The day#039;s catch often turns into night#039;s supper

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Fishing is one sport that provides more than fun for the participants.

A good fishing day means a good supper on the table.

Anglers don't exactly have a hook in the "lure' of fishing. All they know is they would rather be fishing than doing almost anything else.

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To date, there are 44 million anglers in the country - that's more than those who play golf and tennis combined.

Fishing is a sport for all ages. The equipment can be as simple as a cane pole and a red worm or as sophisticated as high-tech rods and reels and computerized fish-finders.

But, no matter what the bait or how expensive the tackle, the sport that was once strictly a means of survival now rivals all other participator sports and Alabamians are "angling' right in there were the rest of the country.

Statistics provided by the American Sportsfishing Association credited Alabama with 511,055 fishing license sales for 2001.

California topped fishing license sales with 2,206,382 and six other states - Florida, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin - sported more than a million. However, when considering the population of those states and the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota, Alabama's numbers are more than respectable. Twenty-six have fewer sales and eight others were in the same fishing hole. Rhode Island was snagged on the bottom with less than 36,000 sold.

The number of fishing licenses sold across the country can translate to dinners on the tables. And, that number doesn't include the fish caught by professional fishermen and sold in markets.

That's a healthy trend, said Dena Barnes, Pike County Extension county agent.

"Fish are highly nutritious," she said.

"They are also easily digestible because they contain very little connective tissue. Fish are low in sodium but high in vitamins and minerals."

The most common minerals found in fish are iodine, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, copper and fluoride, Barnes said.

The amounts of protein, fat and calories vary according to species.

Barnes said fish are usually considered lower in fat than other animal food sources. However, there are differences in the amount of fat in each species.

"Fish can play an important role in the low-cholesterol diet because the fatty acids present are polyunsaturated," Barns said. "Also fish can be safely used in the low-sodium diet, unless salt has been added during preparation.

Fish can be prepared in several different ways to accommodate likes and health concerns.

Barnes suggested the following methods of preparation for the most common ways of preparing fish.

Baked Fish

Clean, wash and dry fish well. Sprinkle inside with salt and pepper. Fill with stuffing. Fasten edges with skewers or round toothpicks or tie or sew them with wrapping thread. Brush outside of fish with salad oil or melted butter. Place on a well-greased, shallow baking pan. Cut gashes crosswise in upper side of fish; don not cut very deep. Place strips of bacon in these slits. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes for each pound.

Stuffing for Fish

2 cups dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 tablespoon onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Use to stuff cavity of whole fish or for rolled fillets.

Fish Baked in Foil

Clean and wash fish. Line a baking pan with a piece of foil large enough to wrap the fish. Brush foil with melted butter or margarine to keep fish from sticking to the foil. Brush fish lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Place fish on foil. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Bring sides of foil together and fold over to sea. Bake at 350 degrees until fish flakes easily, usually 20 to 25 minutes.

Broiled Fish

Select split or flat fish or fillets of about the same size to assure more even cooking. Clean, wash and dry fish. Oil a preheated broiler pan. Brush fish with oil. Place skin side down on broiler pan about 2 inches from source of heat. Broil only until the flesh of the fish flakes easily when touched with tip of knife or fork. If thin fish or pieces are used, it is not necessary to turn. Baste several times during cooking, using French dressing or melted butter. If thick steaks or larger fish are used, place about 6 inches from heat and broil longer. Watch fish closely and do not overcook.

Panfried Fish

Clean fish and cut in serving size pieces. Small fish may be left whole. Roll each piece in seasoned flour or cornmeal. Melt enough fat in frying pan to be about 1/8-inch deep. When the fat begins to sizzle, lower the heat and add the fish. Do not overcrowd so fat will bubble around fish. When bottom and sides of fish are cooked, turn and cook on other side. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

Deep-Fat Fried Fish

Clean and cut fish in serving size pieces or leave small fish whole. Roll each piece in seasoned flour or cornmeal. Melt enough fat in frying pan to be about 1/8 inch deep. When the fat begins to sizzle, lower the heat and add the fish. Do not overcrowd so fat will bubble around fish. When bottom and sides of fish are cooked, turn and cook on other side. Drain on paper towel. Serve hot.

