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Blackened Catfish Taco’s

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Dana Calicchio
If you have never eaten catfish, you don’t know what you are missing. A lot of people Love it, and a lot have been afraid to try it because it is a fresh water fish that often swims on the bottom of rivers and streams. Well so do Lobsters, but most people wouldn’t turn their heads no if asked if they want to eat Lobster. Now I am not saying here that I am comparing Lobster to Catfish, however, if you don’t like fish because of a fishy taste, you may be surprised when you taste catfish.
It is a very mild tasting fish, with little to no fishy taste. It is very flaky and tender.
I love it for grilled or blacked fish taco's. This recipe can be cooked in a shallow frying pan with minimal olive oil and butter with the blackening seasoning, or grilled for another flavor profile. Either way, it is a great way to prepare catfish. The recipe for a creamy fish/taco sauce following the catfish recipe is a great addition whether you serve this dish with red beans and rice or as taco’s. Enjoy!
4 flaky catfish fillets
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 TBS. olive oil
2 TBS. Unsalted Butter
1 lemon, cut into wedges
In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, paprika, smoked paprika, thyme, and cayenne.
Season and Coat each side of each fillet with the spice mixture. Set aside remainder for fish/taco sauce (recipe follows).
Pan Sauté Method: Place a sauté pan or cast iron pan on Medium High heat and place olive oil and butter to melt and mix together.
Place catfish in pan and cook until fish is halfway cooked and bottom “blackened”. (Approximately 3 to 5 minutes) Turn over fish over and cook for approximately 3 more minutes or until flaky.
Grilled Method: coat grill with olive oil. Pre Heat gas grill to medium High heat or if using charcoal grill, when coals are almost white.
Place catfish on grill and cook until fish is cooked halfway through, approximately 3 minutes, turn fish and complete cooking additional 3 minutes or until flaky. You never want to have to turn fish more than once as it can fall apart.
Either method you use, place fish on a platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with Creamy Fish Sauce (recipe following) or
Make Tacos with tortillas and Shredded Cabbage. I love adding some creamy sauce to the cabbage for the tacos…
Creamy Fish/Taco Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Chef Dana Calicchio
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
Tablespoons chopped green chili’s
1 Lime zested and juiced
Tablespoons cilantro chopped fine
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 shallot minced
1 Tsp Salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 Tsp blackened seasoning
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to marry.