We haven’t had catfish in a long time. I’ve never been wild about it, but Lorraine likes it so we’d eat it on occasion.
But we don’t see it in the store much. Last year a butcher in Harris Teeter said the price on farm-raised catfish went way up, so HT stopped carrying it.
A couple days ago I was picking up a few things in HT and checked the seafood counter. Catfish, for the first time in a very long time. But it wasn’t the 6 to 8 oz fillets we typically got — these things were HUGE. The sign read “wild caught”. Ok, not farm raised. I decided to try one.
The smallest fillet was 2.7 lbs. Way too big for us, but I figured we hadn’t had it in a while, so I’d make 2 meals out of it, plus leftovers. When I got home I cut the fillet in half, and fried that night’s dinner in a typical egg wash/breadcrumb. Wow! This was good, firm fleshed, a marked improvement from farm-raised!
Yesterday I looked for recipes so that the second half of the fillet would be different. Most recipes call for deep frying, but I spotted Catfish Piccata. Ok, catfish cutlets in a lemon sauce. I’ve never done that with fish, but the catfish is firm-fleshed enough it should work. I read 3 or 4 recipes, and what follows is the result!
BTW — there were no leftovers. This was REALLY good!
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp Costco No-Salt Seasoning
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1-1/4 lb catfish fillet, cut in 3 oz chunks
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup dry white wine.
- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
- 2 limes, juiced.
Marinade: Combine the milk, no-salt seasoning, and seasoned salt in a 1 gallon ziplock bag and mix well. Add the fish and manipulate so the fish is coated. Let rest on the counter for 1 hour.
To Prepare: Spread the cornmeal on a plate or wax paper. Remove each piece of fish from the marinade and shake off excess. Roll in cornmeal and press lightly to ensure the cornmeal adheres. Set aside until all are coated.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil and butter until hot. Saute the fish, without crowding, until both sides are browned and the fish is cooked through.
Add the wine and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add the salt and lime juice; stir to combine.
Serve the fish, spooning a bit of the sauce over each piece.
Any seasoning mix can be used in place of the Costco No-Salt. If the mix contains salt, leave the seasoned salt out.
Piccata typically calls for lemon juice, but Lorraine had purchased limes for making limeade. Instead of bottled lemon juice, I used 2 fresh limes, about 2″ in diameter each. I would consider making this with lemon OR orange juice.
Capers would make a nice addition.
Instead of milk, buttermilk would add a nice tang.