Catfish recipes

Aug 5, 2008 at 7:22 a.m. ET

Catfish is best known as a southern staple, but celebrating National Catfish Month this month will give you an excuse to cook the deliciously delicate whitefish. Save yourself the effort of catching a catfish and visit your local supermarket fish counter. Catfish is not only tasty, it is quite versatile. You can fry, blacken or sear it, or you can try these quick and delish catfish recipes.

Fried Catfish

Catfish Recipes

Recipes courtesy of the Catfish Institute

Cashew Crusted Catfish with Tomato Basil Cream

Makes 2 servings Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chicken stock or canned broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
2 cups ground cashews
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 (4 to 5 ounces each) catfish fillets
Vegetable oil for frying Directions:
1. To prepare the tomato basil sauce, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add crushed tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cream and return to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in basil and set aside. 2. To prepare the catfish, mix cashews, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, basil and black pepper in a shallow dish or on a piece of wax paper. Mix eggs and milk in another shallow dish. Dip catfish fillets in the egg mixture, then dredge in the cashew mixture. Set aside on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. 3. Pour a 1/2-inch of oil into a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Place the fillets in the hot oil and fry for 5 or 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Spoon tomato basil sauce onto each serving plate and top with a catfish fillet. Serve immediately.

Catfish Fillet Sandwiches With Red Firecracker Sauce

Makes 4 servings For the catfish:
4 (4 to 5 ounces each) catfish fillets
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil For the sauce:
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper For serving:
4 soft sandwich rolls
Lettuce leaves, alfalfa sprouts, or coleslaw
8 slices ripe avocado
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices red onion
4 teaspoons sour cream or plain yogurt Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. To prepare the catfish, place fillets in a baking pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Sprinkle with oregano and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the fillets with olive oil. Bake 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Cool, cover and refrigerate while preparing the sauce. The catfish can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. 2. To prepare the red firecracker sauce, place lime or lemon juice and mustard in a glass or stainless steel medium-sized bowl. Using a wire whisk, mix until smooth. Whisk in chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Gradually whisk in olive oil until it forms a smooth, slightly thickened sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside. The sauce can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. If the sauce separates, whisk until blended. 3. Cut the cooked fillets in half and coat each piece with some of the sauce. Spread a little of the sauce on the bottom of each roll and cover them with lettuce leaves or sprouts or coleslaw. Place two pieces of the dressed fillets on top of the greens on each roll. Place avocado slices on top and season with salt and pepper. Place red onion slices on top of the avocado and add a small dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Top with other half of the roll. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

Catfish Artichoke Dip

Makes 10 servings Ingredients:
1 pound catfish fillets
1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 (14-ounce) can artichokes, drained, quartered
3 cloves garlic, minced Directions:
1. Preheat grill to medium-high and oil grate. Season both sides of catfish fillets with salt and pepper. Grill fish about 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning once after 5 minutes. The fish is done when it is opaque and flakes when tested with a fork. Remove from grill and let cool slightly. 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and spray a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Flake fish in a bowl, using a fork, or in a food processor, pulsing several times. 3. In a large bowl, mix together artichokes, fish, cheese, mayonnaise and garlic. Spoon mixture into baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Broil for 5 additional minutes to brown the top. Serve warm. For more down-home recipes, check out Cooking soul food on a budget and be sure to visit the Food and Recipes Channel for other tasty recipes to pair with your catfish dishes.