Farmer’s Market Wednesday! Oven Fried Catfish with Scallion Tartar Sauce

Frozen

Perfect Ninja Belly Slithering Ground

I do practice what I preach, and it isn’t easy.  I still struggle not to dress in ninja black and belly slither down the frozen food aisle where my beloved but HFCS befouled Froze Fruits live. I imagine sliding the frosty cool to the touch door open silently and clutching as many lime Froze Fruits as I can to my chest as I run from the grocery store dashing home to hide from the HFCS police. Then I snap out of it and have a talk with myself about what I can eat instead. Sometimes it helps the cravings sometimes not. This week’s trip to the farmers market where incidentally, ninja belly slithering is not cool yet, was dominated by a search for aqua or hydroponically grown vegetables and sustainable fish from the thumbs up list. Imagine my delight to find perfectly tender lettuce leaves with their roots attached, and how even more delighted to find farmed catfish.

This recipe is so simple and so much more flavorful than I expected it is definitely going into my permanent rotation. The fish really took on the mustard flavor as well as a little heat from the chilies. The crust was nice and crisp all the way around except for a couple of spots on the bottom of fillets where they were touching the broiling pan. The texture of the fish was delightful as well, perfectly moist and flaky at the same time.

Oven Fried Catfish with a Scallion Tartar Sauce

For 1 pound of Catfish, 2-3 servings

Marinade

¾ cup mild Dijon mustard

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon salt

Crust

¾ cup corn meal

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon hot paprika

Tartar Sauce

½ cup mayonnaise

1 scallion finely chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

juice from ½ lemon

1 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the catfish fillets in the marinade making sure the fish is completely covered, or you can use the plastic bag method of marinating. Make sure to marinate the fish for at least an hour, longer if you can. Mine marinated for 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475 F. Coat a broiler pan with either a non stick spray or rub with olive oil. Mix all the crust ingredients on a large plate. When the oven is preheated take the catfish out of the marinade and dredge in the spiced corn meal flour. When the fish is thoroughly covered, place on the oiled broiler pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.

While the fish is baking mix all the tartar sauce ingredients together.

Check the fish after 15 minutes you might need a few minutes more depending on the oven and the fish. When the crust is a nice golden brown and your kitchen smells like spicy toast dinner is ready.

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