Cajun Catfish Sauce Piquant

  • Yield 10 to 15 servings

Preparing this stew a day ahead of time gives the flavors time to meld.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 pounds catfish fillets, thoroughly skinned and all red meat removed
2 cups finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped garlic
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 -- (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine the cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper in a small bowl.  Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of the mixture over the fish and work it into the fish.  Refrigerate the fish until ready to cook.
  2. Have the onions at hand to add to the roux.  Combine the oil and flour in a heavy 6-quart saucepan and mix well.  Cook the mixture over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the bell pepper, celery and garlic and mix well.  Stir in 1 cup of the stock and the remaining pepper and salt mixture.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and stir in the tomato sauce.  Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 1 cup more stock and cook for 25 minutes.  Add the remaining stock and lemon juice and cook for 15 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the fish and cover the pan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Stir occasionally, carefully, so as not to break up fish pieces.  Reduce heat to low; cover the pan and cook for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and skim any fat from the surface.  Serve immediately over rice with French bread for dipping.

Recipe reprinted with permission from South Carolina Outdoor Press Association’s Wild Fare and Wise Words (Columbia, South Carolina, 2005).

 

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