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Southern Fried Catfish

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This is a basic recipe for southern fried catfish.  Growing up, we had a large stocked pond full of catfish, brim, and a few bass. My favorite were the catfish, because you can fillet them off of the backbone and they were plentiful.  If you can find them, wild catfish, or catching your own is the way to go.  Farm raised catfish are not as flavorful, but then again you do not have to clean them.  And if you have never cleaned a catfish, it is not easy, there is skinning involved.  Nowadays, I stick to the fillets at Sam’s because they are cheap and easy! If we have a craving for good wild catfish, we know of wonderful little hole in the wall restaurants.

This recipe is very easy. I do not marinate my catfish in buttermilk, nor did my mother.  Although my granny did marinate.  The older people use to think you had to drink buttermilk with fish, so that if you swallowed a bone the buttermilk would dissolve it.  Silly huh? After we figured out buttermilk doesn’t dissolve bones, we stopped marinating the fish in it. Catfish, especially farm-raised are so incredibly  tender, I do n0t know how you could make them any more tender. I think the main advantage to a buttermilk marinate is to add flavor, and have a thicker breading.  I prefer a very thin breading, so I do not use it. You must fry the catfish at a pretty high heat, a little higher than medium to keep it tender.  Think of it as if you  are broiling a fish, fast cooking, and high heat. I have only had tough catfish one time, and it was when a neighbor cleaned  their pond out by dragging and brought us one of the biggest catfish I had ever seen.  We tried to fry him up, but he was so tough and old that he was in-editable, maybe he would have benefited from the buttermilk marinade!

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Southern Fried Catfish

Ingredients:

Catfish Fillets
1 cup flour
1 cup fine ground corn meal
3 tablespoons Southern Spice Blend, or another Cajun Spice blend
Oil for frying

Directions:

Preheat oil to 375. It will be a little higher than medium on the stove.
Mix together flour, corn meal, and spices.

Bread catfish and fry until firm. Don't overcook, because then it will be tough and rubbery.
Serve with a simple cocktail or tarter sauce.

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