Nashville Fried Catfish with Fried Pickles

Total Time:
45 min
20 min
25 min

6 servings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup white cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons Essence, plus more for seasoning, recipe follows
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 (6 to 8-ounce) catfish fillets
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • Fried Pickles, recipe follows
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Fried Pickles:
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar sliced dill pickles
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot red pepper sauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons Essence, plus more for dusting
  • 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • Salt
  • Combine the flour and 1 tablespoon of Essence in a shallow dish. In a second dish, combine the 2 cornmeals with the remaining Essence. In a third dish or bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and salt. Dredge the catfish 1 at a time first in the flour, then the eggwash, then the cornmeal, shaking to remove any excess.

  • Heat about 1 cup of the oil in a large, deep castiron skillet.

  • Fry the fish in batches and cook until golden brown on 1 side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until golden on the second side and completely cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with Essence. Add additional oil as needed and cook the remaining fish.

  • Serve hot with the Fried Pickles.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Fried Pickles:
  • Drain the pickles in a colander, then spread on paper towels to drain completely. Combine the buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, and 2 tablespoons of Essence.

  • Heat the oil in a medium pot to 350 degrees F.

  • Submerge the pickles in batches in the buttermilk, then dip into the flour mixture, tossing to evenly coat. Shake in a strainer to remove any excess batter. Add to the oil in batches, turning, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and season with Essence and salt, to taste. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve hot.

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