COOK’S CORNER: Put catch to some good use

Published 1:47 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2007

By Staff
Did you get a chance to go fishing for catfish last Saturday at the Jefferson Davis Community College pond?
I took my son to the event, and although he had a good time, we didn’t even get a bite. My hopes for a big catfish supper were dashed.
If you were among those lucky enough to take home a few fish, I thought I would search out a couple of recipes for catfish that might give you a taste of something different.
Of course the best way to prepare catfish in my book is simply to fry it. There is a little yellow and red box on the shelf at the grocery store that contains the perfect mix of cornmeal, flour and spices to help you out with a great tasting piece of fried fish.
If you’re looking for something a little different, then I have exactly what you’re looking for today.
Onion Dijon Crusted Catfish
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup honey Dijon mustard
4 (6 ounce) fillets catfish fillets
garlic salt and pepper to taste
dried parsley flakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the onion and mustard. Season the catfish fillets with garlic salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and coat with the onion and honey mustard. Sprinkle parsley flakes over the top. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven to broil. Broil until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
If the addition of Dijon mustard to catfish doesn’t quite sound like your cup of tea, this next recipe could be a winner. Combining catfish and some great Cajun seasonings sounds like a good deal to me.
Blackened Catfish
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 pound catfish fillets
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a medium baking dish. In a shallow, medium bowl, mix cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Brush both sides of catfish fillets with butter. Rub fillets with the cayenne pepper mixture on both sides. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until really hot. Add fillets, and fry approximately 2 minutes on each side, until slightly blackened.
Arrange blackened fillets in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, and coat with Italian-style salad dressing. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.
Finally, I’ll share with you a recipe for using up those oversized fish among your catch. For some reason, if I’m going to eat catfish fried or broiled, I want them to be on the small side. I can remember my grandfather catching catfish that were as big as his leg. He never filleted them up for frying, but would cut them into steaks for cooking. I guess that’s why I automatically think the larger catfish won’t be as good fried as what I’m used to. If you feel the same way, this next recipe will give you a chance to use up those large fish in a delicious way.
Catfish Cakes
1 pound catfish fillets
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste
2 1/2 cups coarsely crushed buttery round crackers
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
Place catfish in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork. Drain off water, and mash up the fish. Stir in the onion, mustard, salad dressing, Old Bay, cracker crumbs and egg. Mix until evenly blended. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Form the fish mixture into patties, and fry in the hot oil. Drain on paper towels, and serve hot.
I hope that you get a chance to enjoy some catfish at your dinner table soon.
With November just a few short weeks away, I’m beginning to search through recipes for some tasty Thanksgiving meal ideas. If you have some interesting Thanksgiving recipes you’d like to share, I would love to hear from you.
You can send in your recipes to me by e-mail at

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