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Pan-Fried Catfish with Vegetables and Celeriac Sauce

For the Sauce:
1 qt Salted water
2 sl Peeled lemon
1 md Celeriac; (also known as celery knob or celery root)
2 md Carrots
1 sm Zucchini; washed and trimmed
1 c Fish stock or clam juice
1 c Heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tb Or more of fresh lemon juice

For the Catfish:
2 tb Vegetable oil 1 tb Butter Six; (8-ounce) catfish filets Flour spread on a plate

Bring the salted water to a boil with the slices of lemon. Peel and chop the celeriac with a stainless steel knife (celery root oxidizes quickly when in contact with iron). Add the celery root to the water and simmer covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes or until tender.

While the celeriac is cooking, peel the carrots and cut them into 1/4-inch dice; cut the zucchini into 1/4-inch dice. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked celeriac to a bowl and bring the water back to a boil. Add the carrots and boil, uncovered, for 1 minute; add the zucchini and continue boiling for 45 seconds. Drain the carrots and zucchini and reserve them for later.

In a blender or food processor, puree the cooked celeriac with the fish stock and cream and season with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to a clean saucepan and over low heat bring back to a simmer. Season the sauce with lemon juice to taste.

In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and butter. Dredge the catfish in flour and shake off any excess. When the butter and oil are hot, add the filets and sauté, over medium heat, uncovered, for about 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

While the fish is cooking, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the carrots and zucchini and turn off the heat; this will reheat the vegetables without cooking them further.

To serve, remove the fish and blot off excess fat with a paper towel and set each fish filet in the middle of a plate. Spoon the sauce around the fish. Drain the carrots and zucchini, pat them dry and sprinkle over the sauce. Serve immediately.

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