Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy Catfish Day! Catfish Ratatouille…

Catfish Ratatouille
     Another week and another crazy food holiday.  Today is indeed National Catfish Day.  I love catfish, not ashamed to admit it.  Unfortunately I think catfish gets maligned, yes it is a bottom feeder, yes it is slightly ugly, well a lot ugly.  However, catfish are beyond delicious when cooked correctly.
    
     I remember the first time that I had catfish.  I had recently moved with my family to the Midwest and we lived close to the Mississippi River, where catfish are beyond plentiful.  My mom’s first attempt at making catfish was far from delicious, (sorry, Mom!)  we have however learned the ropes since then and she now makes excellent catfish recipes. 
    
     It does take a little time to learn how to cook catfish, it doesn’t respond like many other fish so you do have to be careful with it.  I also always pat my catfish dry before breading, grilling, cooking etc., it has the tendency to be a little on the slimy side so that definitely helps, and it also holds its shape much better this way.
    
     When I moved out on my own for college, I made catfish an awful lot, it was cheap and easy and good.  Its funny how you never fully understand the cost of groceries and recipes until you are paying for all of it yourself.  There are so many ways to cook catfish, I have to admit my favorite recipe for catfish are catfish tacos, but since having to go gluten free I haven’t been able to quite make that dish gluten free yet.  So I am sharing my second favorite catfish dish, which happens to be a gluten free dish which is perfect with summer produce this time of year.  It is Catfish Ratatouille.  If I do say do myself its absolutely delicious and the leftovers get even better!

Love From Scratch Catfish Ratatouille

Ingredients:

6 (4 ounce) catfish fillets
1 cup diced eggplant
1 cup diced green zucchini
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 cup diced tomatoes                                                                                     
1/2 cup sliced black olives
salt and black pepper to taste                                                                         
1/2 cup melted butter
paprika to taste
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onions
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced yellow or orange bell pepper
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 cups tomato sauce
1/3 cup chopped thyme
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/3 cup fresh oregano
hot sauce to taste

Directions:     

     Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Season fish fillets to taste with salt, pepper, then brush fish fillets with melted butter and sprinkle with paprika and tarragon. Grill fish 3–5 minutes then turn over and grill for an additional 3–5 minutes. Remove fillets and place in a 9"x13" baking dish then set aside. You’ll be cooking the fish again shortly.          

     In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions, bell peppers and minced garlic then saute 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Blend in eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, olives. Saute 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching and vegetables sticking to the skillet.      
    
     Once eggplant mixture is wilted, stir in tomato sauce, thyme, basil and oregano. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Continue to cook 10–15 minutes. Remove from heat then spoon ratatouille over fish fillets in the glass baking dish. Bake uncovered 30 minutes.




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