Deep Fried Catfish

By Kathy Smith

A Recipe For Fried Catfish:

1 large egg
1/3 cup of whole milk
1/2 tsp of salt
25 typical crackers like Saltines
1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
25 oz of fresh catfish fillets
6 cups of vegetable oil (don't use peanut oil because of the taste)
2 - 3 lemons, cut into quarters
Bottled Tartar sauce as a condiment

To Fry The Catfish:

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. For the first step, stir the egg, whole milk and 1/4 tsp of the salt in a medium sized bowl and then set aside. Using a plastic baggie, such as a Ziploc, put in the Saltine crackers and then mash them up until they are finely ground into nearly a dust. These will make a nice coating for the catfish fillets.

In a big and shallow glass casserole dish, pour out the Saltine crackers into the bottom of the pan. Next, sprinkle with the cayenne pepper, black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and stir into the ground up crackers.

Put 1 catfish fillet in the egg and milk mixture and allow any excess liquid to drip off of the catfish and back into the bowl. Next, dredge the catfish in the Saltines and seasonings to coat on both sides and then place the coated fish on a platter or large plate while continuing to dredge the remaining fillets.

In a large heavy, cast iron pot, add in the oil over high heat. When a drop of water forms into a ball when dripped into the hot oil, it is time to fry the fillets. Gently place a fillet into the hot oil and cook until it is golden brown and cooked all the way through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the fried catfish with a slotted spatula and place on top of paper towels to drain for several minutes. Then, transfer the fillets from the paper towels to a clean cookie sheet or baking dish and keep the fish warm in the oven while you continue to fry the rest of fillets.

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