Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies & Tartar Sauce

We had a couple catfish fillets in our freezer so when I saw this recipe in April's Cooking Light, it was a perfect fit. This was definitely my best frying experience to date! I think the mixture of flour and corn meal may have been the secret. I was especially proud of the hush puppies! They were nice and soft on the inside but crispy on the outside...SO good. And the tartar sauce was my favorite part of the meal! I used the batter on one piece of chicken too (the girls love fish so I knew there wouldn't be much left of my fillet) and it turned out great as well, so you don't have to use fish if you aren't a seafood person. It was a bit messy to prepare (as battering and frying always is), but definitely a fun and tasty meal to eat!
* Tartar Sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon dill pickle relish (I just chopped a dill pickle up)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups peanut oil (I used canola)
6 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
Hush Puppies:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 Tablespoons grated onion
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten


1. To prepare tartar sauce, combine first 6 ingredients. Cover and chill.
2. To prepare catfish, clip a candy/fry thermometer to a Dutch oven; add oil to pan. Heat oil to 385°. (I just used a large, deep saucepan)
3. Sprinkle fillets evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place 1 cup flour in a shallow dish. Combine remaining 1 cup flour, cornmeal, and black pepper in a shallow dish. Combine 2 cups buttermilk and 2 eggs in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in flour; dip in buttermilk mixture. Dredge in cornmeal mixture; shake off excess breading.
4. Place 2 fillets in hot oil; cook 5 minutes or until done, turning occasionally. Make sure oil temperature does not drop below 375°. Remove fillets from pan using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Return oil temperature to 385°. Repeat procedure twice with remaining fillets.
5. To prepare hush puppies, weigh or lightly spoon 3/4 cup flour in dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and remaining ingredients. Drop batter 1 tablespoonful at a time into pan; fry at 375° for 5 minutes or until browned, turning frequently. Remove hush puppies from pan using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

I've been craving good hush puppies - I'm so glad you posted this!! Caity wait to try them out, they look amazing!