Catfish History - Catfish Recipes
Pan-Fried Catfish Recipe - Deep-Fried Catfish Recipe


  Home    |   Recipe Indexes   |   Dinner Party Menus   |   Food History   |   Diet - Health - Beauty

Baking Corner |  Regional Foods | Cooking Articles Hints & Tips | Culinary Dictionary | Newspaper Columns


Follow What's Cooking America on Facebook


Fried catfish is considered a quintessential southern dish along with southern fried chicken, sweet tea, and hushpuppies. Once considered the "food of the Poor," chefs around the country are now inventing new ways to cook and eat this fish.

Small-town restaurants in the south feature fried catfish on their menus. Most urban dwellers have never tasted good catfish and tend to scorn it as a fish of lowly social status. but rural fish lovers, especially in the southern states, dote on the sweet flavor of catfish. It is the most widely eaten American fish. Catfish can be used in any recipe calling for a non-oily white fish, but most southerners prefer it dredged in cornmeal and fried. In the South, hushpuppies are considered an absolute must to serve with fried catfish, along with coleslaw and ketchup.

Catfish

Catfish are not beautiful to look at, with their odd whiskers and big, gaping mouths, but beauty is not important when it comes to choosing fish that is flavorful. Catfish have skin that is similar to that of an eel, which is thick, slippery, and strong. All catfish should be skinned before cooking. The easiest method to skin a catfish is to nail the head of the dead fish to a board, hold on to its tail, and pull the skin off with pliers.

Channel catfish are farmed in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Mississippi is the world's leading producer of pong-raised catfish. Of all the catfish grown in the United States, 80 percent comes from Mississippi, where more than 102,000 acres are devoted to catfish farms. Humphreys County, Mississippi, produces about 70 percent of the catfish consumed in the United States, and has over 30,000 acres under water. The town of Belzoni, in Humphreys County, is called the "Catfish Capital of the World." Each spring the streets of down town Belzoni are transformed into a large carnival during the World Catfish Festival. Due in part to its reputation as a family oriented event, the World Catfish Festival has received several awards including Top 100 Events in North America and TOP 20 Events of the Southeast.
 


cast iron frying pansShop What's Cooking America - Check out What's Cooking America's large selection of cast-iron pans and skillets, cast iron griddles, cast iron Dutch ovens, and Linda's favorite Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.




Pan-fried CatfishPan-Fried Catfish Recipe

Recipe Type: Fish
Cuisine: Southern
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 14 min


Ingredients:

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
Lemon wedges

* 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. An hour-long soak in buttermilk washes away the muddy flavor from freshwater fish such as catfish and tilapia.


Preparation:

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.

 




Deep-Fried Catfish Recipe

Ingredients:

Peanut Oil*
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

* Use enough peanut oil to completely cover fish while frying.

** 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.

HINT: An hour-long soak in buttermilk washes away the muddy flavor from freshwater fish such as catfish and tilapia.


Preparation:

In a large pot or deep fat fryer, preheat peanut oil to 357 degrees F. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

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. Place 4 to 6 pieces of catfish at a time in the hot oil to fry (don't crows the fryer or the oil temperature will drop too much). Fry 6 to 7 minutes per side or until the catfish fillets are a light golden brown and the meat flakes easily with a fork. A simple test for properly fried catfish is to pick up a fried fillet by one end and not have it bend or wilt.

Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain. 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.

Makes 4 servings.

 

 


 

What's Cooking America© copyright 2004 by Linda Stradley - United States Copyright TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved. - Privacy Policy