This is a New Orleans favorite. Blacken Catfish is pretty much a staple in the Big Easy as macaroni and cheese is to others. Blacken seasoning is a creole spice that Louisianans like to coat over chicken and fish. The savory spice makes your taste buds pop in your mouth.
* Keep in mind that this is smoky and messy (try the burner on the BBQ). My husband has his own designated catfish fry'n skillet (cast iron). He is a wiz at frying up catfish. If y'all stopped by our house you'd know right away who made dinner by the smokey kitchen. Hubby cooks and the house fills up with a spicy cloud. We use Cajun spices more than salt & pepper in this house, LOL!
2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 tsp. dried cayenne, or to taste
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 catfish fillets (about 1 pound)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
dash of parsley
lemon wedges for taste
1.) In small bowl combine paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
2.) Pat catfish dry, sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of fillets.
3.) In a large skillet, add butter, heat until the foam subsides, and toss in fillets.
4.) Cook fillets until golden brown and cooked through (about 4 minutes).
5.) Transfer fillets by spatula over dirty rice and garnish tops with parsley and lemon wedges.
"Dirty Rice" is a Cajun favorite. It's a fantastic side to any Creole dish. I like to make mine with Andouille sausage but these days I've modified this recipe for health reasons. I use beef broth instead bacon grease and turkey sausage instead of Andouille. Andouille sausage is a "special treat" for when we visit back home.
2 tbsp. beef broth
3/4 c. chopped shallots
1 finely chopped rib celery
1 pinch fresh chopped parsley
1 lb. finely chopped turkey sausage
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce
2 c. brown rice
4 c. water
salt to taste
1.) Saute the shallots, celery, and turkey sausage in beef broth until golden brown. Add water, tomato paste, rice, salt and pepper.
2.) Bring to boil, turn down heat and cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.) Uncover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Fluff with fork and serve.