Catfish in a flash

January 16, 2001

Catfish in a flash

This white fish doesn't fall apart

NEW YORK (AP) - The full title of this savory dish, Catfish Pan-Seared with Brown Butter, Prosciutto, Lemon, Almonds and Capers on Black Olive Toast, is one of its lengthier aspects.


Hungry folk please note: It takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook.

One of its secrets is the white fish used. Farm-raised catfish cooks quickly - in fact, it should be cooked quickly, because it's easily overcooked.

Although it cooks so fast, "Catfish is the easiest fish to handle," chef Elizabeth Terry said at a cooking demonstration in New Manhattan. "It doesn't fall apart."


The recipe, with its lively combination of easily available ingredients and seasonings, was created by Terry, chef and owner of Elizabeth on 37th, a restaurant in Savannah, Ga.

The chef, who won the 1995 James Beard Foundation award as best chef in the Southeast, offered a tip about the oil to use in this recipe: "I always use extra-virgin olive oil with fish," she said, "because its wonderful flavor combines so well with the delicate flavor of the fish."

Catfish Pan-Seared with Brown Butter on Black Olive Toast

  • 3.8-ounce can sliced ripe olives, drained and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse mustard
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • four 4- to 6-ounce farm-raised catfish fillets, 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces prosciutto or country ham, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • four 1/2-inch-thick slices french bread

In a small bowl, mix together olives, mustard and 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Set aside.

Heat oven to 250 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, hot sauce and lemon juice. Brush on both sides of catfish. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add catfish fillets, two at a time. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until brown, turning once. Repeat with remaining catfish fillets. Transfer to a baking dish and keep warm in 250-degree oven.

Over medium heat, melt butter in the same skillet. When lightly browned, add prosciutto and saut for about 1 minute. Remove from heat; add capers and almonds.

Just before serving, toast french bread and spread with black olive mixture. Place a piece of toast on each plate, top with catfish, and spoon prosciutto-butter sauce over it.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information per serving: 436 calories, 28 grams fat, 30 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 92 milligrams cholesterol, 970 milligrams sodium.

- Recipe from Catfish Institute

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