- 1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets, cubed
- 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Pinch cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 cups seeded and chopped plum tomatoes and their juices
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 3 cups fish stock or shrimp stock
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Giant Jalapeno Corn Muffins, recipe follows, or steamed long grain white rice, accompaniment
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts), plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, garnish
Season the catfish with the Essence and set aside.
Heat the oil in large heavy nonstick pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Using a heavy wooden spoon, stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, until a medium-colored roux forms, about 6 minutes. Add the onions, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire, and pepper sauce, stir well to combine, and cook until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Add the catfish and green onions, stir, and simmer until the catfish are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
To serve, split 4 corn muffins in 1/2 horizontally and place 2 halves on each of 4 large plates. Spoon the catfish and sauce piquante onto the muffins. Garnish with the green onions and parsley and serve.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
Giant Jalapeno Corn Muffins:
1 tablespoon softened butter
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 6-cup large-size muffin tin with the softened butter.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the buttermilk, oil, jalapenos and corn. Stir in the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cayenne, being careful not to overmix. Divide between the muffins cups. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Turn out and serve hot.
Yield: 6 large muffins