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2 pounds catfish fillets - -- (1/2" thick)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper -- freshly ground
2 cups cracker meal (or coarsely crushed unsalted crackers)
1 cup vegetable oil
Trim the catfish of any skin or membrane. Stir the garlic powder, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over both sides of the fillets. Dredge the fillets in the cracker meal, pressing gently so the meal sticks to both sides of the fillets. Shake off the excess and set the fillets aside.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until a little cracker meal sprinkled in the oil gives off a lively sizzle. Slip the fillets into the skillet and fry, turning once, until the fillets are cooked through and golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels before serving.