- 1/2 pound bacon, small diced
- 2 cups thinly sliced onions
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1/2 pound black eyed peas, cooked until tender and rinsed under cool water
- 3 cups veal or beef reduction
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 4 catfish fillets, (about 6 ounces, each)
- 1 cup flour
- Essence, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 8 collard green leaves
Preheat the fryer.
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, render the bacon until crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon, drain on paper towels, and set aside. Add the onions to the bacon fat. Season with black pepper. Saute until caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and black-eyed peas. Continue to saute for 1 minute. Stir in the veal reduction and bring the liquid to a simmer. Simmer the mixture for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley, remove from the heat, and keep warm.
Season the fillets with Essence, on both sides. Season the flour with Essence. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Dredge the fillets in the seasoned flour, coating each side completely. Pan fry the fillets until crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Add the greens to the hot oil and fry until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon the black eyed peas in the center of each plate. Sprinkle the reserved crispy bacon over the peas. Lay the fish on top of the peas. Garnish with the fried greens.
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.