Lord we love us some catfish here, well really all fish here. Me and my husband are huge fishermen (I am the pro lol No Really I tourney fish) And we love to fry all our fish. I pulled this out of the freezer from a trip last summer and this is just the best fried catfish around. The bump in flavor from the buttermilk and the spices and lemon just make this good hills food! YUM! Throw in the "Appy Slaw" and it is a meal!
1CATFISH: rinse catfish filets and let drain in strainer for at least 30 mins
2To me the most important thing you can do for this dish is to clean them cats good! Some people say the red streak (fat) down the middle of the filet does not change the flavor of the fish BUT I have found it does it gives it that "fishy" taste to me! Ok I did a few photos to show what i mean on the cleaning, trimming and cutting into fingers.....Hope this helps :)
3Cut the filets in half following the middle split in the filet.
trim the thickest part of the red or brownish color off the filet after you cut in half.
4Cut each diagonally into fingers you will get 2 to 3 "fingers" per piece of catfish depending on size
5Place fingers in bowl
6In separate bowl mix up buttermilk, hot sauce and lemon or lime juice and pour over catfish. Let this soak for around 30 minutes
7In a big Ziploc bag place flour, cornmeal mix and Cajun seasoning. I don't add extra salt because the seasoning seems to have plenty but add it if you think it needs it pepper to :) Shake the mix around to get good and mixed up.
8Finger drain your catfish (just pick up a few and let them drain shake off some of the liquid) and add to flour mixture add a few and shake them around and then add a few more and shake them around repeat until all are in bag and coated with flour/cornmeal mix. If you seem to be running low on the mix or fingers are not coated good toss in a handful of flour and shake some more :)
9Let catfish hang out in Ziploc bag while you heat your oil to 350 degree once oil is hot place a few fingers into it and fry until nice and brown. Do this in batches so you don't over crowed the pot.
10Once nice and brown remove to wire rack or plenty of paper towels to drain
11"APPY Slaw" Appalachian Cole Slaw
12Cut, Chop and Finely dice cabbage. Peel, cut, chop and Finely dice Carrots. Finely dice green onions and put in a bowl together.
13In a separate bowl mix everything for the slaw dressing.
14Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and mix well. Taste to see if you want more mayo or vinegar or mustard Make this your own if it is to much vinegar add a little mayo and a sprinkle of sugar, to sweet add a drop of mustard or vinegar. Just play to get your favorite flavor out of this that how we do it up here in the Appy Mountains :)
15Tonight I served the catfish and slaw with simple crocks of baked beans and my homemade Jalapeno Tartar Sauce (recipe posted)