- 1 quart peanut oil
- 1 cup stone-ground fine cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 (7 to 9-ounce) US farm-raised catfish fillets, rinsed and thoroughly patted dry
- 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
Heat the peanut oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Adjust the heat to maintain the temperature.
Whisk the cornmeal and flour together in a shallow dish. Combine the seafood seasoning, kosher salt, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. Season the catfish fillets evenly on both sides with the spice mixture. Pour the buttermilk into another shallow dish. Dip each fillet into the buttermilk, flip once to coat both sides, hold over the pan and allow the excess to drip off. Coat both sides of the fillets in the cornmeal mixture. Set the coated fillets on a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
Gently add the fillets, 2 at a time, to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the fried fillets to a cooling rack set over a newspaper-lined half sheet pan. Repeat method with remaining fillets. Arrange the catfish on a serving platter and serve immediately.