Me and my bestie Shannon spent most of our summer days fifth grade through eighth grade either at the coast or at the lake. The coast was awesome because her family liked to party and there was always a giant shade tent, cold beers (not that we got any) and cookouts. Also guitar pickin’ and singing. Shannon and I did a rousing rendition of “That’s What Friends are For” once that I think made her dad cry. Just a little. Lake house times were awesome, too, though, because that meant fresh-caught catfish, then fried fish for dinner. Not that I appreciated it. I used to hate fish passionately, as you may know. But after years of being forced to try “one bite”, finally one day I proudly and happily declared I actually liked it. And here’s how to make it. Try it with some tartar sauce, hushpuppies, jalapeño-cheese bread, coleslaw, and homemade ice cream for a real bang-up summertime meal.
Special thanks to Robin and Shannon for learning me that fried fish is like the best thing ever.
- 1 pound catfish fillets
- For the marinade:
- 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or 1 cup buttermilk)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Tabasco sauce to taste, a few dashes
- For the breading:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Oil for frying (about 3 cups)
- Cut fish into pieces about 1″ wide by 4″ long.
- Combine marinade ingredients and immerse fish in marinade. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10-30 minutes. (Now’s a great time to make your tartar sauce and coleslaw!)
- Combine the breading ingredients in a shallow bowl. Coat each piece of fish and set aside to rest while your oil gets up to temperature.
- Heat ½” of oil in a large skillet to 360-365 degrees F.
- Fry a few pieces at a time (don’t over crowd the skillet) for about 2 minutes on each side, or until they float away from the bottom of the skillet.
- Drain on a rack over paper for at least 3 minutes to avoid burning your mouth. Them fishes is HOT!
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