In a medium saucepan, add black-eyed peas, 4 cups water and bay leaf. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain; discard bay leaf.
Meanwhile, mist a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Add jalapeños and yellow onion and sauté, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 45 seconds. Stir in rice, ¼ tsp salt, thyme and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until rice is tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, on a plate, spread cornmeal, paprika, celery seed (if using), black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and remaining ¼ tsp salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium. Dredge catfish in cornmeal mixture, turning to coat both sides. Mist each side of catfish with cooking spray, add to skillet and cook for 4 minutes. (TIP:If necessary, work in batches.) Carefully flip fish and cook until crisp, brown and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes more.
Fold black-eyed peas, tomato,green onions, parsley and vinegar into rice. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Divide among serving plates and top with catfish.
Serving Size: 2 catfish fingers and 1/4 rice mixture
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