90210. Now, that was quality television. I’m not alone on this am I? When this show first came out I was still in middle school — unruly spiral hair, buck-teeth, neon slap bracelet, the whole kit and caboodle. Yes, I was a prize.
Wednesday nights were the most anticipated day of the week and I would sit there in front of the TV with my finger pressed to record the show and add to my extensive collection of soaps and music videos. I was kind of a nerd (well, still am) and made it a weekly affair to go through the entire TV Guide, highlight shows to watch, record them, and then watch them again later. Oh, I would also keep track of the order on 3 x 5 index cards and stash them inside the tapes. *blink*
Next to Wednesdays, Thursdays were my second favorite day of the week because that meant I could re-watch last night’s episode as soon as I got back home from school. Why I did this, I will never learn. What I do know is that, come 3:15 pm, I would pull up a TV tray and eat fried fish, cooked up by my grandma, with bottled ranch dressing, a glass of Tang and watch Dylan and Brenda have yet another row about virginity.
This is my updated, grown-up version of the fried fish I used to love minus the frizzy hair.
Panko-crusted fried catfish
1 cup panko
2 teaspoons flake sea salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley + more for garnish
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten with smidge water
2 teaspoons spicy mustard
1 1/4 lbs. catfish filets, cut into quarters
Canola oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, to serve
Lemon aioli or tartar sauce, to serve
In a large plate, mix together the panko, salt, black pepper, thyme, parsley, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and paprika. Set aside.
In another large plate, combine the flour with a generous dash of salt and pepper. Set this aside as well.
In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg wash with the mustard.
Grab a large fry pan and fill with canola oil, enough to go about 1/2″ up the sides of the pan and turn up the flame to medium-high.
Start by dredging the catfish in the seasoned flour and shaking off any excess. Swish around in the egg and mustard slurry, letting extra drip off before dunking into panko spice mix. Pack firmly and then give one final shake before carefully adding to the hot, shimmery oil to fry. Cook until golden brown and crunchy, about 3-4 minutes first side and then 3 minutes the other. Let drain on a paper towel-lined platter. Continue with the rest.
Serve immediately, piping hot with plenty of lemon quarters and sauce for dipping.
♥ Provecho friends!