Sometimes you just need to go back to your roots for some comfort food!!! Now, before I start in on this healthy recipe, let me tell you, that if available, I would choose REAL fried catfish with fried hushpuppies EVERY SINGLE TIME. However, pulling out the propane tank, burner, pot, peanut oil, etc. at our house is reserved for company, so because I need catfish in my life on a regular basis, this baked recipe covers my craving quite nicely!
For the fish:
- 2 good sized catfish fillets
- 1 cup corn meal mix (or 3/4 cup cornmeal mixed with 1/4 cup flour)
- 2 Tbls. Cajun seasoning mix (or make your own with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper, paprika….)
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Mix corn meal mix and Cajun seasoning in a ziploc bag. Whisk together egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Place one fillet in the bag and shake to cover, remove and place in egg mixture, place back in seasoning mix, and shake again. Place on sheet pan. Repeat with the other fillet. Spray the tops of the fillets with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, flip fillets over, bake for another 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
The fillets are delicious on their own with a squeeze of lemon, but I’ve found that you can take this dish from really good to “oh my goodness” with just a little more effort.
For the sauce:
- 2 Tbls. mayonnaise
- 1 Tbls. ketchup
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. horseradish (or to taste)
- juice from 1/2 a fresh lemon
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
- dash of hot sauce (I like Louisiana.)
- dash of red pepper and/or Cajun seasoning (to taste)
- 1 Tbls. chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1 clove garlic pressed
Mix everything together in a small bowl and adjust seasonings according to taste.
For the sandwich:
- 2 really good sourdough or french sub type rolls
- avocado sliced
- tomato slices (since my husband can’t eat fresh right now, I put these in the oven with the fish for about 5 minutes to roast)
- 1 tsp butter melted with a dash of garlic powder
Cut the sub rolls open and brush with butter and garlic. Place in the oven with the fish during the last 5 minutes of cooking to lightly toast. Spread generously with the sauce. Cut catfish fillet if needed to fit better on the roll, cover with avocado, tomatoes, and more sauce. Serve with extra lemon wedges. Enjoy!