There’s nothing like delicious catfish nuggets. When I was little girl coming of age in St. Louis, Missouri I knew exactly where to get them. My parents took me to my maternal grandparent’s farm in Benton, Mississippi at the end of the school year, almost every year. I spent the entire summer on the farm with my grandparents gathering eggs from the hen house, feeding chickens and piglets and picking peaches and plums off trees in the orchard to make homemade jam. I also thumped a few red watermelons from the watermelon patch to make fruit salad. My grandmother saved the rind to make a beautiful bowl for the salad.
There was no shortage of things to do on the farm. I also rode Shorty, my horse, shelled peas, made homemade ice cream and went fishing. My great-grandmother loved to fish and made it a wonderful adventure for me. On the day of our excursions, we were roused out of bed at the crack of dawn by a rooster’s crow. My great-grandmother made me a hot breakfast of homemade biscuits and fresh scrambled eggs then stuffed jelly and peanut butter sandwiches into a brown paper bag for lunch.
We walked nearly half a mile from the farmhouse to the catfish pond down a winding dirt road carrying our bait, cane poles, fish bucket and a thermos filled with water. My great-grandmother had a knack for picking the best spots where fish were biting. We settled near the edge of the pond in shade provided by a giant oak tree. After we baited our hooks with crickets, we casted our lines into the murky water. “Be quiet now,” my great-grandmother said softly. “Don’t scare the fish.” I squealed with joy every time my great grandmother reached over, grabbed my cane pole and helped me bring in the catfish that dangled on the line.
Hours ticked by before we ate our jelly and peanut butter sandwiches and filled our bucket with catfish. My great grandmother and I laughed and talked about the fish that got away as we walked down the winding dirt road again heading back to the farm. I helped her clean the catfish and cut them into nuggets before they were seasoned. My great-grandmother sprinkled the nuggets with her famous fish seasoning before she dropped them into a caste iron pot filled with hot vegetable oil. No one fried crispy, golden brown catfish nuggets like my great-grandmother. No one, except me. Now, you can, too. Check out the recipe below. Click to see how to fry crispy, golden brown, catfish nuggets.
2 POUNDS FRESH CATFISH NUGGETS
1 TABLESPOON CAYENNE PEPPER
1 TABLESPOON PAPRIKA
1 TABLESPOON GARLIC SALT
3 CUPS CANOLA OIL
2 CUPS BUTTERMILK CORN MEAL
WASH CATFISH NUGGETS
PLACE CATFISH NUGGETS IN LARGE BOWL
WARM CANOLA OIL ON MEDIUM HEAT UNTIL HOT
ADD SEASONING TO CATFISH NUGGETS
ADD ONE CUP CORN MEAL
ADD SECOND CUP OF CORN MEAL
CAREFULLY PLACE CATFISH NUGGETS INTO HOT CANOLA OIL
TURN CATFISH NUGGETS SEVERAL TIMES UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN
NOTE: SERVE NUGGETS PLAIN, WITH HOT SAUCE, SCALLIONS, CHEDDAR CHEESE, MOZZARELLA CHEESE, ASAGIO CHEESE, PICKLES, YELLOW ONIONS, WHITE ONIONS.