Crappie Recipes

Vernon’s Recipes

Creole Crappie Nuggets by Vernon Summerlin   Creole Crappie Nuggets & Tartar-Dill Dipping Sauce 2 pounds crappie fillets cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup ground cornmeal 2 tablespoons Cajun Creole seasoning 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) 1 egg Salt 1/4 cup […]

Vernon’s Recipes

  Christmas Crappie for a Unique Option by Vernon Summerlin   Last year I featured the elaborate Feast of Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve that dates back to the Roman era. This year I’m offering you several recipes that don’t focus on a certain date but keep them in mind to titillate your taste buds. […]

Vernon’s Recipes

  Crappie Burgers & Mayo by Vernon Summerlin   The origin of the burger may never be known but I think we can credit an angler’s wife for the creating the crappie burger. Some food historians believe that the hamburger was invented by a cook who placed a Hamburg steak (so called because its origin […]

Crappie Pot Pies

Crappie Pot Pies by Vernon Summerlin   You’ll love the convenience of making crappie pot pies then taking some from your freezer, baking and serving them – if you can wait that long. Or just skip the freezing and go straight to the baking and eating. Or mo’ better yet, make a gaggle of them […]

Vernon’s Recipes

  Crappie En Papillote by Vernon Summerlin   I ordinarily don’t know what my monthly recipe will be and which tidbit I’ll expand on until I sit at my computer. This time, however, it came from reading Consumers Report’s monthly newsletter, On Health. Their topic for August was steaming fish, poultry and veggies for low-calorie […]

Recipes: Thymed Crappie Nuggets, by Vernon Summerlin

  Eastern Mediterranean countries grew thyme, an aromatic herb in the mint family Lamiaceae, for centuries before modern times. Now, dozens of varieties are available but those interested in the best culinary thymes have only a fistful of choices. The most commonly cultivated for culinary purposes is Thymus vulgaris. Those best for flavor, as well […]

Recipes: Crappie Koolsa Tacos, by Vernon Summerlin

  When the weather turns hot it’s the time to think of cool foods. Coleslaw, known simply as slaw, is among those. Cabbage salad is from the Dutch term “koolsla.” This side dish consists primarily of finely shredded raw cabbage with a salad dressing, usually vinaigrette or mayonnaise. But what we’re going to do is […]

Recipes: Crappie Cooked with Fiery Air, by Vernon Summerlin

Whoo-eee, hot air! I never thought one of those new-fangled fryers would woo and win me, but I’ve always been a late bloomer. Remember those 8-track players? I didn’t catch on to them until they were on the way out yielding to cassettes. Guess who waited until old-fashioned vinyl was back in style before I […]

Crappie Enhanced with Lemon Plus an Exotic Twist by Vernon Summerlin

        Crappie Enhanced with Lemon Plus an Exotic Twist by Vernon Summerlin A great recipe plus an additional option for some exotic flavor     Go back and pull up last month’s recipe in CrappieNOW using lemons to refresh your memory about lemons. We’re going to use them again. This time we’re […]

Recipes: Wok-Steamed Crappie with “Instant” Preserved Lemons, by Vernon Summerlin

Recipes: Wok-Steamed Crappie with “Instant” Preserved Lemons, by Vernon Summerlin A wok is a round-bottomed cooking pot, originating in China. But they work great for preparing delicious crappie in the USA.   The lemon, Citrus limon, is a species of small evergreen tree in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, native to South Asia, primarily Northeastern […]

Recipes: Tips-n-Tricks to Cooking Crappie, by Vernon Summerlin

    Recipes: Tips-n-Tricks to Cooking Crappie by Vernon Summerlin Lots of great crappie options   It’s a New Year at CrappieNOW and we’ve got a boat-load of articles from experts in this issue to inspire you to bundle up for a trip into the cold to catch a platter full for supper. I’ll offer […]

Recipes: Christmas of Seven Fishes, by Vernon Summerlin

Christmas Feast of Seven Fishes by Vernon Summerlin   An old Roman tradition began in Southern Italy to celebrate Christmas. At Eve Tide (Christmas Eve), vigilance and abstinence were observed. Neither meat nor dairy could be consumed, but there was a catch. They could eat fish, although I’ve yet to understand why fish is not […]

Recipes: Crappie Soup, by Vernon Summerlin

Spicy First Course: Crappie Soup Thinking of a way to kick off your Thanksgiving feast? Think spicy crappie soup. This hardy dish will take the edge off the hunger that’s been growing in your guests’ tummies ever since they arrived and began circling your kitchen like starving vultures. 1/2 pound crappie fillets 1/2 onion, chopped […]

Recipes: Crappie Patties, by Vernon Summerlin

Crappie Patties & Frying Oils Great recipe and bonus info about frying oils   3 cups cooked crappie fillets, chopped 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped 1 cup potatoes, shredded (or mashed potatoes) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (more or less […]

Recipes: Mexican Crappie, by Vernon Summerlin

Recipes: Mexican Crappie by Vernon Summerlin Recipe from south of the border, plus tips on choosing a filet knife   Mexican Crappie & Fillet Knives 1-1/2 pounds fillets 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning 1 cup pico de gallo (recipe below) 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 to 3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips Preheat oven to 400 […]

