Monday, April 21, 2008

Pan Fried Fish

This recipe is from the Food Network website for pan fried catfish . . . I saw this episode of Emeril's show the other night and was particularly interested in the crispness of the fish and wanted to try out this technique/recipe for coating the fish.

Personally, I coat the fish with a light dusting of corn meal, garlic powder, red pepper and dill to pan fry my fish, but I thought I would try kicking it up a notch and using Emeril's recipe . . . will include my comments after I have tested it on Tilapia, my favorite fish.

1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch strips
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons red hot sauce
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon salt

Place the catfish in a non-reactive bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mustard, Essence, garlic and hot sauce and pour over the fish. Stir to thoroughly coat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat 3/4-inch of oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy cast iron skillet to a temperature of 350 degrees F.

Remove the fish from the refrigerator. Combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt in a re-sealable plastic food storage bag and shake to blend. Using a fork, remove the fish fingers, a few pieces at a time, from the marinade, allowing excess marinade to fall from the fish. Transfer the fish to the flour-cornmeal mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining fish.

Fry the fish, in batches if necessary, turning to promote even browning, until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-lined plate to rest briefly before serving.

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