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Crisp-fried Catfish

1 qt Water
1/4 c Vinegar
3 tb Salt
6 (10 to 12 oz each) catfish cleaned and dressed
1 1/2 c Cornmeal
1/2 c All-purpose flour
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Onion powder
1 ts Seasoned salt
Vegetable oil
1 md Onion; sliced (optional)
Parsley sprigs; (optional)
Lemon slices (optional)


Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Soak catfish in vinegar mixture 4 to 5 hours in the refrigerator. Combine cornmeal and next 4 ingredients in a plastic bag, shaking to mix. Add catfish, one at a time, and shake until completely coated. Pour oil to depth of 2 to 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375 F. Fry catfish 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain well. If desired, dredge onion slices in cornmeal mixture; fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain well. Serve immediately. If desired, garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon slices. [Catfish is also good with lemon juice sprinkled from the slices].


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