Recipes: Three-Bowl Breaded Crappie, by Vernon Summerlin

Three-Bowl Breaded Crappie Pan versus Skillet?   by Vernon Summerlin 1 1/2 to 2 pounds crappie fillets Salt and pepper fillets 1 /2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons cold water, a splash 2 cups plain bread crumbs 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Season fillets with salt and […]

Recipes: Crappie Chowder, by Vernon Summerlin

  Crappie Chowder Crappie with an Italian twist   by Vernon Summerlin   4 cups crappie fillet chunks 4 cups shredded potatoes 1/2 cup celery, diced 1/2 cup onion, diced 2 cans cream of mushroom soup 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 1 can evaporated milk, 2 cans optional to taste 1/4 cup […]

Parmigiano Reggiano/Crappie Fillet Sandwiches, by Vernon Summerlin

Crappie with an Italian twist by Vernon Summerlin “There has never been a better assortment of cheeses than there are today,” says Larry Olmsted Senior contributor to Forbes Life, “with an explosion of high-quality artisanal cheese makers and craft dairies springing up around the world. This makes it even more impressive that most people in […]

Kung Pao Crappie

Kung Pao Crappie Tried and true delicious dish       by Vernon Summerlin     China has been known for a number of killer viruses—this ain’t one of them. This is an old tried-n-true delicious dish. You’ll find a version of this on most Asian food menus served spicy hot or not. Although Kung […]

Recipes: Hot Fish Stew – It’ll Make You Sweat

Drop it like it’s hot by Vernon Summerlin Are you familiar with capsaicin? It’s the hot stuff in peppers, not the seeds but capsaicin is present in large quantities in the placental tissue (which holds the seeds), the internal membranes and, to a lesser extent, the other fleshy parts of the peppers. The pepper is […]

Mississippi Crappie Casserole

    When I began cooking as an adult, my experiences with casseroles had been limited. First I thought they were just a baked mixture of foods. One day I learned what a casserole really is – the French word for saucepan; a large, deep dish used for cooking and as a serving vessel. That […]

Corn Covered Crappie

Corn Covered Crappie   A great many recipes for frying fish include cornmeal or corn flour. While cornmeal and corn flour are both made from milled, dried corn, they differ in texture. Cornmeal feels gritty, and corn flour is fine, much like wheat flour. The degree of milling determines their texture. Corn flour is finely […]


Crappie Shrimp Sauce & Butter Sauce by Vernon Summerlin Cayenne pepper is one of my favorite tongue teasers and an ingredient in many hearty dishes, from chili in the American southwest to curry in India. It is a small red pepper initially used by nomadic Central and South American people. The early explorers Ferdinand Magellan […]


“HERE COMES SANTA CLAUSE, HERE COMES SANTA CLAUSE” and so on until the children are restless for dinner. ’Tis the season, but let’s prepare something different this year, mixing up a summer salad with winter wild game for a savory holiday feast. You may leave Santa some leftovers should there be any. 4 crappie fillets […]

Vernon’s (Summerlin) Recipe for Crappie BBQ

The English word “barbecue” comes from the Spanish word barbacoa.  After Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, the Spaniards apparently found indigenous Haitians roasting meat over a grill consisting of a wooden framework resting on sticks above a fire. The flames and smoke rose and enveloped the meat, giving it a certain flavor. Traditional barbacoa involves digging a hole in […]

Ver(n)onique Fillets

I thought I would personalize this French fish dish by adding the letter (“n”) into the term Véronique, which means to “prepare with or to garnish a dish with grapes”, usually a white seedless variety. Grapes don’t show up until late in the preparation but let’s look at grapes and wines that will pare deliciously […]

Bare Bones Basics for Frying Crappie

Lots of folks who provide recipes like to navigate into exotic and sometimes hard to navigate directions. This month we’re getting back to the basics with the help of Tim Spice. Spice is the Boater Education Director for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He’s also an accomplished outdoor chef. Here he teams up with […]

Cola-n-Beer Fried Crappie

Before we get to this month’s recipes, let’s look at the basic kitchen tools you’ll need to get fish fillets from the fish, to the table and ready to eat. Basic is the operative word here. In my research for this column I found that there are about as many tools as there are fishing […]

Summertime Grilled Crappie

To keep your kitchen a little cooler this summer, put your outdoor grill to work. To save time you can buy salad dressings and salsas. But to enhance your food’s taste make them with fresh ingredients.   4-6 fish fillets Italian dressing (homemade or store-bought) Fresh lemon Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to […]

Baked Fillets with Potato Chip Crust

The earliest known recipe for something similar to today’s potato chips is in William Kitchiner‘s cookbook The Cook’s Oracle, published in 1817 in England. The 1822 edition offered a recipe called “Potatoes fried in Slices or Shavings” and reads “peel large potatoes, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in […]

Salt-Baked Fish ‘n’ Stews

We commonly think of table salt for recipes. Table salt has additives like iodine (to prevent thyroid disease) and an anti-caking agent to prevent lumping in humidity. Many chefs prefer kosher salt (additive-free, coarse-grained) for cooking and sea salt for table use because they have a softer flavor than table salt. Kosher salt easily draws […]

