We went to the Illinois State Fair today; it was fun.  We went to Scheel’s afterwards; I spent too much money. But I walked away with a stove top smoker, some finely shredded wood chips and an idea.

Amy was headed out the door so I tasked her with buying a package of whatever fresh fish they had at the local grocer.  She came back later with a pack of catfish.  While I was hoping for trout or salmon or some other delicious, highly sought fish, I do live in central Illinois.  Catfish it is.  Fresh.

I salted it up, threw some ground pepper over it, squeezed a little lemon across it and drizzled it with just a bit of olive oil.  For good measure, and a backup dinner, I threw a couple of halves of tomato in that were lightly salted.  Under the drip pan I put in the recommended 1.5 tablespoons of shredded hickory.

25 minutes later I pulled the smoker off the range and opened it up to a beautiful site of lightly smoked catfish and two great looking tomato halves.  The smell was magnificent, the site grand, but the taste.  The taste was perfect!

I’m not a lover of catfish, probably because wherever it appears on a menu, it is inevitably fried, and fried poorly.  It is usually dry and salty.

This was nothing like that.  It was flaky, flavorful, and perfect.

Smoked catfish.  I’ve got some ideas for you now!