Pan Fried Cajun Catfish

I had never made catfish before so when I picked up a package of farmed catfish from the store I wasn’t quite sure how I should go about preparing the fillets.  I looked at my usual food resources; Allrecipes, Foodgawker and Epicurious, and noted that cooking catfish is pretty much like cooking any other fish.  You can pan fry, deep fry, bake, or grill depending on your taste and the recipe.

For my first ride on the catfish rodeo I decided to pan fry my fillets.  I pulled out my trusty cast iron skillet and got to prepping my ingredients.

I used some panko bread crumbs and Cajun seasoning instead of flour or cornmeal.  I basically mixed a cup of the panko and a tablespoon or so of the seasoning.  My BF likes things really spicy, but I didn’t want to kill myself so I stayed on the safe side.

I also used a little milk and butter to dip the fish to make the panko mix stick to them.

While I was prepping the fillets I was also heating some peanut oil in my skillet with a clove of minced garlic, because I use garlic in almost everything.  When the oil was heated and the smell of garlic filled my kitchen, I then added the fillets to the pan, making certain to keep a bit of space between them so each would cook evenly.

Having no idea how long the fillets would take to cook, I was cautious and flipped them when the fish started to turn white on its side.  This was maybe a 4 or 5 minutes or so in on medium heat.  I then waited about that long again and when the fish seemed to flake apart easily on its end when touched with my spatula,  I pulled them off the heat and onto the plate.

I tested mine when I got it on the plate to make sure that I hadn’t removed them prematurely and sure enough the fish was fully cooked, but not dry.  I served the fillets with a baked corn cob and some fresh corn bread.  Lots of corn in this dinner.  😀

To bake the corn I wrapped each one in aluminum foil and baked them for about 30-40 minutes at 425 degrees.  So you can see that I had put them in well before I was going to start the catfish.  About 15 minutes before the ears were done, I added my corn bread to the oven, after adjusting the temperature down and when the bread was about half way done I started on the fish.  This was a pretty easy meal that didn’t make a huge mess and tasted great.  Next time I may try using buttermilk and flour instead of panko, but I guess it all depends on what I have in the house.

I hope you get a chance to try some “new to you” cooking soon.  I always enjoy experimenting with a recipe and having it become a staple.  Let me know what you think.


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