Pan-Fried Catfish is quite the catch for dinner time with the family.
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or unbleached all-purposed flour, divided
- 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (or more to your preference)
- 2 large eggs
- avocado oil (or another oil for frying)
- 1 1/2 pounds catfish “nuggets” or filets cut into smaller pieces, skin and dark fatty tisue under the skin removed (ask butcher to do this)
- lemon wedges and/or your favorite seafood dipping sauce
- Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
- Place 1/2 cup flour and the cornmeal in a shallow dish. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and the Old Bay Seasoning. Whisk until combined.
- In a second shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with a splash of water. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- In a third dish, add the other 1/2 cup of flour. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Dry the catfish “nuggets” or filets with a paper towel. Season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge the catfish on both sides in the flour, then the eggs, and finally coat with the cornmeal mixture on both sides. Lay on the wire rack.
- In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (this will help avoid splatters, but you can use a large pan), heat enough oil to cover the bottom about a 1/2 inch high. The oil is ready when it reaches 400°F or when you drop some of the cornmeal mix in and it sizzles right away. The oil should not smoke, but it will come close.
- Using tongs, place catfish filets in the bottom in batches, making sure they do not touch. Pan fry for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Set on a plate that is lined with paper towels. Add more oil in between batches as needed.
- Serve immediately* with a squeeze of lemon and your favorite dipping sauce.
- *To keep catfish warm in between batches, you can put it on a sheet pan in a 200° oven.