Salt-Baked Fish ‘n’ Stews

We commonly think of table salt when most recipes call for salt. Table salt has additives like iodine (to prevent thyroid disease) and an anti-caking agent to prevent lumping in humidity. Many chefs prefer kosher salt (additive-free, coarse-grained) for cooking and sea salt for table use because they have a softer flavor than table salt. […]

Recipe: Blackened, Baked & Broiled Crappie Fillets

Blackening fish should be done under a commercial hood or outside unless you want a sooty house, if so, cook on but turn off your smoke detector first ;>) 4 crappie fillets 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon white pepper […]

Crappie Stir Fry

8-10 ounces crappie fillets, chopped 3 tablespoons canola oil 1 cup green onions, diced 1 cup fresh mushrooms, diced 1 cup fresh asparagus, diced 1 cup green bell pepper, diced 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 1 garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce Cooked rice or noodles (follow package directions) Heat wok or skillet and […]

Hot Peppered Pickled Crappie

Pickling began about 4,000 years ago. The process was developed to preserve foods including veggies, fruit, fish and meats. Pickled foods, especially cucumbers, are made and eaten because of the wonderfully complex mouth-puckering tastes. Pickling may also improve the nutritional value of food by the B vitamins that bacteria produce. The process of preserving foods […]

Tastes of from New England and Italy with a Sweet Southern Puddin’

When most of us think of chowder, New England comes to mind. The phonetic variant chowda, is believed to have originated in Newfoundland in the days when Breton fisherman would toss portions of the day’s catch into a large pot, along with other available foods to make a seafood stew. Because this is CrappieNow, we’re […]

Recipe: Fish Velouté Sauce and Grilled Crappie

Velouté is last one of the five mother sauces of classical cuisine we haven’t covered. It can be made with any white stock, but this version, the fish velouté, is made with fish stock. There’s also a veal velouté and a chicken velouté. Fish velouté is the basis for the traditional White Wine Sauce, as […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Grilled and BBQed Crappies

Let’s take our cooking outside. We’ll grill and barbeque some fillets. Grilling is generally done quickly over moderate-to-high direct heat that produces little smoke while barbecuing is done slowly over low, indirect heat and the food is flavored by the smoking process. Decide which method you want to use first and let’s get cooking. If […]

Stir-Fried Crappie and Sauces

You don’t need a wok to stir-fry fish. A heavy skillet that holds the heat will work just fine. Now let’s wok up some fish flesh.   1 pound crappie fillets 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 1/2 cups celery cut diagonally 1 green pepper cut into 1/4-inch strips 1/4 cup green onions chopped 1/2 cup […]

Crappie NOW Recipes: Crappie from the Oven

            Scampi, or Langoustines or Norway lobsters are roughly the size of a large crayfish and fished from silty bottom regions of the open Atlantic Ocean and parts of the Mediterranean. The fleshy tail of the Norway lobster is closer in both taste and texture to lobster and crayfish than prawn or shrimp. In English, […]

Crappie Crispy Strips & Breakfast Taco

Golden, tasty strips of crappie fillets will become most pleasing after the batter ingredients have had time to mingle for at least an hour but longer is better; even up to five days of mingling. The added time becomes an enhancer as the beer and spices make their magic with the flour. Heck, it’ll make […]

Crappie Rich Po Boy Sammiches – Ain’t Nuthin’ Po About’em

            The traditional Po Boy sandwich from Louisiana almost always contains fried seafood; shrimp, crawfish, oysters and crab. Here are some options for dressing up your Crappie Rich Po Boys.   Crappie Rich Boy This comes from my experienced imagination. I started with a plain crappie fish sammich and sprinkled it with some magic culinary […]

A Spicier Christmas – Crappie Étouffée

Étouffée is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. In French, the word étouffée literally means “smothered,” which is a good way to describe our Christmas recipe. Although other forms of seafood may be used, a true étouffée should be made with crawfish. While gumbo is made […]

Crappies for Breakfast

Nutritionists claim breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s true in my case, however, I postpone dining until I can call it lunch. Breakfast ain’t what it used to be when I was kid growing up in the rural South. Back then, Mom would fry each of us a couple of eggs […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits

Huevos Rancheros 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 onion, chopped 1/2 cup chopped canned green chiles 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons chili powder 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin Salt and pepper 4 ounces pepper Jack cheese, shredded (1 cup) 8 large eggs 1 avocado, […]

Fish Tacos

I just added a gem to my cookbook library by Stacy Lyn Harris, Harvest. Chef Stacy Lyn is a fellow Alabamian and a bestselling author of three books, founder of the popular Game and Garden blog, and co-host of The Sporting Chef on The Sportsman’s Channel. Her simple approach to sourcing and preparing tasty meals […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Enhance Your Fried Crappies with Sesame and Soy

Let’s cook some fillets and add a couple of fish-enhancing tastes; sesame oil and soy sauce. Historically, sesame plants were cultivated more than 5,000 years ago as a drought-tolerant crop and grew where other crops couldn’t. These plants grew wild in sub-Saharan Africa and were one of the first processed for oil as well as […]

