Monday, October 25, 2010

Blackened Catfish

I'm not a huge fan of catfish, but this was the best piece of fish they had today at the market. I usually do this to red snapper. I was surprised how soft the finished product was. It's really easy to overcook catfish until it gets tough. This recipe works with any white fish.

Most recipes for blackened any-fish start with telling you to open the windows and turn on the vent over the stove. If a recipe doesn't mention ventilation, that person has never actually made it. You can turn off the stove vent once you're done cooking, but leave the windows open until the dishes are washed. I go so far as to close bedroom doors, so the fumes don't penetrate. It's a yummy smell while you are making the dish, but two days later, you're kind of over it.

The seasoning mix is adjustable. "Blackened" refers to coating the fish with seasoning and then searing it. Pepper is a standard. You can cut down on the salt before pepper. This doesn't mean the dish has to be spicy. The goal is to use herbs and spices to enhance the fish's flavor. You can serve the fish with a side of some kind of relish, but I usually just put on a splash of lemon juice.

The side dish is a thing I threw together to get rid of the last of the orzo. I ended up really liking it and will probably post that next.

1 lb catfish fillet
2 Tb butter
1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
1/4 tsp each paprika, dried dill weed, lemon pepper, and celery salt

1. Mix together spices and set aside.

2. Preheat a 10" skillet over medium heat.

3. Set fillet on a sheet of wax paper. Melt butter and brush half of it on one side of the fillet. Sprinkle with half of the seasoning mixture. Turn fillet and repeat on other side.

4. Set fillet in hot pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Cut into it slightly to make sure fish is cooked all the way through.

Difficulty rating  π

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