Fried Catfish Fillets with Red Beans & Rice



8–10 catfish fillets
3 teaspoons of seasoned salt
add salt according to spirit, feeling, or taste
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon onion powder
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs, well beaten
1 ¼ cups cornmeal
¼ cup bacon drippings
2 ½ to 3 cups vegetable oil to deep fry

1 pound dried red kidney beans
1 ham hock, washed
¼ cup bacon drippings
1 ½ green bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup minced celery (include a few leaves)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon season salt
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon pepper


Wash fish and pat dry. Lightly season with salt and pepper and set aside. Combine seasoned salt and next six ingredients and mix well. Dip fillet in eggs, then in mixture. Place fillets on wax paper-covered plate and refrigerate at least one hour to allow cornmeal coating to set. In a large, heavy frying pan, preferably cast iron, heat bacon drippings and shortening to 370°F. Oil is sufficiently hot when a haze forms above the oil and a drop of water can dance across the surface. Deep fry fish until golden brown, drain on paper towels, and serve immediately. Excellent with Hush Puppies.

Place beans in a large colander. Remove any foreign objects. Wash beans under cold running water. Place the beans in a large bowl and add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Soak overnight. Wash ham hock. Place in a 6-quart pot with enough water to cover. Bring to boil. Reduce to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour. Add beans and additional water, if necessary, to cover beans by 3 inches. Cover pot and allow beans to simmer over low heat 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat bacon drippings and saute vegetables. After beans have simmered 45 minutes, add the sauteed vegetables and remaining ingredients to the pot of beans. Simmer uncovered an additional 45 minutes or until the beans are done and liquid has the consistency of a thin to medium gravy. Served with steamed rice.