Quickie Crappie with a Side and Dessert

We’re having a simple meal of crappie fillets, smashed potatoes with banana bread for dessert. It contains my favorite three food groups: fish, fat and sugar. The sugar part comes in a fruit. Gotta be good for you!   Quickie Crappies for Two 4-6 crappie fillets Salt & pepper to taste 2 tablespoons butter 2 […]

Crispy Crumbed Crappie, Crispy Crappie Fritters and Crispy Onion Rings

Let’s make stuff that’s all about being crispy except for some beans. We’ll bake some fillets, fry a few and crisp-up onion rings, both daintily and bulkily. There are tools needed in the kitchen and there are those tools that cooks just want. “Wants” outnumber the “needs” probably a thousand to one. We’re going to […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Parmesaned and Thymed Crappie Fillets

Can you speak Italian? Sure you can. Say Parmigiano-Reggiano. You’ve just named the “King of Cheeses”. Parmesan, as we call it in the USA, is a prohibited name in trading in the European Economic Area under European law. Outside the EU, the name “Parmesan” can legally be used for cheeses similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano. Parmigiano-Reggiano is […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Boiled Crappie Snacks

Boils and bakes are traditionally associated with coastal regions of the United States. Scandinavian immigrants get credit for bringing the fish boil to the Midwest (far from saltwater coastal areas and shellfish). They prepared locally caught for a quick and economical way to feed large groups of people. The fish is typically cut into small […]

Vern’s Cooking and Tidbits: Chicken-Fried Crappie – So What Has Chicken Got To Do With Crappie?

I was looking at a copy-cat recipe for KFC’s famous “secret” 11 herbs and spices and came across one of the ingredients call ‘Tellicherry” pepper. With Google’s help I found the following on a blog by Scott Eirinberg at (Yeah, I’ll get to the chicken part the long way around.) Scott sez: “Tellicherry Peppercorns […]

Vernon’s Cooking & Tidbits: Crappies for Christmas

By Vernon Summerlin             In keeping with the season, I’ve chosen a few special recipes. Dumpling is our English word for an ancient delicacy called wonton. In American Chinese cuisine, wontons are served in two ways: in a soup (wontons in a clear broth) and as an appetizer called fried wontons. The American fried wontons […]


8 crappie fish fillets Salt ½ cup apple juice ¼ cup lemon juice 2 ounces creamed cheese, softened ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles 2 T. onion, finely chopped 1 large Granny Smith apple Freshly ground black pepper 8 slices butter Natural color toothpicks Plain breadcrumbs for sprinkling 4 long, thin slices of a fresh red […]

Cooking & Tidbits – Vernon Summerlin

Cook it Till it’s Black I fell in love with blackened fish at first taste. Cajun spices make whoopee with my taste buds. This was maybe a quarter century ago when I was in Louisiana dining on redfish. Of course when I got home I had to heat up my passion using freshwater fish, namely […]

Recipes & Tidbits: Wrapping a Crappie in a Tortilla

Vernon Summerlin             Tortilla is Spanish meaning “small cake”. A flour or wheat tortilla is a type of soft, thin flatbread made from finely ground wheat flour. Originally derived from the corn (maize) tortilla, this bread predates the arrival of Europeans to the Americas.             Flour tortillas are commonly prepared with meat, mashed potatoes, cheese […]

Hoodoo BBQ and Spicy Fried Crappie with Puppy Silencers

(Plus, vinegar history lesson…Robbers and the Black Plague) by Vernon Summerlin             Vinegar, one of the ingredients in this month’s BBQ sauce recipe for crappie, has been used by people for thousands of years, dating back to around 5,000 BC in ancient Babylonia. I found more than 20 varieties of vinegar online, ranging from apple, […]

Vern’s cooking & tidbits: Summer Crappie Revival

For the last several months I’ve been sending you recipes that I consider bordering on elaborate to down-right complicated. To wind down summer I’m reviving a few less fancy but invigorating recipes for frying and baking – plus some side dishes. Peppery Crappie             6-8 crappie fillets             2 eggs             1/2 cup heavy whipping […]


This recipe requires a heavy black-iron skillet for cooking. Serve the spicy crappie recipe over a spring salad mix of greens.  Note that there are no spices used in the salad. Salad: 1 plastic box of Spring Salad Mixed Greens, already washed (produce aisle in grocery) Extra virgin olive oil Balsamic vinegar

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Cool Crappie Soups for the Good Ol’ Hot Summertime

by Vernon Summerlin             Cerviche, gazpacho and vichyssoise are soups (continued from last month’s recipes) designed especially for summer because they are served cold.             Ceviche is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime and spiced with ají or chilies. Additional seasonings, such as chopped onions, salt […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits

By Vernon Summerlin Soups or Stews?              Soups are similar to stews and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between them. Generally, stews are much thicker than soups and require longer cooking over low heat. While soups are almost always served in a bowl, stews may be thick enough to be […]


1 lb. crappie fillets; washed, drained, and patted dry Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 T. lemon juice 1 T. orange marmalade 2 tsp. honey 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1 tsp. soy sauce 1 T. fresh orange juice

Crappie au Gratin Casserole & Fish Sauces

Vernon Summerlin             Last month I ran out of space before I could offer you this au gratin casserole dish. You can use catfish, bass, striper or any freshwater fish you like, even trout, but a firm flesh holds together better.             2 pounds skinless crappie fillets             1/2 cup Madeira wine or 1/2 cup […]

