Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
November 29, 2011

Andy Whitcomb

Catfish a la Road

“You have to wonder about a food that everyone agrees is great, except that sometimes, it tastes like what it is.” –P.J. O’Rourke.

The holiday season for my family means travel time, generally consisting of another bottom-numbing, nightmarish 20-hour road trip from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania.  However, our two kids are quite the troopers and we try to make the most out of our nomadic lifestyle, having fun whenever possible.  We also treat ourselves to a stop at Cracker Barrel.

This family style restaurant has something for everyone and for my daughter and me; they do a fine fried catfish.  You won’t even need the tartar sauce.  However, they will not share their recipe.  If their recipe is missing anything, it is a little heat.  So, I found this recipe from author, friend, and expert on catfish, Keith “Catfish” Sutton, in an interview by Joe Mosby:

“My favorite recipe came from a Louisiana friend. Pour a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce in a half-gallon of milk. Stir. Soak all the catfish in this mixture for an hour or two before breading in seasoned cornmeal and deep-frying in peanut oil heated to 365 degrees. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Don’t overcook or it won’t be as good.”

Holidays can be stressful enough.  It is wise to stick with the tried-and-true traditional favorite recipes. Or, at least let the pros do their thing in their kitchen.  Otherwise, your relatives may not return.

On second thought…

(Photo Credit: Keith Sutton)

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Oklahoma. Visit him at

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