It has been proven that eating crunchy foods temporarily alleviates stress. So when planning our election night dinner, fried catfish was the first thing that came to mind. There is no need to deep fry this exceptionally tender and flavorful fish. Oprah's celebrity chef Rosie was offering up un-fried catfish 20 years ago in her cookbook and countless other versions have been introduced in the years since then. I stick to the basics but use stone ground cornmeal from the Congaree Milling Company in South Carolina which adds a rich flavor and nice crunch, and mellow out the spices a bit. I've also made a tangy, yogurt-based remoulade sauce for serving.
3 teaspoons canola or safflower oil
1 1/2 pounds catfish filets, cut along the diagonal into one inch strips
1/4 cup stone ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush a baking sheet with some of the oil.
2. Put the cornmeal, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and black pepper in a small bowl and combine well.
3. Add two strips at a time to the bowl and coat throughly with the cornmeal, Place strips one inch apart on the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly dot each strip with the remaining oil.
4. Place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve hot with remoulade sauce.
1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt (not Greek)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup minced celery
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced or pressed garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon raw organic cider vinegar
2 teaspoons raw honey
3 tablespoons chopped flat parsley leaves
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Chill until ready to serve.