While they won’t win any awards in terms of feistiness on the line, even with ultralight tackle, any deficiencies crappie might have when it comes to their spunk are more than offset by their wonderful taste. Found over a wide portion of the country — with large size limits being the norm — crappie can provide a great day on the lake followed by a fish fry feast.
Forget all the dictates about cholesterol’s “not being good for you” every once in a while and enjoy a mess of this abundant delicacy.
1 pound yellow self-rising cornmeal (or better still, stone-ground cornmeal)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
12 whole crappie, cleaned
1 gallon cooking oil
Combine the cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a large zip-close bag. Pour the evaporated milk and eggs into a shallow dish and stir together thoroughly. Dip the fish into the milk-egg mixture one at a time, then shake well in the cornmeal mixture until the entire fish is covered.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer. Cook the crappie in the hot oil until golden brown (four to six minutes, depending on the size of the fish). Drain on paper towels and serve piping hot with slaw and hushpuppies.
Until I was grown, I never heard the term “quail” spoken, although as an avid reader of sporting literature it showed up in my browsing quite regularly. These feathered bundles of dynamite were just birds or, occasionally, bobwhites. Matters of nomenclature aside, whenever they appeared on the menu it was a time for celebration. The passage of many years hasn’t changed that.
Here’s an old-time recipe for quail that’s as simple as it is scrumptious.
1 (2 ½-ounce) package chopped, pressed, cooked beef
1 cup sour cream
1 (standard size) can cream of mushroom soup
Line a greased, shallow, one-quart baking dish with chopped beef. Place quail atop beef. In a mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and soup (do not dilute the soup) and pour over birds.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for an hour or until the birds are tender.
Tips: The quail can be wrapped in the slices of beef and secured with a toothpick. Also, this recipe can be doubled if you are serving a crowd.
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