This is an easy way to create the kind of crunchy, juicy fillets that you can find in catfish houses throughout the South. I soak my catfish in buttermilk for an hour before frying – it clears out that occasionally “muddy” flavor that freshwater fish can acquire, and adds a tang to the crispy crust.
You will need:
- 2 c yellow cornmeal
- 1 c white flour
- 1/4 c seasoned salt – use a proprietary blend, or make your own using salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cajun seasoning
- 2 T baking powder
- 4 catfish fillets
- 1 lemon
- canola oil
- a cast iron skillet
2. Mix the first four ingredients together in a large bowl. Dredge the catfish fillets in the cornmeal mixture, and then shake gently to remove excess coating. Make sure the fillets are completely covered, as it will form a crust once it cooks.
3. Fry the fillets two at a time in the skillet, turning once (carefully, with a spatula) – about 8 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on a wire rack above a drain pan or newspapers. Repeat with the second two fillets.
4. Serve hot with lemon wedges and tartar sauce, or with a spicy mixture of ketchup and horseradish on the side.