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Mike Morris, master fisherman, master chef

2013-09-30 - Gladys Montgomery Morris homeland - Photo by Ed Waggener. Michael Morris indulged in a moment of relaxation after two hours of non-stop fish frying for the Morris Reunion, and enjoyed a cup of his cousin's fresh Winesap squeezings. Nobody knows all the secrets in Mike's recipes and techniques, but his bream may just be the best - anywhere, and that's saying a lot in Adair County. . Certainly it wins on color, taste and texture. But if there were a deadlock on those measures, he'd win the tie breaker - quantity. He is, by all accounts, the champion fisherman in these parts. He did give away a big secret: The best fish is barely out of the fryer, barely cool enough not to burn one's lips when eaten. That's the failing of so many fish fries: It's cold by the time it's carried to the serving line. Best to hang out with the fryman. Intercept pieces from the serving pan, before it wanders off to the buffet; and if there is a pioneer griddle close by with cornbread cooking, as Richard Phelps had, it's the perfect Trinity: Fifteen to 20 hot, perfectly seasoned filets, crisp buttery hoecakes, and ice cold Cider. Doesn't get any better than that at Mike Linnig's. - EW
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