- 1 ½ pounds fresh grouper filet or other firm white fish, trimmed of any bloodline
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons Emeril’s Original Essence, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce (we use Crystal)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup corn flour (masa)
- ½ cup yellow corn meal
- Vegetable or Canola oil, for frying
- Smothered Greens, for serving (optional)
- Andouille Potato Salad, for serving
Cut the fish into similarly shaped 3- to 4-ounce portions. Place the fish fillet portions in a bowl and season with 1 ½ teaspoons of the Essence. Add the buttermilk and hot sauce and stir to combine. Transfer to the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Add enough oil to a high-sided pan to come about 4-inches up the sides and preheat the oil to 365° F.
In a shallow bowl or in a ziptop plastic bag, combine the flour, corn flour, cornmeal and the remaining 1 tablespoon of Essence. Stir or shake to combine.
Working in batches, remove several pieces of the fish from the buttermilk marinade and dredge in the fish fry until completely coated. One at a time, lay the fish gently into the hot oil. Fry until the fish is crispy and golden brown and floats on the surface of the oil, 2-4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the filets). Remove from oil and transfer to paper towels or a wire rack to drain, then sprinkle with Essence and serve while hot. Repeat with the remaining portions.
Serve the fish alongside the Southern Greens and Andouille Potato Salad, if desired.