My husband is in NOLA right now on a business trip, and talking about yummy cajun food reminded me of my trip to Mississippi for work a couple of years ago. One of my favorite meals that I ate in MS was “blackened catfish with crawfish étouffée”. Like I said, the food, even in rural MS, just rocked. So tonight is my attempt at recreating the dish. I used this recipe from Louisianna Cookin‘ as a base to start from, but was absolutely horrified at the amount of butter involved. I attempted to create a dish that was not quite so artery clogging. Also, the étouffée recipe makes at least 4 servings, so you can cut it in half (I listed a half recipe here), or just have lots of étouffée leftovers to eat over rice!
Ingredients (for 2 servings)-
1/2 cup dry brown rice
2 catfish filets, about 4 oz. each
2 tbs. veg. oil per filet
Herb rub for catfish – I used: paprika, basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and some minced garlic
1/2 lb. crawfish, though if you live in the midwest like me and crawfish are unavailable, use shrimp
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 celery rib, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. flour (doesn’t matter what kind, GF flours are friendly to this type of use)
1 tbs. tomato paste
1 tbs. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
1. Start the rice enough ahead of time so it that you have about 10 min left when you start the rest of the dish. That way it will be ready all at once.
2. I used a small 8″ stainless skillet for the catfish, this worked well. I spread the veg. oil on the fish, mixed up the herb rub together, and then rubbed it into the catfish, and set it in the skillet on just above med. to cook like the recipe stated. I’m not sure that my catfish necessarily came out “blackened”, but it sure came out flavorful and yummy and fall off of the fork tender!
3. For the étouffée, pretty much just follow the directions in the recipe, but you can totally cut the butter in half like I listed in the ingredients here. I found adding the red pepper flakes really added to the dish too, so play with some kick depending on your tolerance
4. Serve rice on the bottom of the dish, then top with catfish and then the étouffée. Eat!