Down By the River

March 1, 2015 | By More

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Southern cuisine is grounded in local flavor. Fancy recipes and exotic ingredients were not only hard to come by but unnecessary as well. The main criteria was cheap — free was even better — and available. Lucky for us Southerners that delicious, cheap and available food was often there for the catching in waterways throughout the region. Channel catfish covered all the bases.

Simple yet delicious, the fried catfish filet and its partner in delectability, the hushpuppy, are iconic representatives of earthy, poor-folk eating that has been transformed into near gourmet fare. The meal is a marriage of fish and cornmeal fried in hot oil and seasoned with only the essentials — ingredients readily available to any southerner with a patch of field corn and access to practically any body of water. Of course, the Arkansas River was and is chock-full of catfish.  Channel catfish are common throughout the Mississippi River drainage, and the Arkansas River is one of the larger tributaries of Big Muddy.

Flakey white meat encased in crispy golden cornmeal accompanied by seasoned nuggets of cornmeal (called hushpuppies because they were used to keep the hounds quiet while supper was cooking) partnered with fried potatoes. A rural feast fit for a king.

Catfish N honors this Southern food legacy in a way that could only be described as scrumptious. Good food, great service and perfect atmosphere on the banks of the Arkansas River since 1971, Catfish N can satisfy your catfish cravings.

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Category: Valley Vittles

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