Yesterday Raina and I went with the Lindbergs on a fishing excursion to find crappies and blue gill at Lake Pokegama. It was getting dark and most of use had caught fish, except for Raina. Then WHAM! a catfish nails her crappie tube jig almost top water! It was crazy! She fought hard with her drag set and brought in a nice sized catfish. We were all a little surprised to see a catfish hit that high in the water and on a tube jig!
This is the first catfish we have ever caught so I had to google how to properly fillet, and with a "little" help from my brother-in-law John, we had cut a couple nice fillets : )
So after a fun night fishing and some much needed time with the Lindberg family we came home and I thought about what I wanted to do with the catfish. I remembered my mom making pan fried catfish with lemon pepper and I immediately had a craving for it. I thought I'd spice it up a bit and make a homemade lemon pepper rub. The rub turned out great and the kitchen smelled amazing with all the lemon zest in the air.
After cooking this today, we will definitely make it more of a point to catch catfish or at least buy some at the store : )
Homemade Lemon Pepper
Makes enough for approximately 3 fillets.
3-4 medium sized lemons
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
Zest lemons, be sure not to zest too far under the lemon skin as the white part is bitter.
Crack pepper and combine all the ingredients, taste and add ingredients to desired flavor. For a more potent lemon flavor add more lemon zest.
Pan Fried Lemon Pepper Catfish
In a cast iron skillet (or an adequate frying pan), add canola oil to fill the pan about 1/4 inch.
Preheat oil and prep fillets.
Wash fillets fillets with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Use a little oil to cover the fillets to help the lemon pepper rub stick.
Coat both sides of the fillet with the lemon pepper rub.
Test oil with the tip of a fillet to make sure the oil is at an adequate temperature. If the oil doesn't start frying the fish, remove immediately until oil is ready.
Fry until fish is golden brown or until fish is just about to flake.
Remove and put on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Serve with lemon slices and parsley, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fillets and enjoy!