Golden Crappie au Gratin & Sam-miches

Vernon Summerlin This month we’re taking two of our crappie recipes on a European tour. In France we’re fixin’ a golden crusted baked fish, called au gratin. The term le gratin signifies the “upper crust” of Parisian society. Here at home, au gratin entered into English signifying a culinary technique in which our ingredient, crappie […]


1 pound fish fillets Salt 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped 3 T. butter 1(14.5.ounce) can petite chopped tomatoes, undrained ¼ tsp. salt 1 small clove garlic, minced 1/8 tsp. garlic salt 3 drops Tabasco sauce ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1-cup chicken broth or water Cooked white rice served hot

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Smoking and Canning

SmokingSmoking and canning offer alternatives from traditional frying. You can smoke crappie but they’re so hard to keep lit. (That’s an old ’60s joke ;>)Smoking has long been used as a means of temporarily preserving fish and other foods throughout history. Originally this was done as a preservative but today the smoking of fish is […]


1 lb. crappie fillets 1 T. lemon juice Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs, more may be needed Spray oil Paprika 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce (not original or wing sauce) 2 tsp. soy sauce Cocktail picks

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Shui Zhu Yu (Sichuan Boiled Fish)

Vernon Summerlin Let’s go the other side of the world to try a Chinese dish for our crappie. Shui Zhu Yu is one of the most common Sichuan fish dishes. The essential ingredient is Sichuan bean sauce. Shui means water and Zhu means boil.Sichuan cuisine is very popular not only throughout China but worldwide. “One […]


1 lb. crappie fish fillets 1 lemon cut in half plus 2 tsp. lemon juice for the sauce Salt to sprinkle on fish Freshly ground black pepper to sprinkle on fish 4 T. butter ¼ cup all-purpose flour ½ large onion, finely chopped 2 large cloves garlic, mashed and chopped 2 cups milk 2 scant […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits:

Simple Crappie Recipes to Kick Off a Happy 2016 Goals for Making Life Go Your WayAt the turn of each year I like to set goals, not New Year resolutions. Goals are serious; resolutions are wishes. If I want to change aspects of my life, I have to change how I’ve been behaving. Dr. Albert […]

Fried Crappie & Buttered French Bread w/Spicy Sauce

1 lb. crappie fillets 1 whole loaf of French bread; bakery cooked, but not cut Butter, softened ½ cup mayonnaise 1 tsp. prepared horseradish 2 T. dill pickle relish or minced dill pickle 1 T. minced onion ¼ tsp. Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning ¼ tsp. mild paprika 6 drops Tabasco sauce, more if desired […]

Blueberried Crappies & Seasoned Greetings!

Vernon Summerlin This month we’re taking a little breakfast with our crappie entrée by using a pancake mix. This mouthwatering recipe will lure everyone to the table. Instead of using ordinary pancake mix, we’re going to fruit-it-up a little by using a blueberry mix.Commercially sold blueberries, genus (Vaccinium), are usually from species that naturally occur […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Oven Fried, Spicy or Foiled

by Vernon Summerlin Oven Fried Crappie1 pound crappie fillets1 cup Italian Style bread crumbs1 egg1/4 cup milkVegetable, canola or peanut oilSalt and pepperPreheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour oil into a medium sized casserole dish to a depth of approximately 1/8 inch. Preheat the oven (and the pan of oil). Combine milk and egg in […]

Grilled & BBQ Crappies & Squirrels

Vernon Summerlin While it’s still warm outside, let’s go to the grill one more time for some savory crappie fillets and, in honor of squirrel season, we’ll throw a few of those on the barbie too. Grilled Crappie with Butter Sauce2-3 slab crappie fillets per person1/4 teaspoon onion powder1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1/4 teaspoon paprikaLemon pepperSalt […]


1 lb. crappie fish fillets 1/2 large sweet red pepper, sliced into strips 1 medium to large sweet onion Spray vegetable oil 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil Salt Freshly ground black pepper 2-1/2 T. butter 2 tsp. small to medium-size capers ½ large juicy lemon Paprika


This recipe can be used for a main meal or as an appetizer. 1-1/2 lb. crappie fillets, cut into 1 to 2-bite pieces or nuggets 2-1/3 cups self-rising corn meal 2 cups buttermilk ½ cup vegetable oil 2 large eggs, well beaten 1 medium onion, finely diced 5 “mini” red or yellow peppers or ½ […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Mustard Fried Crappies

If you like the flavor of mustard, whether on a sandwich, hotdog or with an entrée such as venison or duck, this recipe is for you. And there are a great many of us who relish the tangy taste of mustard because we consume 400 million pounds each year worldwide.Mustard is one of the oldest […]


1 lb. fish fillets 2 large tomatoes, quartered Salt Freshly ground coarse black pepper 1½ T. soy sauce 1 tsp. cornstarch 1 T. (+ extra for garnish) toasted sesame seeds (buy them toasted) 4 mini yellow peppers or 1/2 large yellow pepper, seeded & chopped ¼ medium onion, finely chopped 2 tsp. rice vinegar 1/8 […]

