Cornmeal Crusted Catfish

Oil for frying
2 pounds catfish fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning
2 large eggs
½ cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 cups coarse-ground cornmeal
Tartar sauce

Heat 1 inch of oil in a Large, deep-sided cast-iron skillet fitted with a frying thermometer to 375˚F.

Rinse the catfish fillets and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Cut the fillets in half lengthwise.  Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside. Combine the flour and crab boil seasoning in a bowl. Beat the eggs with the half-and-half and hot sauce in a second bowl. Place the cornmeal in a third bowl. Dip a piece of catfish in the flour, shaking off excess, then into egg wash, allowing excess to drip away. Roll the fish in cornmeal and slip it into the hot oil 2-3 pieces at a time. Fry the fish for 3 minutes, carefully turn them, and fry for additional 3 minutes more, until golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in a 200˚F oven to keep warm while you continue to fry batches of fish.

When all the fish is fried, serve immediately with tartar sauce on the side.

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