Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fresh Beer Battered Catfish

Fish fry season is amongst us.  No matter if it's catfish, walleye, crappie or blue gill we are doing it up at home.   And depending on what type of fish-thick and flaky or small and light I will decided what type of batter to use on it.  I prefer a spicy cornmeal based beer batter for my catfish and a lighter flour based beer batter on the others.  Catfish just goes well with a little bit spice.  We use an outdoor gas tank powered fish fryer with peanut oil to fry Rich's bountiful catches.  And we were pleasantly surprised when he came home on his birthday with 6 huge catfish.  Probably his most favorite birthday gift ever-but that's ok ;) 

5-6 lbs. of catfish (cut into chunks)
1 gallon of peanut oil (to fry in-it's lighter than other oils so it keeps to temperature better and is better tasting and healthier for you)
1 container of fish dry batter (since it's catfish, I used a spicy cornmeal dry batter)
2 cups of lite beer
fresh lemon
tartar sauce (see my homemade recipe: )

-Heat peanut oil as directed in your outdoor fish fryer to 350*, outdoor turkey fryer or indoor fry daddy.  Place cleaned catfish in a large baking dish with enough milk to cover, wrapped in saran wrap and into the fridge for at least 20 minutes (this will take the fishy taste out of fresh water caught fish).  Mix 1 1/2 cups of the dry fish batter with 2 cups of beer in a large mixing bowl.  Place the remaining dry fish batter into a large 1 gallon zip lock bag.  Remove catfish from milk, dredge in wet batter, drop into zip lock bag of dry batter-seal it-shake it then place in the fry basket.  Once you have about 10-15 chunks of battered fish in the basket, drop it in the 350* peanut oil-temperature must be precise.  Fry for only 3-4 minutes, remove, strain and place on a paper towel lined platter.  Return peanut oil to 350* before dropping in your next batch.  You can reuse your peanut oil about maybe 3-4 times, by straining it through a paper paint-strainer dropped inside of a plastic funnel.  Just pour it back into it's original container for later use.  Note though, once fish has been fried in it, it's only good to reuse for fish again.  Garnish each plate with fresh lemon slices and some of my Scratch-Made Tartar Sauce.  Serves 6-8.  Enjoy!

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