Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bayou Catfish for Adam

Jon and I aren't big fish people. Well, that isn't fair- the truth is we are picky about our fish. So the fish and shellfish chapter in the CLP book is a bit challenging for us.

My husband and I both grew up on fresh water fish from Northern MN. That means walleye, pan fish, and northern pike. There are many other varieties, but those were the fish of our choice. Other fish are fun to catch- like bass and rock bass, but they tend to taste a little muddy since they are on the bottom of lakes and rivers. Perch used to be really good eats, but now most of them have little black dots on them (its a parasitic worm of some sort) so they are no longer a tasty treat.

Here's me this summer with a bass I caught on Little Bass Lake at my grandparents house.

Look at this cute little pan fish! He was dying (he swallowed the hook too deep, you can see the blood on his gill) so I figured the least I could do was give him a kiss goodbye...

Fishing can be very serious work-

When I was a kid my Grandma and Grandpa Zimmy used to make us fish caught from their lake . Nummins. Super simple- pan fish fillets lightly floured and pan fried on the stove top. So good.

Dad used to make walleye. The best fresh fish in my opinion. My favorite way to eat it was grilled- put it in foil with a little butter and season salt, cook it over charcoal with apple wood smoke. I can't even describe how amazing it is. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Jon grew up on the same types of fish. And fish sticks, but I don't count them as real fish because they are icky. LOL.

I was very surprised when we vacationed in GA and FL last winter and Jon couldn't get enough grouper. I admit, it is a pretty good fish. Not oily, white flesh, and dense texture, yet it flakes apart easily.

I'm still trying to adjust my taste buds to non-MN fish. It's a challenge for me.

The recipe we had was bayou catfish. The fish isn't as dense as we like it. Since catfish doesn't have a ton of flavor, the breading does a lot of the work.

Jon and I agree, we like the coating, but not necessarily the texture of the catfish. We will most definitely use the coating again, but with about 1/3 of the spice. It was just too much heat for us. We will probably try the breading on tilapia next time, it is a firmer fish that we are far more familiar with.

My brother, Adam, likes catfish and spice so he will most likely add extra cayenne pepper to the party.

The spice for this recipe comes from cayenne and chili powder. It's a slow burn. You don't have a burning sensation when you first put the bite in your mouth. But, after a bite or two a slow, lingering warmth fills your mouth and the back of your throat. It was very good, just a bit too much for our taste.

Bottom line- great fish coating. If you like it spicy, keep it as is. If you like a bit more mild flavoring, reduce the cayenne and chili powder.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Bayou Catfish
Serves 3
247 cal per

1 TBS corn meal
3/4 tsp season salt
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 + 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp black pepper
3 (6oz) catfish fillets- rinsed well

Preheat broiler.

Spray a broiler pan (OR a wire baking rack that has been placed over a baking sheet) with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients except fish in a zip top bag. Add 1 fillet. Shake well to coat.

Place on the broiler pan. Repeat with remaining fillets.

Broil 6 inches from heat for 7 minutes. Carefully flip fillet over. Broil 7-8 minutes longer until fish flakes apart easily.

If desired serve with a lemon wedge or tartar sauce.


  1. I surely did enjoy this post ..

    I surely did.

    Made me miss you even more.

  2. Hmm I have tilapia and everything on the list of ingredients! I am thinking dinner is planned.