Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Broiled blackened catfish

Hi everyone!  If you ask my husband what his favorite fish is, he'll say, hands down, catfish.  Followed, probably, by salmon.  But yeah, he loves catfish.  For years, I would fry it, but I'm not a huge fan of fried catfish; it usually turns out kind of greasy, in my opinion.  So it wasn't something I would make very often.  However, one day, I just decided to pop it under the broiler, and we haven't looked back!
Putting the catfish under the broiler gives it the same effect as frying it, without all of the greasiness that frying gives.  Since I tried this, we've been eating catfish way more often!  I like mine with a squeeze of lemon juice, but my husband just eats his straight up, as is.

The seasonings blend of this recipe really is spot on.  The cornmeal gives the fish a nice crunchy texture, the ground red pepper and chili powder gives it a nice kick (and this is from someone who hates spicy food!), and the cumin powder gives it a nice "What is that?" background flavor.  This is a very easy, comes-together-in-a-matter-of-minutes meal that will become a staple in your weekday menu planning!  Ready to give it a shot?  Let's go!
Here's your grocery list for this one:
1 C yellow corn meal
2 TBS Kosher salt
2 TBS dried oregano
1 1/2 TBS garlic powder
1/2 TBS ground cumin
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 TBS ground chili powder
4 catfish fillets
Lemon wedges, if desired

This really does come together quickly, and once you make it for the first time, you'll be able to whip it up from memory any time you want!  So, to start off with, dump all everything except for the lemon, catfish, and corn meal (in other words, just all of the spices) into a gallon sized zip top bag, close it, and give it a good shake, to make sure everything is well mixed.  After that, add in your corn meal, zip it up, and give it another good shake, thoroughly mixing the corn meal in with all of the lovely spices.  

Then, take one piece of catfish, lay it on top of the corn meal/spice mixture, close the bag up, and shake it for about 30-45 seconds, or until is well covered.  Set it aside on a baking sheet, covered in aluminum foil and sprayed with some non-stick spray.  Do this for each piece of fish, until all of it is covered in the spice/corn meal mixture.

After all of your fish is coated, set it in the fridge for about 15 minutes, to let the coating set up.  You could also do this in the morning, leave for work, and your supper is half way finished by the time you get home!
When you're ready for supper, pull the fish out, and turn your broiler on; I like my fish with the crust burned blackened, so I make sure the shelf in my oven is set to the highest setting.  If you don't want the black crust on your fish, just go the second highest shelf location.  You will want to add an extra minute or two, for each side of the cooking times, to be sure that your fish is cooked all of the way through.
Just before you put your fish in the oven, give the tops a quick spray with non-stick spray!  Put your fish under the broiler for 7 minutes (or 8-9 if your fish is on the second highest shelf setting).  After the 7 minutes, pull the fish out, and carefully flip it over, give it another spray with the non-stick spray, and put it back under the broiler for another 7 minutes (or 8-9)!  These are the pictures of the fish before they go into the oven, and again, after the first 7 minutes.

After the first 7 minutes, the fish is flipped over and sprayed with non-stick spray, and go back in for the next cooking time!

After the second 7 minute go 'round with the broiler, the fish is nicely blackened; instead of tasting burnt, the blackened corn meal has a really nice, smoky taste.  Don't be afraid of this!  For as easy as this fish is to put together, there is really a lot of nice flavor; give this a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and you have yourself a lovely southern treat!