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Recipe: Kicked-Up Deep-Fried Crappie

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May 03, 2010

Recipe: Kicked-Up Deep-Fried Crappie

By Joe Cermele

Earlier this month, I spent a few days fishing on Weiss Lake in Centre, Alabama, to film an episode of Field & Stream “Hook Shots.” Centre happens to be the “Crappie Capital of the World,” and it should come as no surprise that in a place with such a title catch-and-release is not exactly the norm. In season, the smell of sizzling crappie in outdoor fryers fills the evening air. I was fortunate enough to be guided by crappie fishing legends Sam Heaton and Jack Jones. Not only were they masters at getting hooked up, but expert fish fryers. Each had his own twist on the Southern-style fish fry, which borders on a religious experience in this part of Alabama. This recipe is a combination of both Sam and Jack’s methods. —Joe Cermele

Ingredients (Serves 3 to 5):

2 eggs

½ cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup milk

Texas Pete Hot Sauce (1/4-cup…but you might add to taste if you’re not into spicy food)

½ stick of butter

2 to 4 pounds fresh crappie fillets

1 cup flour

1 cup corn meal

Fresh cracked black pepper

Peanut or vegetable oil

1. Combine the eggs, heavy cream, milk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Melt the half-stick of butter and pour that in as well. After a good mixing, the marinade should have a nice pink color thanks to the hot sauce. Submerge the crappie fillets in the mixture and allow them to soak in the refrigerator for two to four hours.

2. Dump the flour and corn meal into a small, clean kitchen trash bag. Shake it up to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients and set the “sack” aside.

3. After marinating, liberally coat the crappie fillets with cracked black pepper and move them into the bag of batter. Shake the bag to give the fillets an even coating of the flour/corn meal mixture and head to the fryer.

4. Peanut or vegetable oil both work for this recipe, but it is essential that the oil be pre-heated to 425 degrees. Oil that’s not hot enough will make the fish soggy and greasy. If you don’t have an oil thermometer, break the head off a stick match and drop the wood shaft in the pan. If it flames up and disintegrates, the oil is hot enough. Carefully slide in your crappie fillets and fry to a golden brown. I recommend pairing this dish with a Crown Royal and Coke or a frosty Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Comments (10)

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from jscottevans wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Making me hungry already, is it lunch time yet? I like the new blog, great recipes already.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

wish I had some

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from seneca_slabs wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

May have to try this with the crappie in my freezer, thanks for the good info.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishy man wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I think I need to find something to eat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I'll have to give this a try. I haven't cooked a caught fish for years but a few crappie won't hurt anything. I'm not so sure I can choke down a PBR but if that's what the chef orders...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Sounds good to me minus the hot sauce.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

MMMMmmmm! I soak mine in buttermilk, then straight to the egg batter, then straight to the bag of dry batter, then straight to the fryer. Love my hot sauce, but I usually fry for a crowd, so it has to be an "after frying" option. My batter mix is top secret, but I'll pass this on- Use flour, white and yellow corn meal, crush up a sleeve or 2 of saltines for a little extra crisp, and add in some of your favorite dry spices (paprika, red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cajun seasoning) ok, I've divulged too much already. But try it, you'll taste the difference.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from morganfish wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

great... now i want to go fishing and eat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Must be my new all fish fillet recipe.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Sounds very tasty!! I need to get another load of crappie. The bite is just turning on here.. Good eats, THanks!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from jscottevans wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Making me hungry already, is it lunch time yet? I like the new blog, great recipes already.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seneca_slabs wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

May have to try this with the crappie in my freezer, thanks for the good info.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I'll have to give this a try. I haven't cooked a caught fish for years but a few crappie won't hurt anything. I'm not so sure I can choke down a PBR but if that's what the chef orders...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Sounds good to me minus the hot sauce.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from morganfish wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

great... now i want to go fishing and eat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Must be my new all fish fillet recipe.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

Sounds very tasty!! I need to get another load of crappie. The bite is just turning on here.. Good eats, THanks!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

wish I had some

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishy man wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I think I need to find something to eat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

MMMMmmmm! I soak mine in buttermilk, then straight to the egg batter, then straight to the bag of dry batter, then straight to the fryer. Love my hot sauce, but I usually fry for a crowd, so it has to be an "after frying" option. My batter mix is top secret, but I'll pass this on- Use flour, white and yellow corn meal, crush up a sleeve or 2 of saltines for a little extra crisp, and add in some of your favorite dry spices (paprika, red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cajun seasoning) ok, I've divulged too much already. But try it, you'll taste the difference.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment