Catfish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Chipotle Cream Sauce

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
15 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Chipotle Cream Sauce:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (recommended: Miracle Whip)
  • 3/4 cup Creole mustard (recommended: Zatarains)
  • 2 large chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the canned chipotles
  • 3 scallions, greens only, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Slaw:
  • 1/2 head purple cabbage, sliced
  • 1/2 head white cabbage, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienne
  • 1 purple onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 limes, juiced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Catfish Balls:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 purple onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 2 pounds catfish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup Creole mustard (recommended: Zatarains)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
  • 15 fresh flour tortillas
  • 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • Catfish Tacos:
  • Cook's Note: Make the chipotle cream sauce and the slaw first and refrigerate.
Directions

For the chipotle cream sauce: Put all the ingredients in a blender, except the heavy cream and salt and pepper. Blend well. Remove from the blender to a mixing bowl and slowly whisk in the heavy cream. All the cream may not be needed. The correct consistency, is like a crema. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add more chipotle in adobo for more spice, if desired. Cover and refrigerate.

For the slaw: Add the cabbages to a mixing bowl. Toss with the carrot, onion, cilantro, olive oil and lime juice, to taste. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well, cover and refrigerate.

For the catfish balls: In a hot skillet, over medium heat, add the butter, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. As it is cooking, add a pinch of salt, cracked pepper, paprika and cumin. Saute until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Heat enough peanut oil in a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 350 degrees F.

Remove any silver skin from the fillets. Pulse the catfish in the food processor until it is chopped, about 30 seconds. You don't want to puree the fish, just chop it into small chunks. Put the fish in a mixing bowl and add the cilantro, Creole mustard, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise and Jack cheese. Add the cooled onion mixture to the bowl along with another pinch of salt and pepper. Mix gently with a spoon, then gently mix in 1 cup of the panko bread crumbs. The consistency will still be wet, but still formable for the catfish balls. Put the remainder of the bread crumbs into a bowl. Scoop out the catfish mixture using a 2 tablespoon-size scoop and form into a ball shape. Don't make the catfish balls to be too big, they won't cook all the way through.

Roll the balls in the panko bread crumbs, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Carefully drop them into the hot oil and fry in batches of 5 or 6 depending on your fryer. Do not crowd. Fry the balls for about 3 to 4 minutes. They are done when they are slightly more than golden brown. Remove from the oil and let cool on a paper towel lined sheet pan. Check the first batch to make sure they are cooked through. Repeat the process with the remaining fish mixture.

Remove the chipotle sauce and the slaw from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature to remove some of the chill. Heat the tortillas. Stack 7 or 8 tortillas and wrap in a damp kitchen or paper towel and microwave for about 15 seconds. Repeat with remaining tortillas. They can also be wrapped in foil and heated in the oven.

Add 2 or 3 catfish balls, depending on the size, to a tortilla, and slightly crush them. Some people tear them completely apart, it is up to you. Top with a little grated Jack cheese, chipotle cream sauce and slaw. Repeat with remaining tortillas and fillings. Arrange on a serving platter and enjoy with a nice cerveza.

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs cannot make representation as to the results.


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