My momma is the youngest of my grandmother’s 3 surviving daughters, and youngest girl of my grandfather Leon’s children and was the most spoiled of all her siblings on both sides. My mother was born a Pisces on the 3rd day of march and her life is as fluid as the ocean itself.
My momma is a lot of things, mother of 4, school bus driver for special needs children and the life of the party. If you ask, people will give you 100 different version of who Cherry is to them but the one version that will remain the same is my momma is the most fun person they know and her annual adult only fish fry were the stuff legends were made of. To describe what my mother’s fish fry was like all you have to do is watch any version of any old black movie when they have scene of the “red light” basement party, and you would have my mother’s famous fish fry.
No kids were allowed at the party, but my momma would always let me help out in the kitchen as she prepped the menu for the evening which always consisted of fried catfish nuggets, whiting and perch, Fried chicken wings, spaghetti, grandma’s potato salad, and my favorite thing my momma makes, her infamous Taco salad. I loved & still love my mother’s taco salad because she always made it with nacho cheese Doritos and she always had the right amount ratio of lettuce, tomato & cheese to ground beef and chips. I remember the first time my momma let me help make the taco salad, it was the highlight of young culinary teaches. I remember it like it was yesterday, it was at our townhouse in Riverdale, ILL, she told me to add in each thing bit by bit and the very last ingredient was the Doritos and I swear it was like Christmas morning. My mother, like her mother, loved to entertain so she always made sure she had plenty of food & drinks and when I say drinks, my mother would fill a bathtub full of ice and guest were B.Y.O.B and that tub would be TO THE MAX with adult beverages lol.
But the star of her fish fry was of course, was her catfish nuggets. I got to stay just long enough to watch the first batch of fish being fried and it was the best fish I think I ever eaten. She seasoned it perfectly, had the right about of fish fry mix to flour and the oil was just hot enough to fry the most perfect piece of fish. She would always let me have one of the first pieces of catfish with a piece of bread. My mother didn’t fall to far from my grandmother’s tree when it came getting down in the kitchen and her catfish is the reason it is one of my favorite fried fish today.
My mother has always been the star of her own show, from her spoiled, headstrong demeanor as a child to her towering presence as an adult, my mother is the epitome of entertainment & even though we as kids growing up couldn’t come to her fish fry lol, she always made sure she threw a family picnic every summer in June to bring all the family and friends together and to celebrate myself, my cousin Junya, & my cousin Enden birthdays, which are all a week apart with me and Junya being two days apart.
I remember those picnics because my momma always made sure the food was plentiful, & she always ordered a famous Chicago style cake called the Atomic Bomb Cake. My baby brother would get to the park clean as a whistle and disappear only resurfacing for me to give him a juice dirtier than when he left before lol. That picnic was always the highlight of our summer growing up. Yes, my momma is a real party girl and that is why this recipe is the one I chose to represent her and her role in my culinary future.
So, know that I gave ya’ll a little background on my momma, let’s get into this recipe. Here is what you’re going to need:
1-2Lbs of Catfish nuggets & yes, your local grocery will have catfish cut into small bit size pieces they call nuggets. 1 1/2 cups of Corn flour or any fish fry mix you like or seen your family use. You will need paprika, salt, black pepper, old bay, cayenne powder, garlic powder, onion powder & whatever other spices you like to use. You will need 1 1/2 cups of oil of your choice.
Your first step would be to separate the seasoning into two parts. One part would be to season the corn flour and the other is for you to season the fish thoroughly. If you are using a premade fish fry flour blend, be careful with your salt content as these blends are preseason and you don’t want to have fish that is too salty. After your flour is seasoned to your liking you will begin with the next step
Next step is to season the fish and coat it in flour evenly so that it is covered in the flour
Once fish is coated, you will heat the oil in a medium skillet until it is hot enough to sizzle if you sprinkle flour into it. You will then add a few pieces of fish in at time, working in batches until fish is golden brown on both sides. 4-5 minutes each.
Once fish is cooked through you will remove the fish and let it drain on a rack so that any oil trapped in the coating can drain off and keep fish nice and crispy. Serve immediately with a piece of white bread, hot sauce or tartar sauce and enjoy. And there you have it, my mommas perfect fried catfish nuggets.
Momma’s Fried Catfish Nuggets
- 1-2 LBs Catfish Nuggets
- 2 Cups Corn flour or Premade fish fry flour
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seafood seasoning
- To start this recipe, you need to mix your seasoning together. In a meduim mixing bowl, add two cups of corn flour and divide your seasoning mix in two parts. Take one part and add to corn flour to season the flour. Set aside
- Wash catfish nuggets and pat dry. Take the second seasoning blend and season your fish well. Set aside.
- In a meduim size skillet, heat half cup of vegetable oil on high heat until hot enough to fry. While oil is heating to tempature, flour you seasoned fish in flour until well coated.
- Add fish in batches to oil and cook on both sides until golden brown 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and allow excess oil to drain. Serve hot with tartar sauce or hotsauce immediately