The catfish of Toledo Bend Lake in North Louisiana is not only a
local favorite, but is also revered as the best eating fish around.
It is often fried filleted, but it is preferred deep-fried, whole.
- 6 (6-8 ounce) catfish fillets
- pepper to taste
- hot pepper sauce to taste
- 1 gallon ice water
- oil for deep frying
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tbsps Zatarain's Creole Mustard
- juice of one lemon
- Zatarain's Seasoned Fish Fry
Season ice water generously with salt, pepper and pepper sauce.
Place fillets in ice water and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
In a large dutch oven or Fry Daddy, place enough oil to deep fry
fish. The oil should cover the fish by approximately 1-2 inches.
Preheat oil to 375 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, blend milk, Zatarain's=s
Creole mustard and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper
and pepper sauce. Remove fish from ice water, drain quickly and
place in the mustard batter. Immediately dip into Zatarain's seasoned
fish fry or another of your local favorite blends. Deep fry until
golden brown. Normally, a good guideline is, don't overcrowd the
fryer because the temperature of the oil will be reduced dramatically
and the breading will fall from the fish. Remember to give the fish
enough room to "swim". Also, remove the fish from the
hot oil when they begin floating to the surface. Don't over-cook,
as fish is best when crisp on the outside but tender and juicy inside.
Drain on paper towels and serve hot with tartar or cocktail sauce.