Blackened Catfish – 3 Stars

A week or two ago, someone said to me: "I told a friend about your Live Journal page, and how you just write about what you eat. She was excited." A few minutes ago, I got a text from a different friend asking, "You have a food blog?" I do wish people wouldn’t talk about me. Then I wouldn’t feel obligated to pick up hobbies I had clearly let die. Oh well. Perhaps it’s a sign that I should continue things I start.

Some of you know that I recently moved to a new apartment in a new city in a new state. After a week of eating to-go meals from restaurants (and feeling quite nutritionally deprived), I decided to finally cook something. I settled on catfish because, well, it’s tasty and it’s relatively cheap. A quick search of the recipes marked in my Google Reader revealed two recipes: Blackened Catfish with Spinach, Corn, and Tomato, and Blackened Catfish with Spicy Fried Corn.  Apparently, I like blackened catfish.  I ignored the vegetables in the recipes (I only had frozen mixed veggies in my barely stocked kitchen), and realized the main difference between the recipes was that one included oregano and sugar and the other did not.  To compromise (because that’s what I do), I decided to add oregano to the recipe that lacked it.  I saw no need for the butter one of the recipes called for, but I did see a need to slightly increase the amount of red pepper.  I went through the trouble of buying the lemon wedges both recipes included, and ended up not using them.  Do you think I can return them?

Positives of this recipe: incredibly simple.  As in, a 5 year old could prepare this dish.  Thaw catfish.  Combine ingredients in container.  Put spice rub on catfish.  Put under broiler until cooked.  (Okay…you probably wouldn’t want a 5 year old playing with the broiler, but you get the idea…)
Negatives of this recipe: hmm….it doesn’t have the WOW factor.

In the end, I served this with seasoned rice (butter-sauteed onions, salt, chicken bouillon, rice) and frozen mixed veggies (with a little of the extra spice mixture).  It made a nice dinner for me — just me, as I don’t have anyone in this city to share with yet.  I’ll probably make it again.  The spice rub made enough to make this recipe at least twice.  Instead of mixed veggies, I think next time I’ll use the spicy okra and tomatoes side dish previously reviewed.

Ingredients

5 Catfish fillets, thawed (I used frozen fillets and thawed them)
2 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Steps

1.  Excluding the catfish, combine all the ingredients together.  Mix well.
2.  Line a 9×13 dish with aluminum foil.  Turn the broiler on.
3.  Place the catfish in the prepared dish.  Press a little more than 1 tsp. of the spice mixture onto each fillet.  Turn the fillets over, and press another 1 tsp. of the spice rub into the other side of the fillet.
4.  Broil for 10-12 minutes.
 
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