Catfish often gets a bad rap in the delicacy department, but Southerners have figured out a way to make it shine. Simply soak the mild fillets in buttermilk to create a moist coating and add additional flavor. Next, dredge them in a cornbread mix seasoned with garlic powder, herbs, salt, and pepper, then fry until golden brown and crispy. You'll have a nicely seasoned crust on the outside and a delicious, flaky inside. Serve with a side of coleslaw and hush puppies.
2 1/2 cups cornbread mix
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried thyme
6 (3/4- to 1-pound) farm-raised catfish fillets
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground red pepper
How to Make It
Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dip fillets in buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off; sprinkle with salt and peppers, and dredge in cornbread mixture.
Pour oil to depth of 4 inches into an electric fryer or Dutch oven; heat to 400°. Fry fillets, 2 at a time, 2 to 3 minutes or until they float; drain on paper towels.