I previously tested the Crispy Baked Catfish Fingers with Buttermilk Herb Sauce for the Seafood for the Future group. And, I stated that, “I got two large catfish fillets, and since it was only my husband and me eating the catfish dinner, we decided to save the other fillet and cook it on another night. I think I’ll try the same basic recipe making a few changes.” Here are the changes that I made to the Catfish portion of the recipe …
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I used my own homemade bread crumbs. I keep the heels of loaves of bread, or the portion of homemade bread that’s about to be past its prime and I store them in the freezer. When the bags get unruly in the freezer I do a rough pulse on the bread pieces in the food processor and toss the crumbs into a large ziptop bag. I store these “homemade” bread crumbs in the freezer for purposes like this catfish, where I need some breadcrumbs. Or, sometimes I’ll take the whole lot of the bread crumbs and make stuffing out of them. It helps cut back on wasted food and it gives me some nicely textured bread crumbs that I know don’t have any bad preservatives. And, because I make them out of all kinds of different breads – wheat, sourdough, herb bread, pita bread, pizza dough, even flat breads – it has a nice complex flavor.
I used 2 cups of these bread crumbs and toasted them in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes until they were fragrant and golden. Then I tossed them into the food processor with the fresh parsley. I pulsed them until they were all uniform and small in size.
I also eliminated the orange juice from the egg mixture from the original recipe. I continued with the recipe as it was written. Dredge the catfish fillets in the flour with paprika, salt, and pepper. Then, into the beaten egg. Then into the bread crumbs. Place the breaded fillets onto the rack that I sprayed with non-stick spray, and into the 375 degree oven for 13 minutes.
Perfect! The fish released from the baking rack easily. The catfish was tender and flakey without being dry. The bread crumb coating was more uniform in size making it easier to eat.
CONFESSION … I cheated though. I didn’t re-make the buttermilk herb sauce. I’ve been trying to perfect that Peruvian Green Aji Sauce, so there was some of that in the ‘fridge. And, I decided to try that on the catfish. It was great. Ok, the sauce was pretty hot, so a little goes a LONG way. But the catfish held it’s own against that strong flavor.
If you’re looking for the original catfish recipe… Crispy Baked Catfish Fingers with Buttermilk Herb Sauce & my description of the catfish is there as well. As for the recipe for Peruvian Green Sauce, I’m still working on it. The lady who taught it to me used “a little of this” or “a bit of that” and that’s really hard to write in a blog and have people not be mad at you. So, one day I’ll get it correct and I’ll post it at that point!
I’m very excited to be part of the Seafood for the Future group. They’re doing great things, teaching people about sustainability and responsibility. Conservation of the ocean and its inhabitants is so important and so worthwhile. Thanks again, Andrew, for letting me assist!