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."
Southern Living JULY 2004
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.
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