Vern’s cooking & tidbits: Summer Crappie Revival

For the last several months I’ve been sending you recipes that I consider bordering on elaborate to down-right complicated. To wind down summer I’m reviving a few less fancy but invigorating recipes for frying and baking – plus some side dishes.

Peppery Crappie

            6-8 crappie fillets

            2 eggs

            1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

            1 cup milk

            1/4 cup cayenne hot sauce (use more or less to suit your taste)

            1/2 stick of butter

            1 cup flour

            1 cup yellow corn meal

            Fresh ground black pepper corns to taste

            Canola oil

Combine the eggs, whipping cream, milk and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add melted butter and mix well. Submerge the crappie fillets in the mixture and set in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. Pour flour and corn meal into a large bowl or clean plastic bag. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly and set aside. After marinating, coat crappie fillets with fresh ground black pepper and place in the dry mixture to coat fillets. Next stop is your skillet.

Baked Crappie

            Using the same ingredients as the recipe above or your preferred frying recipe but make these changes: When filleting your fish leave the skin on 2 pounds of crappie. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. When you come to the frying part, place the skin-side down in 13 x 9-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

A Different Spicy Taste (Maybe a little elaborate)

            2 pounds crappie fillets

            Salt & pepper to taste

            1/2 cup yellow corn meal

            1/2 cup all-purpose flour

            1 1/4 teaspoons paprika

            3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

            1/4 teaspoon turmeric

            2 large eggs, beaten

            2 tablespoons of beer (or water)

            1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

            2 tablespoons red pepper (more or less to suit your taste)

            2 cups bread crumbs, plain

            Oil for frying

Salt & pepper fillets, set aside. Mix corn meal, flour, paprika, garlic powder and turmeric thoroughly in a bowl. Mix beer and egg in bowl. Mix mustard, red pepper and bread crumbs in pie tin or baking dish. Coat fish in corn meal/ flour mixture, then in egg/beer and finally in seasoned bread crumbs. Fry until flakey.

TIP: Is your oil hot enough? Drop a 1-inch cube of white bread into you hot oil. The bread should brown by the time you count to 40.

Jambalaya Grits

            2 tablespoons bacon grease

            2 tablespoons flour

            1/2 cup chopped onion

            1 chopped green pepper

            1/2 cup chopped celery

            1 cup quick grits crumbled

            1 cup peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes

            1 cup ground ham
Cooked bacon
In a heavy skillet, heat bacon grease and gradually add flour, stirring constantly until roux becomes light brown. Add onion, green pepper and celery and cook 5 minutes. Cook grits according to package directions and add to roux. Add tomatoes and ham. Sprinkle with bacon and serve immediately.

Mr Crappie