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Catfish, fresh off the bone

We originally had a grocery list that included ingredients for fish tacos, but a "Manager's Special" changed that. If you see whiting with a yellow sticker on it for $5, don't get it, now matter how good a deal it seems. I found this out, having stinky rotten fish in the fridge the next day.

Forward to a few days latter when I'm running an errand to the neighborhood Walgreens (on my bike, hooray for flat streets and close by destinations). We've got a 1950s-era neighborhood grocery store across the street from the pharmacy, Osbornes Bi-Rite, and I went in there thinking I might find fish. Well, they don't have seafood section (and hey, this is an inland state), but sure enough, I found "Pride of the Pond" whole catfish from Mississippi stocked amidst beef cuts, etc.

I brought it home in the bike pannier (bike bag that attaches to rear rack) and Erin immediately said, "Gross! You can't use catfish for fish tacos." "Shoot," I thought, "fish is fish." Well, fish isn't always fish, so we looked up a recipe for fried catfish. We found a great sauce to accompany it in Cooking with Jack, a cookbook we picked up at last year's Southern Festival of Books after watching a JD cooking demonstration from it.

Since the two fish were skinned and gutted, but still on the bone (tail and all!), I had to figure out how to get it off. See, I'm a city guy, and aside from noodling for crabs when I was younger, and fishing for fun in a pond near my mom's old house, I'd never filleted a fish. So, with this ignorance, I do a web search on "how to fillet a catfish" and sure enough, I'm enlightened via You Tube. After getting four fillets, plus extra bits, battered in cornmeal and fried up, they were great! Now, all I need to do is actually go fishing and learn how to do the gills, guts and all.


  1. Well hell fire, son. I coulda filleted and gutted them catfish for yah in a skinny minute.
    Learned that at the sea food market in Providence.

  2. Well hell fire, son. I coulda filleted and gutted them catfish for yah in a skinny minute.
    Learned that at the sea food market in Providence.


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