Summertime and the Catfish Are Jumping

Oh my, that Catfish looks more like a shark with whiskers. With nearly 3,000 known species, catfish are one of the most divers groups of vertebrates on the planet.

Catfish can be found in fresh waters everywhere, with the exception of Antarctica. What makes catfish to attractive to the anglers is that catfish are plentiful, can grow to be giants and fight hard.

Growing up, I can remember many a summer afternoon on the banks of the river with my Dad, fishing for catfish. The ones we snagged were decent size as far as eating was concerned, but not the monsters that could be lurking out there on the river bottoms. I didn’t mind catching catfish, but it was up to Dad to skin the darn thing.

Many, many years ago, while night fishing with a friend, we snagged a catfish that put up one heck of a fight. While fighting the fish, my friend told me to grab the net and scoop it up. I waded out into water that was just below my knees, net in one hand, flashlight in the other. Oh my word – the head was huge! I ran up on shore, handed him the net and told him I’d hold the pole, he could go get the fish. We landed it. And cooked it. I would not recommend eating a giant catfish. They taste like mud.

For the record, catfish are some of the largest freshwater fish in our waters. The Wels, native to river systems that drain into the Baltic, Black and Caspian sea basins, have been reported to weight as much as 600 pounds. Wow, that’s a lot of fish filets. The current official record is 297 pounds, 9 ounces for a Wels caught in River Po, Italy.

Today is National Catfish Day. And it’s also Friday – as in no meat for us old school Catholics. While I grew up eating fish that was fried, these days we enjoy ours baked most of the time. Fried fish is great if dipped in a yummy beer batter, breaded is better baked. Naked fish – that with only a seasoning, is perfect on the grill. Now a cornmeal coating is another story. You could fry the fish or bake the fish, both options are delicious. Personally, I prefer baked, but only because it’s less messy.

Hope you have a wonderful National Catfish Day!

Cajun Catfish Supper for National Catfish Day
Cajun Baked Catfish
Buttermilk Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Creole Green Beans

Cajun Baked Catfish
4 tablespoons Yellow Cornmeal
4 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Lemon-Pepper Seasoning
1 Lemon
4 (6 oz) Catfish Filets
1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

Heat oven to 400-degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

In a pie tin, mix cornmeal, Cajun Seasoning, Thyme, Basil, Garlic Powder and Lemon-Pepper. Whisk to blend well.

Cut lemon in half. Squeeze half of the sliced lemon over the catfish to moisten. Dip fillets in cornmeal mixture to coat both sides. Place fish on the prepared baking sheet.. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake fish in the heated oven for 20 minutes or until fish begins to flake easily with fork. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with remaining lemon cut into half-moon slices.

Buttermilk Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Biscuit Dough
3 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, cold and chopped
1 3/4 cup Buttermilk
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 1/2 cups Sharp Cheddar, shredded

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Chop butter into small chunks. Add butter to the mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to combine, starting slow and working your way up to medium speed, until you’ve formed a dough with pea-sized lumps. With the mixer on low, slowly add in milk. Mix until a dough forms.

Fold in garlic powder and cheese. Use a spoon to place 2-inch drop-biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

Finish Topping
1/2 cup Butter
1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

While the biscuits are baking, melt butter in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in parsley and garlic powder.

When the biscuits are baked, remove from the oven and immediately brush melted butter mixture on top of each biscuit . Serve piping hot and delicious.

Creole Green Beans
1 lb frozen Whole Green Beans
2 Garlic Cloves
3 tablespoons Butter, divided
3 teaspoons Creole Seasoning Blend or to taste
Kosher Salt to taste

Rinse beans under cold water to thaw. Transfer to paper towels, pat dry and set aside.

Mince garlic, set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Place the green beans into the pan and toss lightly so that all green beans are covered in butter. Cook for about 1 minute.

Season beans with 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning and a pinch of salt. Cook for another 2 minutes the season again with a teaspoon of Creole Seasoning. Taste the green beans, season with remaining teaspoon of Creole Seasoning and additional Kosher Salt as desired. Sprinkle minced garlic over the green beans. Sauté for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, pat with remaining tablespoon of butter, swirl the pan to coat everything in buttery goodness.

Serve and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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