Remove the skin from the catfish by making a cut all around the head, following the contours of the gill covers. Holding the fish by the head, use pliers to pull the skin off. Cut out the portions of fin that remain. Remove the head and entrails. Fillet the fish to prepare for cooking.
Preheat your stove top pan at medium-high with a small amount of oil or butter. Lay the catfish fillets in the pan when you hear the oil start to crackle. Spread your seasoning on the top side, after a few minutes flip the fillet and do the same to the other side. I like to keep it simple with black pepper and cajun spices.
This southern specialty works best if you cut each catfish fillet in half.
- In a small dish, combine one half cup of cornmeal, black pepper, and salt. Mix until consistent.
- Put the partial fillets in the seasoning. Ensure the fish absorbs your seasoning equally.
- Make sure your frier is hot before you put the fillets in – about 370 degrees will do – drop the fillets in for five to seven minutes(until lightly brown and crispy).
Deep-fried catfish is very good served with cold slaw, tartar sauce, and hush puppies.
- Melt 1/3 teaspoon of butter in a broiler pan. Substitute butter for vegetable cooking spray if you wish.
- Preheat the pan for about five minutes.
- Combine one teaspoon of liquid smoke, 1½ teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder in a bowl. A variation of this can be accomplished by adding a tablespoon of soy sauce.
- Place the catfish fillets inside the broiler pan and brush the basting sauce over the fillets as they broil. Be sure to keep the pan around three inches from the heat source.
- After five to seven minutes the catfish should easily flake and are ready to eat!