Grilled or Broiled Crappie with Pineapple Salsa

Vernon Summerlin Salsa is sauce in Spanish. In English-speaking countries it usually refers to the sauces typical of Mexican cuisine known as salsa picante, particularly those used as dips. The dips are often tomato-based, although many are not, and they are typically piquant, ranging from mild to extremely hot.The word salsa entered the English language […]


1 lb. crappie fish fillets Salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 T. bacon drippings or extra virgin olive oil 2 T. butter 2 T. plain flour 1 cup chicken broth ½ cup heavy cream 3 T. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes plus extra for garnish 1 tsp. mild paprika 5 drops Tabasco sauce ¼ to ½ tsp. […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Fish-n-Foil Italian Style

It’s so easy to zest up your crappie for grilling by adding Italian dressing. If you cook on a grill, you may want to baste your fish every two minutes to prevent it from drying out. If you choose to cook crappie and veggies in foil (think easy and clean) there is no need to […]

Crappie with Rice Stuffing

By Vernon Summerlin I’m originally from L.A. (old joke about Lower Alabama). During my L.A. fishing days from the 40s to 60s, I didn’t know many fish species because I just fished farm ponds. I knew green trout (largemouth bass), bream and catfish. At that time I hadn’t even seen a crappie. I’d been ignorant […]


1 lb. fish filletsSaltFreshly ground black pepper¼ tsp. garlic powder2 -3 T. extra virgin olive oil, more if needed during cooking2 frozen basil cubes½ of a whole lemon Wash the fish fillets and pat dry with paper towel. Lightly salt and pepper both sides, then sprinkle the garlic powder over the fillets. In a heavy […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits

Grilled Venison BackstrapBy Vernon Summerlin Let’s start with light meal of crappies and fruit salsa. Broiled Crappie with Salsa and Grilled Venison Backstrap1 large peach or 1 small mango1 cup medium prepared salsa (or hot salsa if you prefer)1/4 cup olive oil1 tablespoon fresh lime juice1/2 tablespoon honeyPinch of salt6 cups (4 oz.) lightly packed […]

Fried Crappie with Citrus-Butter Caper Sauce

1 lb. crappie fish fillets 1-cup self-rising corn meal mix Vegetable oil for frying 6 T. butter, divided 1 T. small capers, drained and mashed Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 “Cutie” or small tangerine Wash the fish fillets and pat dry with paper towel. Peel and section the “Cutie” or tangerine. Remove the seeds and […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Cajun Grilled Crappies

By Vernon Summerlin It’s spring and it’s time to take it outside – cooking that is. This month we’re going outdoors to grill some slab fillets. We are cooking the manly way, waving our fillets over a flame and burning our fingers picking pieces out of the fire. Fish Grilling SecretsActually these are tips. Grilling […]


1 lb. crappie fillets Salt Freshly ground black pepper Italian seasoning 1 large onion 1 large fresh tomato 1 fresh lemon cut in half 4 to 6 oz. White sharp Cheddar cheese 4 to 6 butter slices about 1 tsp. per slice Paprika

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Baked Crappie Fillets with Parmesan & Herbs

By Vernon Summerlin Some time ago CrappieNow ran my recipe for crappies with parmesan and peanuts. This month we’ll cook with parmesan again but flavoring the fish with herbs instead of peanuts.We all can name a number of herbs but did you know they fall into three categories? Culinary, medicinal and spiritual are the general […]


1 lb. crappie fillets Salt 4 slices bacon 1 lb. red potatoes 1/3 medium onion 2 eggs, used separately Freshly ground black pepper ¾ cup plain flour ¾ cup self rising corn meal Vegetable oil Wash and pat dry the fish fillets with paper towels. Lightly salt both sides. Set aside.

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Crushed and Crusty Crappie

By Vernon Summerlin Origin of Corn FlakesCorn Flakes, believe it or not, were invented as part of an Anti-Sexual Crusade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Michigan physician John Harvey Kellogg was uncomfortable about sex because he thought thinking about it was harmful physically, emotionally and spiritually. He personally abstained.The good news for us was […]

“Man Up” Crappie Po-Boys

¾ cup ketchup 1 T. (or more) refrigerated horseradish Juice of ½ of a large lemon 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 4 drops Tabasco sauce 1 lb. crappie fish fillets Zatarain’s Seasoned FISH-FRI Crispy Southern Style Mix Vegetable oil for frying Butter, softened

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Crappie Étouffée

  Étouffée or etouffee (pronounced ay-TOO-fay) is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. In French, the word étouffée literally means “smothered,” which is a good way to describe our recipe this month. Although other forms of seafood may be used, a true étouffée should be made […]


1 lb. fish fillets Salt to sprinkle on fish 8 oz. sliced baby portobella mushrooms 2 poblano peppers 2 T. extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. garlic salt ½ tsp. paprika 4 to 6 large 8″ flour tortillas (soft tacos) Cocktail picks Wash and pat dry the filleted fish: then salt. Cut […]

Recipe – Mushroomed Crappie

  Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits By Vernon Summerlin I’m sure you’ve heard the rhetorical question “Who was the first person to eat a raw oyster?” Someone very hungry would be my answer. So how did humans figure out which ‘shrooms to eat? My research didn’t find the answer to that question but hieroglyphics from more […]

