Simple preparation: The author suggests scoring the fish three times on both sides before it's coated with cornmeal.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning the spots
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning the spots
- 4 whole (44 ounces) spots, gutted and scaled
- 1/2 cup unsalted unsalted butter (or lard), for frying
- 1 large lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Have ready a platter lined with paper towels.
In a large shallow dish, mix the cornmeal with the salt and pepper. Season the fish with additional salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the fish in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off any excess coating.
In a skillet large enough to hold all the fish, heat the butter or lard on medium-high heat until it is very hot. Add the spots and cook about 10 minutes, turning once. Transfer the spots to the dish lined with paper towels. Serve hot with the lemon wedges on the side.
Adapted from "In Pursuit of Flavor," by Southern cooking expert Edna Lewis (University Press of Virginia, 1988).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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