For many chefs, two dishes/ingredients are often overlooked – catfish filets and Remoulade sauce. Fresh catfish is a staple in most seafood cases. These farm-raised fish are grown locally, not overseas. They have a nice flavor, they are not overly fishy and they usually go for $6 or $7 a pound. You can get four filets for less than $10.
And Remoulade sauce.
Remoulade Sauce is a mayo, horseradish, mustard and Cajun spices concoction that is superb on all types of seafood. Often, I get caught in the Tartar and Cocktail sauce routine and forget Remoulade, but not any more. Even if I don’t have a chance to make a fresh batch of the tangy sauce, I keep a bottle in the fridge:
Louisiana Fish Fry Remoulade Sauce.
This Cajun-based company makes lots of neat stuff, including several great seafood breadings, but I saw a bottle of their sauce at Kroger’s recently and picked it up, just in case. Twice last week, I used it. Once on turkey patties, and it really brought that dish alive. Then, last night, on a crispy hot catfish filet.
There is not much to cooking a catfish filet. It has to be fried. You need about an inch of oil, and some crispy-style breading, but it MUST be cooked completely done. I have served medium rare fried catfish before and you get few compliments when that happens. Catfish is a little looser fish in density than other fish and it therefore takes a longer to get completely done. So don’t get your oil too hot, so that the filets cook too quickly, and cook the filets about a minute or two longer than you think. If in doubt, cut into a filet to check for doneness.
I’m going to put a homemade recipe for Remoulade sauce below, but if you get a chance, pick up a bottle of Louisiana Fish Fry Remoulade Sauce and keep it handy – and don’t forget to use it on fish, crab, oysters, shrimp, scallops, onion rings and – yes – turkey patties.
1 c mayonnaise
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 T Louisiana-style hot sauce
2 t whole-grain mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t capers, roughly chopped
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t mild paprika
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t cayenne pepper
Make the sauce in advance and let it age in the refrigerator for at least an hour.