FRIED CATFISH FINGERS WITH SPICY DIPPING SAUCE
2 cups white cornmeal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Catfish fillets, cut into 1-inch wide strips
Peanut oil for deep frying
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Place cornmeal in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Dredge catfish strips in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. Set aside on a wax-paper lined baking sheet.
Pour 2 inches of peanut oil into a deep fryer or a large, heavy skillet and heat to 375 degrees. Add catfish strips to hot oil, three at a time and fry in a single layer for 5 minutes, turning to cook evenly, until golden brown and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Prepare dipping sauce 1 minute before serving catfish fingers. Mix vinegar, salt, pepper, shallot, garlic, green onions and parsley in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.