RECIPE: Pan-Fried Catfish Recipe
Vegetable Oil, Olive Oil, or Butter (your choice)
4 medium freshwater catfish fillets*
1 cup cold milk
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
* To clean a whole catfish, remove skin from the catfish, then slice the fillet across to a thickness of no more than 1/4 inch. The secret to frying catfish is using thin fillets less than 1/4-inch thick.
Rinse the fillets under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. In a pie place, lay fillets and pour milk over the top. In another pie plate, combine cornmeal, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Remove the fillets one at a time from the milk and roll in the cornmeal mixture to coat evenly; place on a large platter to dry. leaving space between them. Let dry at least 5 minutes.
Heat the oil or butter in a large skillet (I like to use my cast-iron frying pan). Add the coated catfish filets and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, sprinkling additional salt on the catfish after each turn. Cook until golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork. Drain on paper towels. After draining, place the fillets on another platter covered with paper towels; place in preheated oven to keep warm while frying the remaining fillets. The fillets will remain hot and crisp for as long as 35 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
Makes 4 servings.