Catfish has gained popularity in the past few years. It may have been the Cajun and blackened fish recipes seen on many restaurant menus. Whatever the reason, it should be tried. Fried catfish is delicious. These fried catfish fingers with garlic sauce can be served plain (just dip and eat) or fancy (sauce over fish).
5-4 to 6 oz catfish, cut into 1-1/2 inch strips*
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 to 2 tspn ground cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable oil
Mix together cornmeal, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a wide dish and dredge catfish (both sides) in cornmeal. Press cornmealed fish gently and dredge again. Shake to remove any excess cornmeal that may fall into hot oil.
Pour vegetable oil into large skillet and heat until you see ripples in the oil. Test by tossing a bit of cornmeal mix into skillet, it should rise to top immediately. Place several pieces of catfish in hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry fish, turning when golden on one side. Fish is done when it flakes when pulled apart with a knife or fork. Remove cooked fish from skillet immediately and place on paper towels. Set aside and make garlic sauce.
INGREDIENTS FOR GARLIC SAUCE
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup of prepared mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, medium sized, finely chopped
3 green onions, sliced very thin
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste
Extra parsley for garnish (optional)
DIRECTIONS FOR PREPARING GARLIC DIP
Mix all ingredients together in bowl and stir to mix well.
To Serve, spoon garlic sauce over fried catfish fish fingers and garnish with parsley; or divide sauce and spoon into small serving cups to equal the catfish servings and serve individually for dipping.
Make 4 to 6 Servings
If you have any leftovers, make a couple of fish tacos, just grab a couple of tortillas, break fish sticks into pieces, add shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes. Add garlic dip or salsa and enjoy.
*If you cannot find catfish use cod or any firm-fleshed fish. However, catfish is available in most supermarkets. Use fresh or frozen.
- Buy only fresh seafood that is refrigerated or properly iced.
- Don't buy cooked seafood, such as shrimp, crabs or smoked fish, if displayed in the same case as raw fish. Cross-contamination can occur.
- Don't buy frozen seafood if the packages are open, torn or crushed on the edges. Avoid packages that are above the frost line in the store's freezer. If the package cover is transparent, look for signs of frost or ice crystals. This could mean that the fish has either been stored for a long time or thawed and refrozen.
- Put seafood on ice, in the refrigerator or in the freezer, immediately after buying it.
- Recreational fishers who plan to eat their catch should follow state and local government advisories about fishing areas and eating fish from certain areas.
Source: FDA Consumer, February 1999: Critical Steps Toward Safer Seafood