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Old 12-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #31
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Having eaten catfish..locally caught, usually by me, all my life, I ain't sure what the problem was with your nuggets. But then, I always cook the whole fish, minus the innards and head. Mrs Hoot can't stand the idea of a fish looking up at her while she eats it. Fried for smaller ones, baked for the larger ones. We always skin 'em. Never had one to be tough as you describe. I wonder if it was really catfish...as pointed out by many folks, mislabeling can be very common. If you have a local fish market, that would likely be a better source of fish. Just my 2 cents, mind you.
I hear that a lot in the south about the fish looking up at you.
I have never had a whole catfish with head on as its really not the way to make them. A dressed catfish has no head.

But, should I run across a nice fresh red snapper, I will gut it, rinse it off, season it and bake the whole fish. Head and all.
If they (family or friends) don't like the head, they can look away. I usually serve it anyway, so the only place the head resides is on the serving plate.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:32 PM   #32
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Hoot, do you use the "nail through the board" method for skinning cats?
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:09 PM   #33
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Nowhere in Britain is more than 75 miles from the sea but most of our fresh caught fish and seafood is exported to France as soon as it's landed. It's a crying shame that most people here prefer to get their omega 3 from fish oil capsules bought from the pharmacy than from delicious fresh fish on their plate.
England has my sympathy. I say let France catch their own fish. They have a fishing fleet.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:13 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
I hear that a lot in the south about the fish looking up at you.
I have never had a whole catfish with head on as its really not the way to make them. A dressed catfish has no head.

But, should I run across a nice fresh red snapper, I will gut it, rinse it off, season it and bake the whole fish. Head and all.
If they (family or friends) don't like the head, they can look away. I usually serve it anyway, so the only place the head resides is on the serving plate.
I have used the head along with the frame for fish stew broth. I have also cooked (baked) a whole Haddock cooked in tomatoes. With and without the head. The filets fall right off the frame. No bones.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:06 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Hoot View Post
Having eaten catfish..locally caught, usually by me, all my life, I ain't sure what the problem was with your nuggets. But then, I always cook the whole fish, minus the innards and head. Mrs Hoot can't stand the idea of a fish looking up at her while she eats it. Fried for smaller ones, baked for the larger ones. We always skin 'em. Never had one to be tough as you describe. I wonder if it was really catfish...as pointed out by many folks, mislabeling can be very common. If you have a local fish market, that would likely be a better source of fish. Just my 2 cents, mind you.
If serving a whole fish I always leave the head on (advice from an old-fashioned fishmonger) because if the head is still attached to the backbone it's easier to separate the flesh from the bones without getting a mouthful of bones. It almost as if the bones start to separate from the backbone once the head is severed. Anyway, if you don't have the head on your plate you miss the best bit - the little roundish cheek piece.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:19 AM   #36
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i don't think the problem lies with the cook or the fish,nikki.i think it's the freezing.fridges & freezers draw moisture from food.i usually leave fish,seafood & meat uncovered,in the fridge,for 24hrs before i fry it,so that the surface is nice & dry & any excess moisture in the food has evaporated before it hits the pan.
i think your fish had lost most of it's moisture in the freezer & therefore,all that was left was the tissue of the flesh.hence the dryness/toughness.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:56 AM   #37
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Hoot, do you use the "nail through the board" method for skinning cats?
Not for a long time......these days, I have a little tool that that resembles a pair of pliers. Just slit the skin and grab the skin with the "pliers" and, in no time, you have a skinned catfish. I will not describe the rest of the process as it can be fairly revolting to most folks.
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