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While my audience and I are still getting acquainted, there are those of you who are very familiar with my many quirks and idiosyncrasies. One of my more charming quirks is my love of catfish. I firmly believe that it is the best thing produced in the ocean, even above shrimp, lobster, and raw oysters. I call this a quirk because I am in what I define as the “North”. And Northerner’s simply do not and cannot understand the justified Southern obsession with catfish. I’ve traveled halfway around the world to Egypt and Italy and Jamaica, and I still order catfish whenever I see it on the menu. I’ve worked in restaurants for numerous years, sampling expensive, rare, and foreign species of seafood. I love them all, but catfish has a special place in my heart. I stand behind it 100%. Succulent, juicy, tender, white, flaky; it is everything you could possibly want in a fish variety. I love it fried, baked, baked and breaded, grilled, broiled, buttered, blackened, spicy, mild, medium, with lemon zest, and old bay – I’ll stop before I have a true Bubba Gump moment. Needless to say that I hold this particular fish in the highest regards as far as my palate is concerned.
By nature I am a very adventurous foodie, so branching out from the traditional Southern meal of fried catfish smothered with hot sauce served with cornbread and collard greens, wasn’t a gigantic leap. My gastrointestinal love affair with the exotic has taught me nothing, if not that the fusion of dishes from different parts of the world with lead you to true culinary bliss. So it is my pleasure to bring you one my new favorite and most recent concoction: Catfish Parmesan served with coconut curry vegetables, and brown rice.
Brown Rice: I use Basmati Brown rice. I use a rice cook, so it takes absolutely nothing to make, but it does take awhile to finish. I recommend starting the rice first, if not way ahead of time, so you don’t have to wait on it to finish cooking to eat.
Step 1: So in the above picture you’ll see the ingredients that I use in the Catfish Parmesan crust. You’ll need Old Bay, Bread crumbs, Parmesean cheese, and Garlic Salt. Sometimes I add Cayenne Pepper for some extra kick, but not this time.
Step 2: The amounts you use depend on how much fish you make. I usually just guess, but for the detail oriented the following measurements should work.
Old Bay: 1/4 cup
Bread Crumbs: 3/4 cup
Parmesan Cheese: 1 cup
Garlic powder: 4 Tbs
Mix the ingredients together and your Parmesan crust is completed. Now to coat the fish. When I made this dish my aim was to coat 4 catfish filets. In order for the crust to stick to the fish, I dip the fillets in beaten eggs and then into my Parmesan crust mixture.
3. After coating the catfish filets in the Parmesan mixture, place the coated filets on an a lightly oiled pan. Place the fish in a pre-heated over for 20-30 minutes @ 400 degrees. Now onto the vegetables.
Coconut Curry Vegetables:
Step 1: I used the following vegetables in my mixture: zucchini, yellow bell pepper, 1 large onion, scallion, and garlic cloves.
Step 2: Preheat a saute pan and add the chopped vegetables and saute. Sometimes the oil gets used up before the vegetables finish sauteing. When that happens I like to add chicken stock or water in order to prevent adding extra oil and calories.
Extra: I added crushed red pepper in order to add a bit of spice to my dish.
Step 3: The final step is to add the coconut curry sauce. I am not a genius of Indian cuisine, so I cheat. I use a coconut curry sauce that I get in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods. It doesn’t get that preservative flavor, and is super yummy. Make sure the vegetables simmer with the sauce for a few minutes, and then your done
The final step is to put it all together. I made mine pretty for the picture (otherwise I couldn’t call this food porn), but it tastes just the same if you throw it in a bowl and chow down in a fit of shame. Whatever you do, Enjoy !!