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Fried Catfish & Hushpuppies {The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-Off}

I have Lyrical Teen to thank for this.  And Lisa Fain.  You see, LT has been asking me constantly hinting to the fact that he wants catfish.  And I keep meaning to make it.  But somehow, it keeps getting pushed to the back burner.  And I don't mean that literally.  But when I realized that there was a fabulous cornmeal-crusted catfish recipe in The Homesick Texan Cookbook, I figured it was time to grant that wish.  Both of my boys gobbled it up.  I gobbled it up.  Drama Queen?  Gobbled.  Mexi loathes fish (other than tuna in a can)...and therefore didn't gobble it up.  Heck, it wasn't allowed anywhere near his person.  His loss.  That thin, pebbly-crisp crust encased the tender, juicy fish so perfectly.  Throw some hushpuppies on the plate and serve a crunchy green salad with a tangy dressing on the side.  That's dinner, baby.
slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
yield: ~16-20

oil, for frying
¾ c. yellow cornmeal
½ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 large egg
½ c. whole milk or buttermilk
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded & finely diced I used 1 jalapeño en escabeche
¼ medium yellow onion, diced fine

In large pot or Dutch oven, heat about an inch of oil until it's ~300° F.  Again, I just guess at this...rippling oil, etc.  Make the batter while the oil is heating up.  Mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the egg and milk.  Stir in the diced jalapeño and onions. I wound up using some a pickled jalapeño since we were out of fresh.  It was a great substitution, if I do say so myself.  And I do.

To fry the hushpuppies, place tablespoon-size balls of batter into the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden brown, ~2 minutes.  I use my trusty scoop to scoop and drop the batter directly into the oil.  The same scoop I use for making cookies.  Drain on paper towels.
Fried Catfish
also slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
yield: 4 servings (I double-and-a-halved it and it worked well)

1 lb. catfish fillets, cut into 1-2" wide chunks
kosher salt
 black pepper
2 large eggs
½ c. whole milk buttermilk
1 c. yellow cornmeal
¼ tsp. cayenne
vegetable oil, for frying

Salt and pepper the catfish fillets well.  I mean, season them until you think you've seasoned them enough, then season them a little more.  In my opinion.  This is your only seasoning.  Beat eggs and buttermilk together in a bowl.  Mix together the cornmeal and cayenne on a plate.

Heat ~2" oil until it reaches 300° F.  I just fried the hushpuppies first, then fried the fish in the same oil.  Go fish second so your hushpuppies don't taste like fish!  

Dip fillets in egg-milk mixture and then dredge in the cornmeal, covering both sides.  Place fish into hot oil and cook ~4 minutes, turning once if needed.  Drain on a paper towel-lined sheet tray.  Fry in batches if necessary.

I served this with hushpuppies and a chipotle mayonnaise sauce for dipping.  So.  Good.
*This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted (right here!) at girlichef*

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I am also sharing this post with:
wanderfood-badge thesechickscookfeaturingmyrecipes Cast Party Wednesday


  1. Heather,

    This looks wonderful! I've got my eye on that chipotle mayo for the dipping sauce, but everything else too!

  2. Wow you really had me on the hushpuppies. Catfish is the one thing everyone in my house will eat if I use the Louisiana fish fry with
    the lemon juice . i now I can squeeze it on but they will not eat it unless it's already in the fish fry mix. I love this post (I'm from

  3. when we were in new Orleans, this was my husband's favourite thing. Wouldn't he be thrilled if if prepared this for him,

  4. Good Morning Heather,
    Catfish and Hushpuppies is a great meal. The sauce is a good idea for a different flavor. It sure looks good, maybe I'll go down to the dock and catch a couple of catfish for dinner, yum! Thanks for sharing and have a great day.
    Miz Helen

  5. I grew up eating catfish and love it! My grandmother used to prepare it similar to the way you do, Heather, and I can still taste that crunchy, wonderful crust. I've never had hushpuppies...good ones anyway. I bet they are perfect with the fish.

  6. I really enjoy cornmeal crusted catfish although I have never made it myself. You nailed this (as usual!), and I am wowed by your perfect frying abilities. Perfectly golden brown! Thanks for sharing!

  7. That right there is some serious southern eats!!! YUM, YUM!

  8. Man, the food from this cookbook keeps getting better and better. Love that last photo Heather. It deserves a place in the cookbook.

  9. Catfish soaked in buttermilk and crusted with such goodness is my cup of tea, Heather. When you add hushpuppies and that chipotle mayonnaise, I'm truly in heaven!

    However, the fact that the boys enjoyed it, is the icing on the cake. I do wish kids would eat more fish at home.

    Thanks for sharing, Heather. I sure hope Marion likes Catfish!

  10. hi girlichef,
    bookmarked and thanks for that lovely recipe. they do look very crunchy and flavorful.
    3 pieces of each would be just fine for me :)

  11. looks great and i can always get catfish here on the Missouri border!

    I am making a soup and stuffed peppers from the book tonight. Lisa sure has a winner!

  12. Hush puppies are one of the few fried items that I actually dream about. Yours look just perfect.

  13. I LOVE fried fish with hushpuppies. Great Southern food! And that chipotle mayo looks tasty too :)

  14. Looks amazing! I may have to get this cookbook!

    I'm from New Orleans aka fried food= my life.

    Great post :)

  15. That cornmeal coating on the catfish looks perfect! And you are right about seasoning and then seasoning and seasoning again. I always have a heavy hand when I season breading and batters.

    Having those hush puppies around would be too dangerous for me. I just love them, especially if I could dunk 'em in some of that mayo you made.


  16. I have not had either catfish or hush puppies in ages. Both recipec look amazing and I love that dipping sauce too. So many amazing recipes in The Homesick Texan. ;-)

  17. Incredibly crunchy and inviting hushpuppies and the flaky fish looks amazing!! Gosh, I'm hungry

  18. Oh my gosh! This was my absolute fav dish growing up!!!!
    Thanks for the reminder! I havn't had hushpuppies in forever!

  19. oh that catfish looks so good, thanks for the congrats on the baby Heather :-) hugs

  20. I want this cookbook! I've loved everything you've made.

  21. I love hushpuppies!! I am not a fan of fish, but I could eat hushpuppies all day every day!!

  22. I'm a HUGE fan of hushpuppies. I'm drooling. Thank you for sharing your tasty fried meal. I'm eating a boring egg sandwich and wishing I had THIS to munch on. I hope you have a beautfiul day and weekend. We're getting close! Much love from Austin.

  23. I think I'm gonna cry. Seriously. Just hand me a huge plate of catfish and a few hushpuppies and the meltdown will be prevented. You have made THE one thing that I miss from Louisiana. It looks absolutely perfect. And the chipotle mayo?? I'm usually a ketchup and tabasco girl; but that sounds like an even better match. Yum!

  24. Ooooh...I love catfish! How did I miss this one in the cookbook? And I haven't had a good hush puppy in about a decade -- I wonder: Can a good hush puppy be found anywhere in California?

    Can't wait to try both of these recipes!


  25. I'll add these to the "must try" list, they both look great!

  26. I thought that hush puppies were made out of potato for some reason. Maybe I can try that.

  27. I've never tried a meal like this, but it looks amazing! Anything fried is great in my book. I'll try it.