Blackened Catfish

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 catfish fillets (4 to 5 ounces each0

Non-stick cooking spray

1 teaspoon olive oil

Lemon slices

Put all spices, sugar and salt in a bag and shake until well blended. Put fillets, one at a time, into the bag and shake to thoroughly coat. Coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Add oil and hat over medium low heat. Add catfish, skinned side up, and cook 4 to 5 minutes until blackened then repeat on other side. Serve with lemon slices.

Fish Croquettes

2 cups leftover fish, baked or fried, flaked

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 tablespoons minced onion

Dash of black pepper

Discard skin and flake enough fish to equal about 2 cups. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Shape into small balls then flatten. You may roll them in toasted breadcrumbs if desired. Fry in hot oil and drain on paper towels.

Calico Catfish Slaw

6 cup green cabbage shredded

2 cups red cabbage shredded

1 red pepper chopped

1 green pepper chopped

2 carrots shredded

1 cup vinegar

3/4 cup oil

1 cup sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Prepare first 5 ingredients and place in large bowl with lid. Put next 6 ingredients in small saucepan and bring to boil. Let mixture cool. Pour over first ingredients. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate at least overnight.

Crunchy Coleslaw


2 packages seasoning from Romen Noodles package

1 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Mix together and refrigerate the night before using.

1 package slaw mix

2 packages Romen noodles

1 bunch green onions

1 cup slivered almonds roasted

Mix together and toss with dressing just before serving.

Old-Fashioned Fish Salad

1 head lettuce

3 to 4 large tomatoes

1 cup mayonnaise

Crisp breadcrumbs.

Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and drain lettuce and tear into salad-size pieces. Cube tomatoes into 1-inch pieces. Stir in mayonnaise to moisten and salt and pepper to season. Top with breadcrumbs, if desired.

Cheese Grits

2 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cups regular grits

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Parmesan

1 5-ounce jar sharp processed cheese spread

Bring milk to boil add grits and cook until thickened about 10 minutes stirring often. Stir in margarine salt and cheese. Spoon into lightly greased 1-quart casserole dish and bake at 325 for 20 minutes.

Garlic Grits

1 cup grits

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick margarine

1 stick Kraft garlic cheese

2 eggs

Cook grits n salt and water. Add chopped margarine and cheese. Stir to dissolve. Add small amount to eggs. Return to grits. Stir to mix. Pour in buttered casserole dish. Bake at 350 until brown. About 1 hour.

Dirty Potatoes

6 large baking potatoes

Salt and pepper

Bacon, fried crispy



Wash potatoes. Do not remove skins. Cut into boiling pieces and boil until tender. Pour off water and mash. Add salt, pepper and butter. Stir in milk and mix until desired consistency. Stir in bacon crumbs. Note: Onions make a tasty dish if sauteed in bacon grease and added as an afterthought.

Hush Puppies

2 cups pain cornmeal

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 cups buttermilk

1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion

Ground pepper to taste, black or red

Vegetable oil

Heat oil in deep-fat fryer to about 375 degrees. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Combine egg, buttermilk, onion and pepper. Add to cornmeal mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls into hot oil. Fry hush puppies about 4 minutes or until golden. Turn once. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Southern Corn Pone

6 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 small onion, minced

3 large eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup softened butter

Combine 1 1/2 cups corn and cream in a blended. Blend until corn is coarsely ground. Pour into large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a 4×8-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Frozen Lemonade Pie

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 small can frozen lemonade

16 ounces frozen whipped topping

1 graham cracker crust

Refrigerate milk before preparing pie. Beat milk very well. Add lemonade directly from freezer and beat until very thick. Fold I topping. Pour into piecrust and refrigerate for 1 hour. This pie will keep for 1 week.

Fish Fry Lemon Pie

2 large lemons

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, well beaten

Pastry for 2-crust pie

Slice lemon paper-thin. Discard ends and seeds. Combine lemon slices and sugar. Let stand 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Add beaten eggs to lemon slices. Turn into a pastry-lined pie plate, arrange slices evenly. Cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges. Cut slits in the top crust near the center. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake 20 minutes more or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.