March 14, 2011

Cajun Cuisine~ Bayou Stuffed Catfish

Sunday's are my night to go all out with dinner because I have the whole day off to prepare.
Tonight's dinner was
Bayou Stuffed Catfish with a Cajun Beurre Blanc
I know, jeez louise this sounds fancy for my tastes!
But let's end the week with a bang right?

If you haven't tried catfish you don't know what you're missing!
This fish is thick and meaty and I swear it looks (and kind of tastes) just like chicken when cooked! It tastes great fried, baked, stuffed, and grilled.

This recipe pairs catfish with lump crab meat, cornbread, spinach, and a to die for butter sauce!
It was inspired by The Delta Queen Steamboat in New Orleans. They serve a similar delicious recipe and I thought what better restaurant to be inspired by (especially during Mardi Gras!) than a New Orleans original since 1948!

Serves 4
4 skinless filets of catfish, 6 ounces each
Small square (4 X 4) of baked cornbread, crumbled
1 cup cooked spinach, chopped
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tsp Dijon or Creole mustard
6 oz lump crab meat
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup fish fry mix (recommend Zatarain's)
1-3 tbsp Vegetable or Canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked white or brown rice

Cajun Beurre Blanc:
6 tbsp, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup white wine
1 clove garlic, crushed
juice from one lemon
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning

Start out with 2 large skinned, de-boned filets of catfish.
Cut each in half so you have 4 approx 6 oz filets.

Crumble a small container of cornbread.
I used the leftover cornbread from my
the other night.
Lightly toast pine nuts.
Saute fresh spinach with a little olive oil until wilted.
Cool slightly then coarsely chop.
Mix spinach, cornbread, pine nuts, Dijon mustard,
and lump crab meat in a bowl.
The original recipe says to stuff, then fry, then finish in the oven.
I tried this method at first (as you can see with my overstuffed catfish above!) and
then decided to just cook the catfish and then bake with the topping.
Much less mess!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet.
Dip each unstuffed filet in flour (seasoned with salt and pepper),
 then buttermilk, then fish fry. Lightly pan sear for a minute
 on each side then transfer to a baking sheet.
Spread stuffing mix on top of each catfish filet, covering the fish and pressing to stay.
You can fold fish over and secure with a toothpick if you would like.
Bake until fish is flaky and the stuffing is browned, about 15-20 minutes.
To make the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan and add garlic,shallot, Old Bay, lemon juice, and white wine.
Simmer for a couple minutes to reduce. Add heavy cream and stir for a minute.
Serve drizzled on top of fish and rice.

Serve Bayou Stuffed Catfish on top of hot rice drizzled with Cajun Beurre Blanc Sauce.
Enjoy this Bayou delight!

Happy Cooking!

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