Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tortilla Crusted Catfish with Cheese Sauce

This recipe was so very good... until I got to the catfish center. Blech! The crust was crunchy and flavorful. The cheese sauce was creamy and not too thick. The fish remained moist while the outside browned beautifully. But the fillet itself? Hubby claims my tastebuds were off, but I thought this particular catfish tasted like, well, like a fish that dwells on the bottom of rivers and eats muck.

I mean, I've had catfish before and enjoyed it thoroughly. But maybe I've only had it fried or something, rather than baked like this dish? Or maybe this fish kept a pretty gross diet. I dunno, but I had to do some serious drowning in cheese sauce to make it through this meal! I would try this dish again maybe with catfish, or more probably with tilapia. The crust and sauce were in fact fantastic!

Crusted Catfish

  • 2 Large Catfish Fillets (or another fish like Tilapia)
  • 1 Can Cheap Beer
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1/4 C. Cornmeal
  • 1 C. Finely Crushed Tortillas
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • Dash Cayenne Powder
  • Juice 1/2 Lime
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • Dash Chipotle Tabasco

  1. In a shallow dish, mix together the beer and lime juice. Soak the fish fillets for about an hour in the liquids. (I'm not actually sure if this did much.)
  2. While the fish soaks, mix together the cornmeal, tortilla pieces, and spices. Place in a large dish.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the oil, lime juice and tabasco.
  5. Line a casserole dish with foil. Dip the fish fillets in the oil mixture, dredge in the tortilla crust and place in the lined dish.
  6. Bake in the hot oven for about 20 minutes or until it is cooked through. The original recipe claimed to only need to cook for 8-10 minutes, but mine needed way longer. The fish will flake when you cut into it with a fork.
  7. Serve hot with cheese sauce. (See below!)

Cheese Sauce
From me, based on a basic white sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1/2 C. Half & Half
  • 1+ C. Milk
  • 1 C. Shredded Cheddar
  • 1 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco
  • 1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add in flour and mix until smooth and bubbly.
  3. Whisk in half & half and some of the milk, about 1/2 cup and heat over medium-high heat. Keep stirring until it boils and thickens.
  4. Add in the cheese and seasonings and reduce heat to medium. Stir to melt cheese.
  5. At this point, your sauce is technically ready. I kept adding milk until both the taste and thickness was right for me- creamy without being overpoweringly (is that a word?) cheesy, thick without being gluey.
  6. Serve with anything that deserves a spicy, cheesy boost!


That Girl said...

To be fair, everything tastes better drowned in cheese

Hank said...

three words:

Bar Be Que

Everything tastes great when
incinerated sufficiently.

Tempered Woman said...

So it has to be cheap beer, huh? LMAO!!
I bet this would probably taste better on Tilapia, cause to be honest I'm a much bigger Tilapia fan all around. My monkey is a tilapia freak as well. My hubby on the other hand is a "drown-it-in-cheese" fan. ;-)