My mom told me about this recipe a few weeks ago, and I knew I had to try it. I have recently developed a weird aversion to shrimp, so I haven't been able to make shrimp and grits very often. I absolutely love grits, so when I saw this recipe I figured I'd give it a shot.
It turned out really well. The cornmeal breading gave the fish a great crispy outside, and it tasted so good with the creamy grits. I added some chopped scallions on top for a little more color and flavor, and it was perfect.
Fried Catfish Over Grits
(adapted from Never Enough Thyme)
1 pound catfish fillets
2 cups milk
2 cups fine ground white cornmeal
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
- Rinse catfish fillets under cold water and place in a shallow baking dish or pan. Add milk to cover fillets. Cover the dish and refrigerate for approximately one hour.
- Remove the fillets from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before ready to cook.
- Place a large cast iron frying pan over high heat and pour in oil to a depth of approximately 1 inch. Allow oil to come to frying temperature while preparing the fish. (When you splash a few drops of water in the oil and it pops, it's ready)
- Combine the cornmeal, salt, and cayenne in a shallow pan. Remove fillets from milk letting most of the excess drip off. Place one fillet at a time into the cornmeal and turn it several times to coat well. Prepare all the fillets before you begin frying.
- Carefully lower the fillets, one at a time, into the hot oil. Don’t crowd the pan- fry in several batches if necessary. Turn the fillets when golden brown on one side. Cook on the second side until nicely browned as well. Return the fillets to the first side to cook for an additional minute or two if needed to fully develop a golden brown color.
- Serve over grits (recipe below), garnish with chopped scallions and serve with a side of coleslaw.
For the grits, don't just make them how the back of the package tells you to. The longer you cook them and the more liquid that you add to them, the creamier they get. This is my favorite recipe for grits. I promise, it's worth the extra calories.
3 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 lb butter
S+P to taste
1 cup grits
Bring the 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the heavy cream, butter, salt, and pepper. Just as the water starts to come back to a boil, add the grits. Stir, and then reduce heat to simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often. (serves 2-4)