Catfish on Foodie Friday – R. Jehn

Baked Catfish Filets (23 March 2003)

If you like catfish, this is a nice way to do it. A typical issue that people have with catfish is that it tastes muddy, no surprise as they are scavenger, bottom-feeding fish. This use of a pre-cooking marinade takes care of the problem.

1/2 cup buttermilk
Lots of salt and peppa’
Garlic powder to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne chile powder

Mix these ingredients together, then add:

6 ounces fresh catfish filets, cut into pieces

Marinade the catfish for about three hours in the refrigerator – it will do amazing things to the flavour of them, especially if you typically find catfish that tastes the way mud/lake-bottom does. Be sure to drain the fileted fish pieces after marinading and discard the liquid, too.

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Then do a little dance with the following, which is a very typical dance for quick-fried foods:

1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix flour and seasoning in a little bowl;

1 large egg, beaten

Beat egg in another bowl, then most importantly:

1/8 cup flour
1/8 cup corn meal
More seasoning of your choosing

Mix flour, etc. in a third bowl. For seasoning, I often use rather spicy things such as pasilla or ancho chile powder, pepper, etc.

The following steps are typical, but not what I did:

  1. Dredge fish in flour, pat flour off fish;
  2. Dip fish in beaten egg, ensuring excess egg drips away;
  3. Throughly coat fish with corn meal mixture, shaking off excess; and
  4. Fry in very hot oil until golden brown and drain on paper towel.

For the baked version, follow ONLY steps 1 to 3 just above, then place each filet onto a rack over a baking sheet or dish. Bake for 15 minutes or so until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with cornbread or rice, salad and lemon wedges (latter is for fish).

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