Loosely based off of this Chowhound recipe, this cornmeal fried catfish is light, crunchy and satisfying
2 pounds catfish filets, cut in half lengthwise (about 4 long catfish filets)
½ cup coarse, stone-ground cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
½ cup canola oil (more or less) for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving
2 green onions, sliced on a diagonal, for serving
Equipment needed: wire rack, baking sheet, pan with high sides for frying, candy thermometer
Rinse the catfish filets and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
Set up a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Line the top of the wire rack with several layers of paper towels and set aside.
In a 9x13 baking dish, mix together the flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Heat canola oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until the temperature of the oil reaches 350 degrees.
Dredge (drag) the catfish filets through the cornmeal mixture one at a time and place in the pan. Fry the catfish in batches, about 3-4 minutes per side, until the outside is golden brown and the inside flakes easily with a fork.
Drain the catfish on the wire rack lined with paper towels. Let cool slightly, then serve with lemon wedges and green onion.
Recipe by Grits and Chopsticks at https://www.gritsandchopsticks.com/the-gravy-train/2016/05/cornmeal-fried-catfish.html