This recipe was given to us by the writer Lonnee Hamilton, who recommends spooning some bacon grease into the frying oil to give the fish a smokier flavor.
- 4 cups vegetable shortening or oil
- 3 tbsp. bacon grease (optional)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- Lawry's Seasoned Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup milk
- 8 (6–8-oz.) whole head-on bluegill, perch, or other small freshwater fish, cleaned
- Tartar sauce, for serving
Heat shortening and bacon grease in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350˚.
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, Lawry's, and pepper in a bowl. Transfer half the cornmeal mixture into another bowl. Put milk into a medium bowl. Working in batches, roll fish in cornmeal mixture, transfer to milk (shaking off excess), and dredge in second bowl of cornmeal mixture.
Using tongs, fry 4 fish, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Repeat and serve with tartar sauce.