Recipe: Cast-Iron-Skillet Fried Catfish

Like just about every eater (and imbiber), I have my weaknesses: cold fried chicken, bacon, backstrap, bourbon, fish tacos, sharp cheddar and pretzels. And catfish--preferably fried.

So when I saw the recipe for Deep-Fried Catfish in the new Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, I asked the folks at Lodge if I could have it to share with Wild Chef readers. They obliged, bless their hearts. Enjoy.

**

Deep-Fried Catfish**

Ingredients:
- 1 gallon canola oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups cornmeal
- 5 pounds catfish fillets, all cut to about the same size
- Garnish with lemon wedges.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small jar yellow mustard
- Lemon wedges for garnish

**Directions: **

1. Mount a 17-inch cast iron skillet on a propane burner. Fill the skillet two-thirds full with the oil. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. (Have a guest keep a watchful eye on it; it's best to use a deep-fry thermometer to track the temperature.)

2. Combine the flour and cornmeal in a clean paper grocery bag. Arrange the fish fillets in a single layer on wax paper-lined baking sheets. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper to taste. Brush each piece on both sides with about 1/2 teaspoon of the mustard. Drop each fillet into the flour mixture and shake the bag to coat well.

3. Before you start frying, have another clean paper bag lined with several paper towels and a slotted spoon ready at the cooker.

4. Place the fillets, one at a time, into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the temperature of the oil will drop and you won't get crispy fish. Using the slotted spoon, remove the fish soon after they flu oat but not until they have turned light brown. Place the cooked fillets inside the clean grocery bag to drain and keep warm. Serves 10 to 12