Without really thinking about it, I accidentally made multiple dishes that kind of perfectly fit into a Mardi Gras theme. Last week, I did shrimp étouffée with grits, which was really good. But I think this catfish po’boy is even better, and the best thing about it is how easy the breading is. Flour, cornmeal and cajun seasoning. Then you fry it. Game over.
So really, I guess the point of this post is how easy it is to deep fry things at home. I don’t have a fry thermometer, or a stand alone deep fryer or even a spider skimmer that you always see scooping fried stuff out of oil on the food network. But if you have a heavy pot (my cast iron dutch oven has made many, many appearances on this blog) and a gas stove, you’re good to go. Most food is fried at about 350 degrees, which you can get pretty close to at medium-high heat. The key is patience and waiting in between frying things for your oil to heat back up, but when you actually fry your piece of catfish, it’s pretty much done when it looks done. There’s really nothing to it. So go ahead and deep fry stuff whenever you feel like it.
3 or 4 catfish filets
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cajun spice, or to taste
1/2 quart canola oil
1/4 cup hot sauce, like Crystal, Louisiana, Texas Pete or Tabasco
- Cover the catfish filets in the hot sauce and let them soak for a few minutes, up to half an hour or so. While the fish marinates, whisk together the cornmeal, flour and seasoning and heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.
- Remove the catfish from the hot sauce and shake off the excess. Dredge catfish in the breading mixture until it’s well-covered and shake off the excess again. Fry each piece one at a time for 4-5 minutes until its golden brown.
- When you remove the fried filets, let them drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Build your po’boy with slaw and tartar sauce or any other toppings you desire. I made tartar sauce with chopped pickled jalapeños, mayonnaise and lemon juice (also super easy).