Fried Crappie & Big, Fat Reds

1 lb. crappie fish fillets Fish fry mix or self-rising corn meal mix 6 -8 medium-size red potatoes Vegetable oil for frying Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning or plain salt Newspapers and paper towel Wash the fish fillets and pat dry with paper towel. Put fish fry or corn meal mix into a clean zipper […]

Crappie with Rice Stuffing

When I lived in Minnesota I fished the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) and the wilderness of southwest Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park where I’d often come across patches of wild rice growing along the shorelines. It ripened in late summer and would fall into my canoe when paddling through to tall grass stems searching for […]

Crappies & Herbs

Vernon Summerlin Last month I promised a crappie recipe without using hot peppers. So mote it be… let’s use herbs instead.When planting your garden, a plot set aside for herbs will pay off in better tasting foods as well as save you a few bucks at the grocery store. The use of herbs goes back […]

Baked CRAPPIE & Tomato Au Gratin

1 lb. fish fillets Salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 to 3 large tomatoes, sliced 1 lemon, cut in half 1 large poblano pepper, seeded (optional) 4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs Wash and pat dry the fish fillets; then lightly salt and pepper both sides. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits: Hot Peppered Pickled Crappie

For the last several issues I’ve featured crappies with hot peppers. I was going to ease up on your taste buds… yes, but I have this unique recipe that spoke to me saying “cool crappie in the summertime – fish from the fridge.” What could be mo’ better? It’s hot but you can make it […]


1 lb. crappie fillets Fish fry mix of choice Vegetable oil for frying 1 T. butter 1 T. olive oil 2 large onions, sliced in rings Salt Freshly ground pepper 1 sweet red pepper, cored and sliced in rings 1 yellow pepper, cored and sliced in rings 1 orange pepper, cored and sliced in rings


1 lb. crappie fillets 2 T. soy sauce ½ tsp. cornstarch 4 tsp. cooking sherry ½ tsp. ground ginger 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper 4 T. butter, sliced thin

Crappie with Red Butter Sauce & Cashews

1 lb. crappie fillets ¼ tsp. salt plus salt to sprinkle Freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp. lemon juice plus 4 drops per fish fillet 4 T. butter 1 tsp. mild paprika 1/3 to ½ cup salted cashew halves Wash and pat dry the crappie fillets, then lightly salt and pepper on both sides. Place […]

CRAPPIE Tacos with Guacamole & Tomatoes

1 lb. crappie fillets 1 large ripe avocado, well mashed or puréed 1 clove garlic, finely minced 2 tsp. lemon juice 2 or 3 T. sour cream 6 drops Tabasco sauce, more if desired ½ tsp. garlic salt Salt 2 large Roma tomatoes, diced Hard taco shells


1 lb. crappie fillets Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup pecans, crushed 1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese Thin slices of butter Lemon wedges, optional Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and pat dry the fish fillets. Spray-oil a baking dish. Sprinkle both sides of the fish filets with salt and […]

Vern Cooking & Tidbits: Crappies & Pancakes

By Vernon Summerlin One of America’s favorite breakfast foods is the pancake, also called hotcake and flapjack. Archaeological evidence suggests that pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies. It’s simply a flat, round, fried cake for delivering butter and syrup to your taste buds.My wife adapted a Food […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits – Crappie Ceviche

by Vernon SummerlinIt took a little while for me to appreciate eating raw fish (except tuna). Ceviche may seem like raw fish but it’s chemically cooked. Fish pieces are marinated in a citrus based mixture; lemons and limes most commonly used. In addition to adding flavor, the citric acid causes the proteins in the fish […]

Crappie NOW October 2014

October is a time for transitional crappie. Locating fish can be tricky but once you find them the action is good. CrappieNow tells you how to find and catch these fall papermouths. Read like a Magazine (Page Flipping) NEW! Read as a Web Page  Download as a PDF (Printable) Scan QR Tag to download magazine […]


Make or purchase a dipping sauce for the tempura, if desired. 1 lb. crappie fish fillets, washed and dried 1 large sweet red pepper 1 large sweet potato 25 hand-selected, small, fresh green beans 1 (8-oz.) package tempura batter mix Vegetable oil for frying Cut the fish fillets into pieces. Core and seed the sweet […]

Vern’s Cooking & Tidbits – Crappie and Venison

by Vernon Summerlin CrappieNow editor Tim Huffman and I were exchanging emails; he was bragging ’bout the bucks he’s taken this season and I was complaining that I didn’t have what it takes to haul one out the holler. (Compared to me, Tim’s still a strong young buck). We swapped a few laments of the […]

10 Ways to Catch More Crappie

Story & photos by Keith Sutton “How can I catch more crappie?”All who enjoy crappie fishing want an answer to that. Most who pursue America’s favorite panfish—experienced and novice anglers alike—do so not because they hope to catch a wall-hanger, but because they want some crappie to eat—the more the better. However, those just learning […]

CRAPPIE with Slivered ALMOND SAUCE and TOMATO Slices

1 lb. crappie fillets ½ cup plain flour 1/3 cup butter Salt Freshly ground black pepper ½ cup blanched, slivered almonds ½ cup heavy cream or Half & Half cream 1 T. minced parsley Wash the fish fillets and pat very dry with paper towels. Put the flour into a shallow dish and dredge the […]

