Once again, I turned to my friend Drick Perry at Drick's Rambling Cafe for a recipe. I'll tell you what, he's got some of the finest recipes on the web. If you've not been to his blog, I'd recommend heading over there to see what he's up to today.
In yesterday's post on the guacamole slaw, I talked about how I came to fixing the oven fried catfish - trying to add more fish to our diet. Then, this morning, Connie forwarded me info on the mercury in fish. I was thrilled to see catfish is in the enjoy however much category because we'll certainly be adding it to our menu more often. The most depressing bits of info in that forward were that swordfish and ahi tuna are on the don't eat list and canned albacore tuna is on the restrict to three servings a month list. I guess I'll be tossing salmon and chicken on my salads instead of tuna!
Now, before I give you the recipe, let me mention that one thing Connie prefers to never eat is cornmeal. He thinks it tastes like sawdust. Ok, it does a little bit, but if you fix it just right, it's wonderful. My friend, Jan, makes a killer cornbread with chilies and creamed corn and cheddar cheese. It's scrumptious. Nope, he'd rather not eat it. Now, he tries my dishes with cornmeal but normally they're not eaten. So, I was a bit apprehensive when it came time to fix this. The coating is cornmeal. After all, this is a Southern dish. So, what to do. Well, I put the cornmeal in the bottom of a bowl and quickly covered it with all the other herbs and spices. Then, I didn't put it out on the dipping plate until I was ready to dip it. And, I waited to dip the fish when he was out of the room. Now, the problem with telling you all this is that he reads my blog. He's going to learn one of my secrets when he reads this... add the offending ingredient VERY quietly and maybe he won't notice :-) Right, my foodie husband notices most anything about food. I just hoped he'd like the fish well enough that the cornmeal wasn't a problem. Guess what? That's exactly what happened. He really liked it. In fact, he ate one of the leftover pieces for lunch in a fish sandwich the next day. And, he's fine with my making it again.
Oven Fried Catfish
4-6 catfish fillets
For the marinade:
1/2 c buttermilk
2 T Gulden's mustard
1 t cider vinegar
For the coating:
1/2 c cornmeal
1 t salt
1 t paprika
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
For the tartar sauce:
1 c Hellman's olive oil mayonnaise
1 T capers
6 sandwich dill slices, finely chopped
1 t lemon juice
1 t pickle juice
1/4 t garlic powder
1-2 t dried onion
Mix up the marinade in a 9x13 glass baking dish. Add the fish fillets and allow to marinate for 20 minutes.
Mix the coating and put it on a plate.
Mix the tartar sauce and pop it back in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat. Make sure you do this far enough ahead that the flavors have time to blend.
About 10 minutes before you're ready to bake the fish, preheat your oven to 475. Coat a broiling pan with olive oil.
Take the fish out of the buttermilk marinade one at a time and dredge them in the coating mix. Place them on the broiling pan about an inch apart. Turn the heat up to 500. Put the broiling pan on the top oven rack - about 4 inches from the broiler. Bake about 4 minutes per side. When you test the fish, make sure you test at the thickest part of the fillet. The fish should flake easily when it's done.
Serve with the tartar sauce and some lemon wedges.
Adapted from Drick's Rambling Cafe