Catfish Recipe

Catfish With Chili Cornmeal Crust & Sweet-pepper, Corn and Bacon Relish


By Chef Lucia Watson


This is a popular recipe at Lucia's, sometimes served around the opening of walleye season. Of course, we do the recipe with walleye then, but this makes a great catfish recipe works even better and should be even more popular around North America. Nice-sized crappie fillets work well, too. The sweet pepper, corn, and bacon relish is a classic with any fried fish, particularly during summer when the corn and peppers are fresh and super-sweet. Horseradish Sour Cream Sauce is another good choice.


To serve one or two . . .

2 fillets, about 8 oz. each, rinsed in cold water and patted dry

1/2 c. cornmeal

1/2 c. flour

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/2 c. fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper

2 tbsp. vegetable oil or bacon fat or an inch of oil in a deeper

pan for deep frying

» Combine the cornmeal, flour, chili powder, salt and pepper. Dip each fillet in lemon juice then the cornmeal mixture, carefully dusting each side of the fillets.

» Heat the fat in a heavy-bottomed skillet until it just starts to smoke. Put the fillets in the fat and cook about 5 minutes until golden brown.

» Turn the fillets and continue to cook about 5 minutes on the other side. If deep frying, cook the fillets without turning, about 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.

» Remove fish to plate and garnish with the warm sweet relish.

Sweet Pepper, Corn & Bacon Relish

1/2 each green, red, and yellow pepper, seeded and diced, about 2 c. total

1 small red onion, diced

3 slices bacon, finely diced

2 ears corn (slice kernels off cobs), about 2 c.

1 tbsp. fresh thyme

1 tbsp. fresh chives

» Place the bacon in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook until the fat starts to render and the bacon gets crispy.

» Immediately add peppers, onion and corn. Cook over high heat stirring constantly, until the veggies are still crispy but warmed through.

» Add the herbs and taste for final seasoning.

Horseradish Sour Cream Sauce

1 c. sour cream

2 heaping tbsp. prepared horseradish

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper

» Mix all ingredients.

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