In Texas and throughout the South, a myriad of barbecue joints claim to have the “best barbecue,” and Salt Lick Barbecue in Driftwood, Texas is a definite contender. The Salt Lick Cookbook (University of Texas Press, 2012), by Scott Roberts and Jessica Dupuy, can show you the art of Texas barbecue. Scott Roberts, the owner of Salt Lick Barbecue, is building on the foundation of a business that was laid down by his family over 130 years ago. This excerpt, from chapter four, “Life on the Ranch,” will show you how to make a lightly fried catfish recipe that is perfectly paired with golden brown hush puppies.
Fried catfish recipe:
Mix all ingredients together.
NOTE: Sample and add more salt if necessary.
10-quart Dutch oven, filled 3/4 full with lard and 2 tablespoons bacon grease
4 10-ounce boneless fresh catfish fillets, cut in half
Heat lard and bacon grease to 375°F.
Wash fillets and coat with cornbread mixture.
Add four fillets at a time to oil, and cook approximately 18 minutes. When fillets float, bubbles subside, and pointed edge of fillet begins to curl, remove and allow to drain on paper towels. Serve hot.
Hush puppies recipe:
Heat 10-quart Dutch oven filled 3/4 full with lard and 2 tablespoons bacon grease to 350°F. (Or if you have just finished making fried catfish, use the same heated ingredients and bring the temperature down to 350.)
Combine well all dry ingredients; add eggs and mix. Then add corn and onions, and mix. Mix in milk, and let stand 5 minutes until it begins to rise.
Drop rounded tablespoons into hot oil, and cook for 3-1/2 minutes. When hush puppies float to top, turn once and let fry. Keep turning until an even golden brown.
Learn the history of Salt Lick Barbecue in Texas Barbecue: The Salt Lick Cookbook.
This excerpt has been reprinted with the permission of The Salt Lick Cookbook: A Story of Land, Family and Love, published by University of Texas Press, 2012.