Emeril prepared this catfish recipe from his new book, " Emeril 20-40-60," as part of a live cooking challenge on "The Martha Stewart Show." He also made Simple Turkey Meatloaf and Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Whisk together buttermilk, mustard, Essence, garlic, and hot sauce in a small bowl. Place fillets in a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in an even layer. Pour buttermilk mixture over fish, making sure each fillet is evenly coated; set aside.
In another shallow baking dish, whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt.
Working with 1 piece of fish at a time, remove from buttermilk mixture, shaking off any excess, and dredge in flour mixture to coat. Transfer to a plate and repeat process with remaining fillets.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully add two fillets to skillet. Cook, until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until golden brown and crisp on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes more.
Using a fish spatula, transfer fillets to a paper towel-lined plate; repeat process with remaining 2 fillets. Serve immediately with tartar sauce, if desired, and lemon wedges.