If you are not Alexandra, you are welcome to enter the drawing for "The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook: 150 Favorite Southern Recipes," by Sherryl Woods and Teddi Wohlford. This charming volume offers classic southern dishes with a pinch of elegance and tablespoon of creativity. You might wonder how they have “classic” recipes with “creativity.” I don’t know either, but they do.
To enter, send a e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and the NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT. I’ll draw the name next Wednesday.
Here’s a good-looking recipe from “Sweet Magnolias:”
PANFRIED CATFISH WITH SPICY CORNMEAL COATING
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
4 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, optional
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk togetgher the buttermilk and cayenne pepper. Add catfish fillets, making sure each comes into contacdt with the liquid. Refrigerate 4 to 12 hours. Remove catfish from soaking liquid, and pat dry between paper towels. Discard the soaking liquid.
For cornmeal coating:
Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zip-top food storage bag. Secure shut, and shake to blend. Set aside.
For wet mixture:
In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice.
Once you have dried off the catfish fillets after their buttermilk soak, you can proceed. The proper breading technique (for all frying) is a dry-wet-dry method. Dredge the catfilsh fillets, one at a time into the spicy cornmeal coating, then the egg mixture, then back to the spicy cornmeal coating.
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat to 370 degrees. You will know when the oil is hot enough to fry if you drop a tiny bit of breading into the hot oil and it sizzles furiously. The oil should be hot, but not smoking.
2. Carefully lower the catfish into the skillet, frying 2 fillets at a time. The thickness of the fillets determines the cooking time. Total frying time is approximately 7 to 8 minutes, turning once halfway through frying.
3. Remove from skillet and let drawing on wadded paper towels.
4. Repeat for remaining fillets.
– “The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook”