Photo by Regina Charboneau
Although I am an advocate of farm-raised catfish, I will allow you to substitute another flaky white fish, preferably sustainable. (View a list of recommended fish here).
Makes 8 Servings
• 4 pounds catfish fillets • 2 tablespoons flour
• 1 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds • 1 tablespoon paprika
• 5 tablespoons olive oil
Cut the catfish into 6-7 ounce portions.
Mix flour, salt, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, fennel, and paprika, and evenly distribute over catfish fillets.
Place cast iron skillet over medium heat. Let it get hot before adding 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add oil as needed as you cook fillets.
Place fillet top-side down, three to four at a time. Cook for 4-5 minutes until fish has good rich color.
Turn to bottom side and cook for 3-4 minutes more.
Smoked Tomato Coulis
Makes 2 Quarts (freezes well and is great to have on hand)
• 1 dozen Roma tomatoes • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 tablespoons liquid hickory smoke • 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper • 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium onion • 3 medium carrots
• 3 cups canned, diced tomatoes, in juice • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno
• 8 fresh basil leaves • 5 cloves garlic
• 2 bay leaves
To smoke tomatoes: Cut Roma tomatoes into quarters and lay on a baking sheet (with sides to avoid spilling in oven). Mix 1/2 cup olive oil and liquid hickory smoke, and drizzle over tomatoes. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper, bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.
To make coulis: Place large pot over medium and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Cut onion into 8 pieces and carrots into 4 pieces, and saute for 5 minutes.
In same pot add tomatoes, jalapenos, basil, garlic, and bay leaves. Cook over medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove bay leaves and pour into food processor. Use the pulse button of the processor. This sauce should be a coarse puree--not soupy.
Black-Eyed Pea Vinaigrette
Makes 8 Servings
• 2 shallots • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
• 2/3 cup light salad oil • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt • 1/2 cup julienned green onion
• 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
Rinse black-eyed peas so they are not "starchy" and chill.
In a blender or food processor, puree shallots. Add cider vinegar, brown sugar, and salt and blend.
Slowly add oil to emulsify.
In a bowl, add black-eyed peas and green onions, and toss in vinaigrette. Chill.
Place warmed smoked tomato coulis on a plate. Top with hot catfish, and spoon over warm black-eyed pea Vinaigrette. This can be served on individual plates or on a platter, family style.