Okay... so I seldom deep-fry food. It is messy, expensive and a bit labor-intensive.
And the only way I really like catfish (a favorite meal here in the south), is fried.
This recipe is excellent and makes yummy crunchy fish to dip in tartar sauce
or makes a delicious fish sandwich tucked in a soft sandwich roll spread with tartar sauce.
The recipe is from "Texas... the Beautiful Cookbook" and it really is a beautiful cookbook!
Be sure to add this book to your cookbook collection!
6 skinless, boneless CATFISH FILLETS cut in half lengthwise
1 c. BUTTERMILK
1/2 C. SELF-RISING FLOUR
1/4 tsp. SALT
Freshly ground PEPPER
Dash of CAYENNE PEPPER
1 1/2 c. YELLOW CORNMEAL
VEGETABLE OIL, for deep-frying
Small bunch of PARSLEY sprigs and LEMON wedges for garnish.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels.
In one shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg and then whisk in the buttermilk.
In a second shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, black papper and cayenne pepper.
In a third shallow bowl, place the cornmeal.
Dip the fish first into the buttermilk-egg mixture, then into the flour mixture, and finally into the cornmeal, coating evenly at each step.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
In a heavy frying pan add the oil to reach a depth of about 2 inches.
Heat over moderately high heat until a deep-fat thermometer reaches 365 degrees,
(or a tiny bit of bread begins to turn brown within moments of being dropped into the pan).
Add 2-3 fish fillets and fry until they flake when tested with a fork or toothpick... 5-7 minutes.
Remove with tongs and transfer to paper towels to drain, then keep them warm in the oven while frying the remaining fish.
Serve garnished with parsley and lemon wedges.
JALAPENO TARTAR SAUCE
3 SCALLIONS, including green tops, minced
2 c. MAYONNAISE
2 tsp. fresh LEMON JUICE
2 Tbsp. DILL PICKLES, minced
2 Tbsp. PARSLEY, minced
1 tsp. drained CAPERS, minced
1 fresh JALAPENO PEPPER, minced
Combine these ingredients and serve with fried fish.
I like to serve the fried catfish with oven-roasted potato wedges and coleslaw.