Catfish Étouffée


3-4 tablespoons bacon fat (or butter)
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1/4 cup flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced (including greens)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1  poblano pepper, diced
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
14 oz canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/4 lb catfish, cut into 2 inch chunks
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped ramps (or substitute chopped green onion)

cooked white rice to serve


Place the butter, Creole seasoning, and flour in a All-Clad Stainless 10-Inch Fry Pan. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring twice. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and peppers. Sauté until the mixture is golden. Meanwhile, drain the liquid from the tomato into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add water to the tomato liquid until it reaches 1 1/2 cups. Add the tomato liquid,  hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the drained tomato, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the catfish, ramps and parsley. Stir. Cook 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Serve over rice.

My thoughts:

All-clad is hosting a fun contest for recipe bloggers. The winner gets their recipe inserted in all 10” fry pan boxes sold at authorized All-Clad dealers. How neat would that be? I thought I’d go with a nearly one-skillet meal (I used the rice cooker for the rice) so I created this recipe using one of favorite foods, catfish, and use the simplified roux technique I came up with years ago. I used bacon fat as the base because it adds flavor and a certain oomph to to the final dish but if you are a baconphobe or don’t have any on hand, butter works just as well, I promise. The trick to is to lightly brown the flour then toss in the vegetables and continue cooking them so the vegetables get golden and the flour keeps cooking. Add the liquid and it thickens, just as it would if you made a traditional roux. Easy-peasy! The catfish cooks pretty quickly so you can get the whole dish finished and on the table in not much more than 30 minutes. The final dish isn’t too spicy but it is very flavorful thanks to the two kinds of peppers and the touch of ramps at the end.

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