Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cornmeal Crusted "Catfish" & Dirty Rice

Howdy y'all! Tonight I took a trip down the bayou for something to keep us warm on a raw, cold night in the Northeast. Now, I may be mixing my regions and cuisines here, as I am in fact a Yankee. And in the process, I could be offending any lovely loyal readers in the hot and steamy Southeast- if so, I'm sorry! I really did try to make you proud tonight!

I started off on the wrong foot though- I was planning on using the catfish I had in my freezer, but knowing how long it would take to defrost I stopped by the fish counter at Whole Foods to pick up a fresh catch since I was there to buy rice anyway. Well, wouldn't you know they of course had no catfish. So I had to sub in tilapia. Totally not the same flavor, but it was the right texture.

Second mistake, while at Whole Foods I forgot to pick up celery. I might be a northerner, but I know it pretty much ain't Cajun if it doesn't have celery. Shoot, strike 2!

However, I think I earn some points here because in my dirty rice, not only did I use a nice sausage with some heat, but I also bought honest-to-God chicken livers which I chopped and cooked. They were gross. And I still have half a pound in my fridge with no clue what to do with them. (Suggestions as welcomed- leave a comment with some inspiration! Hubby says we should feed them to Tyson the cat.)

Overall, the meal was a big hit! Both the rice and fish really should have been hotter. Some Tabasco would have been great on the fish, but by the time I sat I didn't want to get back up. The fillets cooked up really nice with the crust starting to come off and the rice made a ton and was delicious.

Inspired by Paula Deen and Emeril's recipes

Yankee Dirty Rice

  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Lb. Chorico Sausage, chopped into small pieces (This is a mid-heat Spanish sausage- other sausage meat could be subbed)
  • 1/2 Lb. Chicken Livers, chopped (ew!)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp. Dry Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Thyme
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • Dash Cayenne (Next time I'll use 1/2+ tsp.)
  • 3 C. Cooked, Hot White Rice

  1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan or medium pot over medium heat. Add in the sausage and liver, cooking until browned.
  2. Add in onion, pepper and spices. Cook until the onion and pepper are tender.
  3. Stir in cooked rice and stir to thoroughly coat.

Cornmeal Crusted "Catfish"

  • 3 Firm White Fish Fillets- preferably Catfish, but Tilapia will do
  • 1 Egg
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 C. Flour
  • 1/4 C. Cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • Vegetable Oil for light frying

  1. In a shallow bowl or dish, beat the egg with the lemon juice until you have an even consistancy as best as possible.
  2. In a separate shallow dish, blend the flour, cornmeal, and spices, again acheiving a consistant blend.
  3. Heat about 3 Tbsp. oil over medium high heat in a large, flat skillet or pan.
  4. Dredge each fillet in the cornmeal mix first, shaking off any excess. Then dip it lightly through the egg wash and coat it again in the cornmeal, making sure no fish is visible.
  5. Place each fillet in the hot pan and allow it to cook until the cornmeal batter is crispy and brown. You may experience the batter pulling away from the fish- that's ok, just be careful not to pull it off.
  6. Flip the fish once to cook and brown the other side. All the fish should be able to be cooked in one pan, but if you are working with a small dish, make sure you allow each fillet enough room, even if that means cooking in batches.
  7. When fish is cooked through, remove the fillets to a plate with papertowels to drain. Serve hot!

1 comment:

BMK said...

Looks delicious, even for a Yankee!! As a southerner one of my faves is fried chicken livers.