I do NOT like fish generally) but that is all. Guess those cooked that way would be similar to the "little fish balls" you ate. My experience in "grinner" eating was years ago at community fish frys - where they were cooking catfish and buffalo, primarily, and a few "grinner". Haven't seen or even heard of them in years. Also enjoyed hearing of Mr. Snopes and you all's other field experiences, of his family, his food preferences, and his outdoor skills. As you can well imagine, I've known in the past folks just like him, but there ain't many of them around any longer. Thanks for providing some great recollections from your kind sharing of your Mr. Snopes memories and adventures.
#36
Mayhaw Man
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/09/25 18:17:15 (permalink)
Well Mr. Liketoeat,

I'm glad you enjoyed my little tale of colorful rural activities in North Louisiana in the sixties. I thought you might. And you're right about that life dissappearing. The onslaught of big money duck hunting (happily I have a great place to go in Mer Rouge, otherwise it would have priced me out long ago), dissappearing public land, farm jobs going to hell in a handbasket with the advent of mega-farms and multi-row mega equipment (you don't meet many guys who say when asked what they do for a living, "I'm a tractor driver or I work at the gin" like you used to), and too many kids watching too much TV instead of their mama's locking them out from dinner til supper and telling them to go play in the woods or behind the levee ( I used to love to hear my mother say "...and don't shoot your brother anymore!", it sounded wrong even when I was twelve" />.

But, I need to school you on one more thing. Don't underate thin fry fish. I suspect you have been there, but there is a place in Manchac, Louisiana (talk about your roadfood, one restaurant, one exit, one dead end road and the only other building in the place is a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Dept. substation in a 8x10 tin shack with an air conditioner sticking out of the back wall) called Middendorfs that has been serving up thin fry catfish since the 30's. It is delightful. It is so oil free you would swear it hasn't been fried. Oh man is it good. Basically, it is a small catfish filet that has been cut in half lengthwise to thin it up and single dipped in egg wash and spiced 1/2 and 1/2 corn meal and corn flour. Oh yeah. You can eat until you founder (but given the recent postings on g.i. problems, I think I will leave that one alone)

Come to think of it, I can drive there in about half an hour, Sunday lunch might be in the making.
#37
Liketoeat
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/09/25 18:44:51 (permalink)
Mayhaw, surely enjoyed your Mr. Snopes adventures, and have to agree with all your comments in the first paragraph of your post immediately above. Wish it was not that way, but unfortunately it is.

I have for years heard of Middendorfs, but unfortunatley have never been there. Would love to get there and try their thin fried fish. Maybe I'd like it, but to date I've just never liked the thin fired, not even my mother's. She always loved the thin fried and would always fix some that way for herself, but the rest of us liked the big, thick pieces. Some people around here used to keep some of the very small bream or bluegill (I'm sure they weren't legal size) because they liked to cook them to a crisp and just eat the whole thing - bones and all (well, they had been cleaned). Hope you get to chow down at Middendorfs come about Sunday.
#38
spadoman
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/09/29 05:08:18 (permalink)
Wisconsin Northern Pike Breakfast story:

One weekend while visiting friends near Spooner, Wisconsin, we set out a few tip-ups on the ice. We were allowed 2 per person and since we had the kids with us on the lake, there wasa total of 8 all spread out about 20 yards apart. When the action started, on flag popped up and then another. They were popping up faster'n we could get to em'. (the kids were toddlers and better, and not old enough to know how to pull em' in yet) We exhausted ourselves running around and gathered about a half dozen nice northerns. Coming from the cold water of winter, they were fresh and firm.
We took them back to the house and Laurie, our friend in the kitchen, proceeded to fillet them. She took the skinless pieces and ran them through a meat grinder. These Northerns had these little bones shaped like a small "Y" that were hard to fillet out of them. They were a nuisance trying to eat them, especially if they were small fish. The "Y" bone made it hard.
After running them through the grinder, she took the meat and mixed in some finely chopped onion and some other spices. She fried them up after shaping them into patties. We had them with eggs for breakfast and was quite a good meal.
I never did buy a meat grinder, but every time I catch a Northern I think of how they should be made into fish cakes.
#39
Hillbilly
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/09/29 12:34:01 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Liketoeat

Mayhaw, surely enjoyed your Mr. Snopes adventures, and have to agree with all your comments in the first paragraph of your post immediately above. Wish it was not that way, but unfortunately it is.