Southern Fried CRAPPIE w/Cornbread Dressing & Cranberry Salad

1 lb. crappie fillets Salt Freshly ground black pepper ½ cup plain flour 2 eggs 1 cup self-rising corn meal Vegetable oil for frying Wash the fish fillets and place on paper towels to drain. Pat the fish fillets very dry with more paper towels; then salt and pepper the fish on both sides. Place […]

Fried Whole Crappie with Parmesan Peanut Crust

Vernon Summerlin Do you know your cheeses? Parmigiano-Reggiano is considered one of the world’s greatest. It remained at the top of the connoisseurs Best Cheeses list for more than nine centuries. Unfortunately it’s often poorly imitated. Parmesan adds an important tangy flavor to this month’s crappie recipe. Freshly grated Parmesan provides considerably more flavor than […]

Cooking & Tidbits Turkey, Stuffing & Crappie

By Vernon Summerlin Turkey restoration has been incredible in my home state of Tennessee. I usually see two or three fields with birds numbering from just a few in the spring to more than a couple of hundred in winter, and I can frequently hear them from my back porch across the holler in the […]

Crappie CAMP OUT Recipe – No Clean Up!

Cook the crappie fillet recipe in heavy-duty aluminum foil packets on a – Charcoal Fire-Pit, Charcoal Grill, or Gas Grill (Packets can also be baked at 350 degrees in the oven for 40 minutes). Heavy-duty aluminum foilMinute Instant Rice (cooks in 5 minutes)SaltBlack pepperOne or two crappie fillets per aluminum foil packetConcentrated lemon juice or […]


This recipe can be made for one serving or for as many fish fillets as you want to cook. It is lightly spicy and crunchy with a definite citrus “twang”. Crappie filletsKraft- Zesty Lime Vinaigrette Anything DressingLouisiana Fish Fry – New Orleans Style Fish Fry with Real Lemon Added Vegetable oil to use for frying […]

Recipe for a Huge, Patriotic FOURTH of JULY FISH FRY

This recipe is from an old Army cookbook, dated August 27, 1946. Dwight David Eisenhower was listed in the cookbook as Chief of Staff. DEEP-FAT FRIED FISHYield: 300 servings, approximately 5 ounces each. Fish Fillets 90 poundsSalt 7- ½ ouncesPepper ¾ ounceEggs 54Milk 3 pintsBread Crumbs 6 pounds


by Darl Black It’s June, and the start of my favorite period to catch crappies on natural lakes in northeastern and Great Lakes states. During spring in Pennsylvania, I focus my crappie fishing on man-made reservoirs where early season catches are very predictable. By mid-June, however, I switch to natural lakes where the early summer […]

CRAPPIE Fish Fillets with a SUN-DRIED TOMATOES and WINE Sauce

1 (14.5) can chicken broth 1/3 cup dry white wine 2 T. diced oil-packed sun dried tomatoes 2 tsp. of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes 3 T. diced yellow, red, or orange pepper ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 6 to 8 fish filets (wash but do not salt) Water

Baked Crappie w/ Confetti Rice

6 to 8 crappie fish fillets Salt for fish fillets ½ of a fresh lemon 1 tsp. olive oil 1 to 1-1/4 cups cooked rice (leftover is ok) 2 T. tomato sauce 1/2 cup mild onion, chopped fine 1/3 cup sweet red pepper, chopped fine 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. garlic salt 1/8 tsp. freshly […]

Fried CRAPPIE with Lemon-Pepper Buttermilk Crust

4 to 6 crappie fillets, washed, drained, and patted dry with paper towels Keebler’s Original “Flipsides” Pretzel Crackers¾ cup buttermilk¾ cup plain flourSaltLemon-pepper pepper marinadeCanola or vegetable oil for frying


4 to 6 crappie fish fillets Salt Freshly ground black pepper Paprika 1/2 cup sliced almonds or 2 oz. slivered almonds, toasted Juice of ½ of a large lemon ¼ cup real butter Pinch of sugar Sprinkle the fish fillets with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place into a spray-oiled baking dish and bake on 350 […]


4 to 6 fish fillets Salt Italian seasoning Mild paprika 3 to 4 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to sprinkle on the fish fillets 1 T. plus 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 3 cloves garlic, minced then crushed 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes, then softened 1-cup milk ½ tsp. […]


The same beer batter also makes really great fried onion rings. Double all of the recipe ingredients, except for the fish fillets; then cut one or two large, mild onions into thick slices. Separate the slices into rings. Dredge and batter the onion rings like the fish fillets and fry. 4 to 6 fish fillets6 […]


Cook white rice or use leftover rice, if available. 4 to 6 fish filletsSaltFreshly ground black pepper1/2 tsp. fresh basil paste (can substitute a small amount of fresh chopped basil, or a sprinkle of dried basil)

Tortilla-Topped Baked CRAPPIE w/ BLACK BEAN Salsa

Salsa: 1 (16-oz.) can black beans 2 to 4 green onions, thinly sliced w/green tops ½ to 1 small Roma tomato, diced 1 to 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp. red wine vinegar