Catfish were readily abundant in the Antebellum South and, due to their status as "bottom feeders," weren't deemed the most stylish dinner staples. Once the South's seafood secret, mild-flavored catfish has gained popularity nation-wide. Simply soak the catfish in milk for an hour before frying to eliminate any leftover fishy taste. The cornmeal crust creates a perfect light and crispy texture. Jack says the catfish are done when "most of the bubbling stops and the fillets begin to float."
6 (4- to 6-ounce) catfish fillets
2 cups milk
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Place catfish fillets in a single layer in a shallow dish; cover with milk. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Combine cornmeal and next 4 ingredients in a shallow dish.
Remove catfish fillets from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Remove from milk, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt.
Dredge catfish fillets in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.
Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a large skillet; heat to 350°. Fry fillets, in batches, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on wire racks over paper towels.