Later in life, even after Grannie had passed I found another partner to dine at Piccadilly with on a regular basis. After college, my old college roommate and I were in Grad school at different Universities and we wanted to find a way to keep in touch and stay current on each others lives. Lauren and I met every Tuesday at Piccadilly for lunch. Even though several years had passed and my palate had definitely matured, I still got the same meal from my childhood - The Catfish Dilly with macaroni and cheese, French fries, and a soft roll. What can I say? I like nostalgia, or maybe I just LOVE catfish. This recipe had a very similar crust to the Piccadilly catfish and I couldn't help but think of all the special meals I had at the caloric cafeteria with those two special people in my life.
Cornmeal Crusted Fried Catfish
Adapted from Cooking Light April 2010
- 8 cups peanut oil
- 6 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 9 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 2 cups)
- 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
1. To prepare catfish, clip a candy/fry thermometer to a Dutch oven; add oil to pan. Heat oil to 385°.
2. Sprinkle fillets evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place 4.5 ounces (1 cup) flour in a shallow dish. Combine remaining 4.5 ounces (1 cup) flour, cornmeal, cayenne 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.
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 or spider; drain on paper towels. Return oil temperature to 385°. Repeat procedure twice with remaining fillets.
3. Serve filets hot with lemon wedges.