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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Catfish Allison

This is a delicious way to enjoy catfish fillets and is very easy to prepare.  I came across this recipe in an old cookbook I have from the Catfish Institute, (Yes, there really is a Catfish Institute!) and since we have a daughter named Allison, we had to give this dish a try.   The flavors were great and the green onion and Parmesan cheese paired well with the fish.

Cooking the catfish is actually a 2 step process, almost like a twice-baked fish.  The fillets are first poached, then placed in the oven with a cheesy topping to finish the dish with a slightly crispy and browned top.

We did make a few adjustments to update the original dish.  Instead of poaching the fish in just water we added some lemon juice and dill seasoning to give it a little more flavor.  The next addition was panko crumbs.  Adding just a sprinkle more before baking adds a touch of crunch to the topping.

This recipe has a lot of possibilities so I'm sure you will see some variations of this dish on the blog in the near future.  I think the next time I make this I might add some crab meat to the cheese topping, and maybe a little white wine to the poaching liquid. I love fish and this will be a fun recipe to experiment with in so many ways.

1 cup  Shaved Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup  Butter or Margarine, softened
4 TB  Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
2  Green Onions, finely minced
1/2 tsp  Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp  Tabasco Sauce
1/4 tsp  Salt
1/3 cup  Panko Japanese Breadcrumbs
6 Catfish Fillets
1/3 cup  Lemon Juice
Lemon/Dill Seasoning

In a small bowl combine butter, mayo, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and salt.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, add about 1/2 inch of water then add the lemon juice and seasoning.  Heat water to a simmer, add fillets and poach for 4 - 5 minutes until fish becomes slightly opaque.

Gently lift the fillets from the poaching liquid using a slotted spatula and place side by side in a baking dish.  Use a paper towel to remove excess liquid from the pan, if needed.

Add the 1/3 cup panko crumbs to the cheese topping mixture and stir to combine.

Spread 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over each fillet.  Sprinkle lightly with panko crumbs and place the fish in a preheated oven on the BROIL setting, and broil 3 - 5 minutes or until the cheese mixture is bubbly and slightly browned.  (To check for doneness, if needed, use a fork to flake the fish.)

Carefully lift fillets from the baking dish and place on serving plates.  Spoon a little of the pan drippings onto each piece of fish and serve.  Enjoy!

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