A couple of weeks a go, we went to lunch at a little restaurant that specializes in Southern style cooking. The drinks served in Mason jars were fun, but the fun stopped there. I tried the mac and cheese (gloppy/gluey), Buttermilk Fried Chicken (overdone) and the Hush Puppies (heavy, greasy). Grant ordered the Blackened Catfish Po Boy. The waiter plopped down 4 teeeeenie strips of overcooked, blackened fish on a big bun PILED with about an inch of coleslaw. Seriously, each piece of fish was the size on my pinkie finger. It looked like a slaw sandwich. Grant ate it right up, and a good portion of mine too. Even though it wasn’t my lunch, I thought about it all day.
The next day, I decided to have a re-do on the fish portion of our meal andwe had us a little fish fry. Have you ever cooked catfish? No, you don’t have to look at their ugly faces, just unwrap the cellophane, bread and fry. Yum.
So. Much. Better.
You’re gonna love it.
Cornmeal Fried Catfish with Remoulade
- 1/2 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning the fish
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning the fish
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 pounds catfish fillets cut into 3- to 4-ounce strips
Simple Remoulade Sauce
- 1 cup mayo
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons chopped parsley optional
- 2 teaspoons brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons sweet relish
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- dash paprika
Place cornmeal, flour, cayenne, paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish and whisk to thoroughly combine.
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a 12-inch cast iron skillet to 350°F. Line a plate with several layers of paper towels; set aside.
Use a paper towel to blot the fish pieces dry, season on all sides with salt and pepper, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture, being sure to cover all sides. Tap fish pieces lightly to shake off any excess coating.
Fry fish in batches, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp on the outside with a flaky interior, about 6 minutes total.
Remove fish from the pan with a slotted spatula to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain. While the pieces are still hot, season well with salt. Serve with lemon wedges and rémoulade.
For the rémoulade: Mix all ingredients together and serve chilled.
-The original recipe for frying the catfish calls for 6 cups veggie oil, I reduced it to about 1, and fried in batches of about 4 fillets at a time.