Below is Kevin's article for today for popsyndicate...he got top billing again (yay Kevin!)...you can read it below or go here to check it out and the rest of the website.
The Southern Fish Fry
by Kevin Benson
Allow me a moment to apologize for my absence the last couple weeks. I’ve been struggling to manage daily life, and business, while waiting for the dearest of ladies to pass from this earth, my Granny.
Most of you will agree, that there is no sweeter aroma than the one coming from Grandma’s oven. And, nothing compares to the taste of anything that comes out of her kitchen. No matter who‘s Grandmother it is, or what the dish, it just can’t be beat! Plus, she’s just plain fun to be with in the kitchen. So whether we know it or not, our Grandmothers are our first real culinary influence.
Here in the South, we do many things (arguably) better than anywhere on Earth. Three of which are NOT up for debate: College Football, Barbecue, and Catfish. It’s what makes us who we are. As a boy, my favorite food memories are not of cookies, pies, or cakes, but of the fish dinners that only my Pa & Granny could make. So in loving memory of my Granny, let’s fry some fish, Sonny & Erbie Style!
First thing you need is a deep fat fryer. A deep iron skillet, or dutch oven will work, but you must know that deep fat frying can be dangerous and I would recommend ALWAYS cooking fish outdoors. Only cook fish indoors if you can provide constant watch over your oil. And NEVER fill your pot over half full.
The second thing you need is your oil. Some folks prefer to cook fish in peanut oil, but I don’t. Peanut oil is expensive, and nowadays you have to watch out for nut allergies. Since I cook large amounts commercially, I prefer a good quality vegetable oil.
And the last thing you need for this fine southern meal are Hush Puppies. No fish fry is complete without these Southern delicacies. It amazed me when I got to college and people from other parts of the country did not know what these were. If your one of those people, try this recipe. You’ll forever be glad you did.
2 lbs catfish filets, cut into strips
½ cups corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
Heat oil to 350 degrees Farenheit. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Roll the catfish in the meal mixture until well coated on both sides. Drop fish directly into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
3 cups cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup water
1 egg beaten
1 small onion minced
Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Using a spoon, or a small ice cream scoop, form the mix into small balls and gently drop into the hot oil. Dip your spoon in a glass of water after each to help them slide right in. Fry until golden brown and drain on paper towels.
Serve with your favorite Cole Slaw, French Fries, a slice of onion, and a pickle spear. You’ll be saying “hush y’all” next time you ask folks to be quiet.