March 4, 2010

Catfish Amandine

The catfish is one of my favorite creatures from the sea.  In addition to being a cute fish (have you seen their whiskers? adorable!), I find it suits a variety of cooking methods.  I’ve used it successfully in fish chowder, baked fish sticks and simply prepared in a hot pan, as I’ve done with this recipe.  Though trial and error, I’ve found that battered foods, whether chicken, veggies or fish, respond especially well to resting for a short while before frying.  The crust gets crispier, and (in this case) the fish holds together better, perhaps because the flour absorbs some of the moisture while it rests.

The sautéed almonds retain a crispness, but take on a mellower flavor.  They pair well with the catfish, whose crispy outer layer yields to a tender, moist flesh underneath.  Cayenne pepper can certainly give the fish a spicy kick.  I find that with only ½ teaspoon in the flour mixture there is a noticeable heat, but not enough to bring tears to your eyes, thankfully.  Of course, feel free to adjust to your liking.  But when you invite me for dinner, go easy on the cayenne.

Catfish Amandine
1 tbs olive oil
1 ½ tsp olive oil, for later use
1 tbs butter
¼ cup sliced almonds
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup milk (skim is fine)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 pound catfish
1 lemon, juiced
Parsley for garnish

Heat 1 tbs oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the almonds and garlic and sauté until both are slightly brown, stirring often, approximately 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, mix the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl or dish.  In another shallow bowl, thoroughly mix the flour, salt and cayenne pepper.  Dip the fish in the egg mixture, then dredge in the seasoned flour.  Gently shake off the excess flour.  At this stage, let the fish rest for approximately 20 minutes.  Of course, if you’re really hungry, skip the little siesta and get right to the frying.

Heat 1 ½ teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the fish and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned on the outside and opaque in the center.  When the fish is almost finished, return the almond pan to the stove and add the juice of one lemon.  Heat over medium heat until warm.  Serve over fish and sprinkle with parsley, if desired.  Delicious!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...