Fish and Grits: A Twist on a Classic

Perch and Grits: A Twist on a Classic Southern Recipe. While most people rave about catching and eating walleye, I’m not nearly as infatuated with our state fish. I have eaten and enjoyed them many other ways, but fried with some white bread might still be my favorite. But I can’t indulge in that classic overtime there are perch to eat. I recently had a bag of perch fillets in the freezer when I came across a recipe for shrimp and grits. After I decided on perch and grits, I looked at several more recipes and found that there are several different ways to make this dish—it varies by region. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until just crisp, remove the bacon pieces and set aside for later use leaving all the bacon fat in the pan. Season the perch with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour. Stir in two tablespoons of flour and stir until the veggies are covered with flour. Add the Worcestershire and chicken stock and stir until the gravy thickens.

I am a little different than most of the people in my home state of Minnesota. While most people rave about catching and eating walleye, I’m not nearly as infatuated with our state fish. Walleye are indeed good to eat and can be fun to catch, but I am a much bigger fan of catching pike. And when it comes to eating, I prefer the smaller and tastier yellow perch.

Granted, I’m a little biased. My love of eating perch stems from childhood summers spent on Leech Lake, where I learned to fish off my grandparents’ dock. I would either steal all my grandfather’s night crawlers, or go dig worms in the woods. Then I would head down to the dock and drop a plain hook with a chunk of worm on it under the boat lift, and catch perch until I had filled a stringer with them. During the spring, just before the ice would go out on the lake, I would take a small chunk of bacon, place it on a small jig, and proceed to fill 5-gallon buckets full of perch. So it’s no exaggeration to say that I have caught and eaten thousands of perch.

perch fillets and grits
The final dish of perch and grits.

The majority of those perch were dredged in a cracker-crumb breading and fried, then served on a piece of Wonder Bread with Hellman’s Tartar sauce. I have eaten and enjoyed them many other ways, but fried with some white bread might still be my favorite. But I can’t indulge in that classic overtime there are…

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