Nashville Fried Catfish with Southern-Style Green Beans with Bacon and New Potatoes

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Green Beans with Bacon and New Potatoes:

4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, finely chopped 

1 cup small-diced red bell pepper

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed 

8 small new potatoes, halved or quartered if large

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

Nashville Fried Catfish:

1 cup all-purpose flour

Emeril's Essence or other Creole seasoning

1/2 cup white cornmeal 

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 

2 large eggs 

1/2 cup milk 

Salt 

Six 6- to 8-ounce catfish fillets, cut into 2-inch-wide strips 

2 cups vegetable oil 

Directions

  1. For the green beans with bacon and new potatoes: In a large saucepan or medium Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until it has rendered most of its fat and begun to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, green beans, potatoes and enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and simmer until the green beans are very tender, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary to keep the green beans covered. (As the green beans get close to being done, they will become quite fragile, so take care when stirring.)
  2. Add the butter and vinegar at the end and stir just to coat the green beans and potatoes.
  3. For the fried catfish: Combine the flour and 1 tablespoon Emeril's Essence in a shallow dish. In a second dish, combine the white cornmeal, yellow cornmeal and another tablespoon of Essence. In a third dish or bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and 1 teaspoon salt. One at a time, dredge the catfish fillets: first in the flour, then in the egg wash, and then in the cornmeal, shaking to remove any excess.
  4. Heat about 1 cup of the oil in a large, deep cast-iron skillet.
  5. In batches, fry the breaded catfish until golden brown on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until completely cooked through and golden on the second side, another 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with Essence. If needed, add additional oil between batches.
  6. Serve the fried catfish hot, with the green beans with bacon and new potatoes alongside.