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Catfish can sometimes have an unappealing “muddy” flavor, so to mellow it out, we use a coating of cornmeal and flour spiced up with cayenne pepper and paprika—it gives the fish crunch as well as extra seasoning. Shallow-fry the catfish for a few minutes per side in a cast-iron pan, hit it with a little salt, and serve it with lemon and a rémoulade for dipping.
What to buy: Try to buy farmed catfish, as it gets a “Best Choice” rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list.
If you don’t have cake flour on hand, all-purpose can be used, though the results won’t be quite as crispy.
Special equipment: You’ll need a candy/fat thermometer for this recipe.