In the Deep South, cooks in local catfish houses typically coat the fillets in a mixture of cornmeal and flour, then deep-fry to a golden brown.
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 cups plain yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
5 cups peanut or canola oil
4 (4-ounce) farm-raised catfish fillets
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 applewood-smoked bacon slices
1 tablespoon butter
18 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup sliced green onions
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 250°. Place 1 cup flour in a shallow dish or bowl. Combine cornmeal, 2 tablespoons flour, and pepper in a second shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Combine buttermilk and egg in a third shallow bowl or dish, stirring well with a whisk.
Heat oil to 385° in a Dutch oven. Sprinkle both sides of fillets with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dredge 2 fillets in flour. Dip in buttermilk mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture. Fry breaded fillets for 5 minutes or until golden brown and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place fried fillets on a wire rack in a jelly-roll pan, and keep warm in a 250° oven. Repeat procedure with remaining fillets, flour, buttermilk mixture, and cornmeal mixture.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add butter to drippings in pan. Add shrimp; sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from pan; keep warm. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a simmer. Cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently.
Place 1 catfish fillet on each of 6 plates; top each serving with about 1/3 cup sauce, 3 shrimp, 2 teaspoons green onions, and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.
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