There’s only one way to make crunchy, golden-brown catfish better–pairing it with ultra-creamy grits.
Fried Catfish and Grits
Makes 4 servings
- 4 skinless catfish fillets (about 1½ pounds total)
- 1 cup whole buttermilk
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups stone-ground yellow grits, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- In a large, shallow dish, combine fish and buttermilk; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning fish occasionally.
- In an enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven, bring milk, 2 cups water, and butter to a boil over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in 1 cup grits until smooth; whisk in 1½ teaspoons salt, thyme, and peppers. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until grits are tender and creamy, 25 to 30 minutes.
- In a deep, 12-inch cast-iron skillet, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, cornstarch, remaining 1 cup grits, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Working in batches, remove fish from buttermilk, letting excess drip off. Dredge in flour mixture, pressing gently to thoroughly coat fish.
- Fry fish in batches until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion of fish registers 145°, 3 to 5 minutes. Let drain on paper towels. Serve fish with grits and lemon.