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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.

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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."

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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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