Herb-Crusted Catfish with Tomato-Fennel Vinaigrette, and Andouille and Fava Bean Relish
- Andouille and Fava Bean Relish:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces (1 cup) chopped andouille sausage
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup fresh or frozen (and thawed) fava beans, blanched in salted water for 1 minute and peeled
- 1/4 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped Italian plum tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Tomato-Fennel Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 (5-ounce) catfish fillets
- 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup chopped assorted soft fresh herbs, such as basil, mint, parsley, chervil, cilantro, oregano, chives
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 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
For the Andouille and Fava Bean Relish: In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the andouille and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the fava beans, tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro, and saute, stirring and shaking the skillet occasionally, until the favas are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat and keep warm.
For the Tomato Fennel Vinaigrette: In a medium skillet, heat the oil over high heat to smoking. Add the garlic and the fennel seed and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 5 seconds. Immediately add the tomatoes and wine, reduce the heat and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until starting to brown. Add the vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Season the fillets on both sides with the Essence. Rub top side of each fillet with Dijon mustard, then pack the mustard-coated side with a generous amount of herbs. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the fish herb-side down in the pan and sear for 5 minutes. Gently turn with a large, thin spatula and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the catfish from the oven.
Spoon the andouille and fava bean relish into the middle of 4 large plates and arrange 1 catfish fillet on top. Spoon the warm tomato fennel vinaigrette onto the fish and serve immediately.Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
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.