Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Southern Summer Fish Fry

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Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 2.15.51 PMTennessee Fried Catfish

2 quarts’ peanut oil
3 cups fine corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 quarts’ ice cold water
8 catfish fillets, 7-8 ounces each

Heat the peanut oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Cut excess fat from the catfish fillet; place in ice cold water.

Whisk the cornmeal, flour and salt together in a shallow dish. Lift the catfish from the water and allow the excess water to drip off. Lightly dredge the catfish in the breading mixture.

Gently add the fillets, two at a time, to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the fried fillets to a cooling rack set over a paper towel lined pan. Repeat method with remaining fillets. Arrange the catfish on a serving platter and serve immediately. Serves 4

Tip: Not all catfish are the same. If possible, know the source. Look for catfish that have a very firm flesh and little fat and, of course, no fishy smell. The best catfish come from well-circulated ponds and rivers. If buying farm raised catfish, look for never frozen, United States pond (preferably Mississippi) raised only.

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