Cobb Life

JUN 2019

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JUNE 2019 | COBB LIFE 19 Bessie Burk's Farm-Raised Catfish Fry By Frances Burk Herron My mother, Bessie Burk, was the winner of the National Catfish Recipe Contest in New Orleans in 1980. At that time, she was 72 years old. Her recipe, "Burk's Farm-Raised Catfish Fry," was featured in the New Orleans Picayune. Her recipe has also been featured in Southern Living Annual Recipes (1984), Southern Living Annual Recipe Cookbook 20th Anniversary Edition (1998) and Southern Living Magazine, Best of Fall, October 2016. INGREDIENTS: ♦ 6 pan-dressed, farm-raised catfish (¾ lb. to 1 lb. each) ♦ 1 cup buttermilk ♦ 2 tbsp. salt ♦ 1 tbsp. black pepper ♦ 1½ cups self-rising corn meal ♦ ½ cup self-rising flour ♦ 1½ to 2 quarts peanut oil for deep frying With so many bright vegetables in season and grills earning their keep, it's no wonder that everyone seems to have a favorite summertime recipe. For years, the Marietta Daily Journal ran a special feature in the Sunday newspaper titled "Cobb Cooks" that featured many of those recipes. We reached back into the vault to pick out some of our favorites that still ring true – and tasty – today. DIRECTIONS: Thaw fish, if frozen. Cut thick part of each side of fish diagonally, approximately ⅓ inch deep. Place fish in a deep container. Add buttermilk, salt and pepper. Stir to coat fish evenly. Let fish marinate in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours (or overnight). Drain marinade from fish. Roll fish in the meal-flour mixture, coating evenly. Place a few fish at a time in a cooker. Fry in deep oil at 365 degrees until fish is golden brown, stirring constantly during cooking process. For doneness, test cooked fish with tongs by squeezing upper neck. If fish "cry water," cook a few minutes longer. Drain cooked fish on absorbent paper. Transfer fish to pan with a wire rack. Place in a warm oven to keep fish crisp. Makes six servings. NOTE: Serve with coleslaw, hushpuppies or tater tots, lemon slices, catsup or cocktail sauce. An outdoor deep fat cooker may be used for cooking large quantities. Oil may be used several times by straining and storing in refrigerator. Bessie Burk, pictured second from the le, won the 1980 National Cat•st Recipe Contest with this recipe. Her daughter, Frances, second from right, shares her special recipe.

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