Last year, Matt discovered the joys of fishing for catfish. We didn’t go noodling or anything, but some coworkers of mine recommended a nearby marsh/lake for this activity. One of them had landed a 35 pound cat. I’d fished for catfish before when I was younger, and people back by home regularly pulled large channel catfish out of the Vermilion and Illinois rivers (some up to 6 feet in length). They put up a terrific fight, and I like them deep fried myself.
One night we each caught a big catfish. I’m not sure whether this was mine or Matt’s, but they were both around 20 lbs. We filleted them up, and stuck them in the freezer.
I cut this one into strips. I season my deep fried things under the batter. These got a quick rubdown with Old Bay, lemon juice, and some garlic.
Then I mixed up the batter. This being Wisconsin, we’ve always got beer on hand. Matt has a penchant for old man beer, so Pabst it was.
I mixed a bottle of room temp PBR with about a cup and a half of flour. I shook in a little pepper and Old Bay for good measure, and stirred it up.
Then I put the oil on to heat. I always use my deep frying/candy thermometer. It’s gotten me through a lot.
While that heated, I took a page from my favorite Pitmasters, and procured a lovely beverage.
I also sliced up some potatoes, real thin.
Once the oil reached temperature, I started putting in chips and battered fish alike.
I fried things until they were a nice, deep, golden brown to ensure both doneness and crispiness. I whipped up some quick tartar sauce (it’s just mayo, sweet pickle relish, and lemon juice), shook Old Bay and apple cider vinegar on my chips, and dinner was served.