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.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

  • 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.