Once you’ve caught and kept a catfish, how should you cook it? This recipe comes courtesy of my friend Chris Begin, who’s a Red Seal chef, as well as an instructor at the Notre Dame College School in Welland, Ontario.
- 1/2 cup each of diced yellow, green and red peppers
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced English cucumber
- 1/2 cup diced fresh Roma tomatoes
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 4 catfish fillets, 4 to 6 oz each
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 4 slices mild pancetta
- 6 fresh basil leaves, sliced
- Mix diced vegetables together in a bowl and add olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and parsley. Allow resulting salsa to pickle for one hour. Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Season catfish fillets with salt and pepper, then dredge in cornmeal. Pan-fry fillets in oil and butter in cast iron pan until just browned, then finish cooking in the oven for 7 minutes.
- Slice pancetta into thin strips (the width of a matchstick) and cook in a sauté pan or oven until just crisp. Allow to cool.
- Place fish on bed of salsa, and garnish with pancetta and basil.