The Mississippi Delta had an economic boom when catfish farming was first introduced a few decades ago.
It has since tapered off as imports have creeped in.
You can, however, still buy good-quality catfish for $4 a pound at the fish market, about four filets, so 50-cents a serving is pretty affordable.
One of my favorite ways to serve fried catfish, although I do like to go light on the batter, is to serve them over Mississippi-made fresh ground grits (See the Ocean Springs Fresh Market on Saturday mornings) and a garnish of tomato chutney.
If you buy the grits at the Ocean Springs market, all you have to do is follow the package directions.
The chutney is pretty simple as well. By the way, this recipe has been in my family for four generations.
Catfish over grits with tomato chutney
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
1 chopped onion
3-6 whole cloves
1 hot chopped pepper
Combine all the ingredients and simmer until thick, roughly 30 minutes.