The cooks at Carmack Fish House in Vaiden, Mississippi, serve this dish with tartar sauce and a side of hush puppies. Our kitchen director, Hunter Lewis, who hails from the South, wrote about catfish in “Pride of the Delta” (March 2009).
- Canola or peanut oil, for frying
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 1⁄3 cups flour
- 1⁄4 cup seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s
- 2 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (3–5-oz.) boneless, skinless catfish filets
- 1⁄2 lemon, cut into wedges
- Tartar Sauce, for serving
- In an 8-qt. pot, pour in oil to a depth of 3″. Heat oil over medium-high heat until it registers 350˚ on a deep-fry thermometer.
- Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, flour, seasoned salt, baking powder, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the catfish and toss to coat. Gently shake off the excess cornmeal mixture and transfer catfish to a rack.
- Working in 2 batches, fry the catfish in the hot oil until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer catfish to a wire cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to let drain. Transfer fish to 2 plates and serve with a lemon wedge and tartar sauce.