I have for years heard of Middendorfs, but unfortunatley have never been there. Would love to get there and try their thin fried fish. Maybe I'd like it, but to date I've just never liked the thin fired, not even my mother's. She always loved the thin fried and would always fix some that way for herself, but the rest of us liked the big, thick pieces. Some people around here used to keep some of the very small bream or bluegill (I'm sure they weren't legal size) because they liked to cook them to a crisp and just eat the whole thing - bones and all (well, they had been cleaned). Hope you get to chow down at Middendorfs come about Sunday.

Middendorfs serves up good thick fish, too. But you owe it to yourself to at least try some of the thin if you ever get by there.
#40
Liketoeat
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2003/09/29 12:53:27 (permalink)
Thanks, Hillbilly. With both the recommendations from you and Mayhaw, I'll surely give Middendorf's thin fried fish a try if I'm ever lucky enough to get there. Am hoping to make it in Nov.
#41
clemspal
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2004/05/22 15:33:41 (permalink)
many years ago , we were working at a rather remote spot , out there on the colo. - wy . border . we had plenty of bisquick , and a fine trout stream right out the kitchen door . to this day , fried trout and pancakes , is one of my favorites .
#42
Jimeats
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/19 05:42:20 (permalink)
Just sitting here looking at old threads this is a classic. I urge anyone who enjoys the outdoors and the way things once were to read all the above posts. I love fish for breakfast but mostly have to buy it from local grocery store. After reading above posts now that I'm somewhat retired I'm going to think about doing something I use to love when I was in my formative years and go fishing. Thanks to the above members for the trip down memmory lane. Chow Jim
#43
roossy90
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/19 12:22:25 (permalink)
Down in the keys, fried fish is a common item on the breakfast menu.. And ordered on a regular basis. Granted, it's not catfish, usually dolphin (mahi), or grouper.
#44
Scorereader
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/20 02:49:21 (permalink)
enjoyed salmon, catfish, and mahi mahi on our brunch menu this weekend. Salmon seems to be the restaurant favorite. Especially with hollondaise sauce and fresh asparagus. The catfish was overspiced.
#45
V960
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/20 14:17:38 (permalink)
Chow Jim,
You were going back weren't you. I prefer sunfish for breakfast over catfish. We have small pond that is stocked w/ both and bass. Bait a hook w/ a worm and you get a sunfish (we have stocked shellcrackers, bluegills and robins?), chicken livers will get you a catfish and a Carolina rig will get you a bass.

Now for a really late (2 AM) men's only dinner let's talk fried frog's leg. Crispy and wonderful...usually to the sound of "Would you please shut up, some people are trying to sleep" yelld from the deck to the shop.
#46
Jimeats
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/20 15:24:50 (permalink)
That's it gotta move south all the good eats are down there. Chow Jim
#47
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/21 16:28:43 (permalink)
Come on down,
I was born, raised, and educated in the south and am still considered a yankee. At the least I am referred to as a "city boy". I can ride a horse like an Indian, out shoot the good old boys and cook better Q than they can dream of but because I have an education I'm a yankee.

Still ticks them off that my frog legs are super crispy...not going to tell them why either. Hot grease before you put in the legs...simple stuff.
#48
Donna Douglass
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/21 16:59:53 (permalink)
Two of my favorite things mentioned in this thread......catfish for breakfast and fried frog legs. Mom and Dad always fished and so catfish was nearly a staple in our house. And fish roe when we were lucky enough to get fish with eggs, so to this day, I love fish roe also. Oh, the good old days. Seems next to impossible to find any of the three items on menus but one place I can have catfish for breakfast along with a beverage that I also love, buttermilk, is (pardon the expression) Cracker Barrel.

Can still get fresh Shad Roe in February or March if I remember to go to our local fresh fish monger, but usually forget.

Thanks for the memories.

Donna
#49
V960
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/22 09:41:08 (permalink)
Donna,
Thank for reminding the shad run will begin in a month or so. Shad darts dance in my mind and I look forward to sitting on a bank w/ arod in my hand. Fried roe w/ eggs at dawn is a spring time joy in NC.
#50
bobotheclown
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RE: Fried Catfish Breakfast 2006/02/27 01:24:00 (permalink)
I love using roaches. Never had a better time than with a box. But I can never find them these days. Does anyone from Texas or Louisana know of a bait shop that sells them along I-10? Even Mobile?
#51
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