Cajun courtbouillon (pronounced koo-bee-yon) is a vegetable-and-fish stew recipe. In this healthy catfish recipe from Louisiana native chef Donald Link, the catfish and stew are combined at the end, making for a pretty presentation and keeping the catfish nice and crispy.
Yield: 6 servings
Active Time: 65
Total Time: 65
- 1 head garlic plus 1/4 cup chopped garlic (4-5 large cloves), divided
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes
- 2 medium red bell peppers
- 2 medium green bell peppers
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups seafood stock
- 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 dashes hot sauce, or to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1/2 cup white cornmeal
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds catfish fillets, cut into 6 portions
- 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- To prepare sauce: Rub off the excess papery skin from the head of garlic without separating the cloves. Slice the tip off the head, exposing the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and wrap into a package.
- Place a wire rack on a large foil-lined baking sheet. Place the garlic packet, tomatoes, bell peppers, poblanos and jalapeño on the rack. Roast in the center of the oven, turning once or twice with tongs, until all the vegetables are softened and the peppers and onions are blackened in places, 25 to 30 minutes for the tomatoes, 30 to 35 minutes for the peppers and 40 minutes for the garlic.
- Transfer the peppers to a large bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 10 minutes, then uncover. Cool tomatoes on a separate plate; unwrap the garlic packet.
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove stems, skins and seeds with a paring knife. Core and peel the tomatoes and reserve any juices. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins. Place the peppers, tomatoes (and juice) and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is a chunky sauce.
- Heat the remaining 3 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the 1/4 cup chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add seafood stock, vinegar and the pureed vegetables. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and hot sauce. Stir in mint, parsley and scallions.
- To prepare fish: Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a shallow plate. Dredge both sides of fish in the mixture.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half the fish and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and cook the rest of the fish, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Divide the fish and sauce among 6 shallow bowls.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (228% daily value), Vitamin A (51% dv), Potassium (29% dv), Folate (20% dv)
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 3 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 2 fat