Blackened Cajun Catfish with Sweet Potato & Collard Green Gratin

Blackened Cajun Catfish

with Sweet Potato & Collard Green Gratin

50 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This recipe takes inspiration from the country cooking of Louisiana. Traditional Cajun spices—including smoked paprika, ground mustard and cayenne pepper—lend a pleasant heat to our catfish. We’re serving it with sweet potatoes and collard greens “au gratin,” or baked into a rich, creamy casserole (ours features béchamel, a classic French sauce). The sweet and earthy seasonal vegetables make for a delicious counterpoint to the zesty catfish.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    600 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Remove and discard the collard green stems; finely chop the leaves. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

Cook the vegetables:
2 Cook the vegetables:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sweet potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Add the collard greens; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the collard greens have wilted and the water has cooked off. Stir in the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the béchamel sauce:
3 Make the béchamel sauce:

Once the vegetables have cooked for about 5 minutes, in a large pot, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the flour and cook, whisking frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until well combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and ½ cup of water; cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until thickened. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble & bake the gratin:
4 Assemble & bake the gratin:

Transfer the cooked vegetables to the pot of béchamel sauce; stir to thoroughly combine. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let stand for at least 2 minutes before serving.

Coat the catfish:
5 Coat the catfish:

While the gratin bakes, place the spice blend on a plate. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat 1 side of each seasoned fillet in the spice blend (tapping off any excess). Transfer to a separate plate.

Cook the catfish & serve your dish:
6 Cook the catfish & serve your dish:

Once the gratin has baked for about 10 minutes, wipe out the pan used to cook the vegetables. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated catfish fillets, coated sides down, and cook 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned and crispy. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat.Top with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve with the baked gratin. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Remove and discard the collard green stems; finely chop the leaves. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

2 Cook the vegetables:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sweet potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Add the collard greens; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the collard greens have wilted and the water has cooked off. Stir in the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the vegetables:
Make the béchamel sauce:
3 Make the béchamel sauce:

Once the vegetables have cooked for about 5 minutes, in a large pot, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the flour and cook, whisking frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until well combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and ½ cup of water; cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until thickened. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Assemble & bake the gratin:

Transfer the cooked vegetables to the pot of béchamel sauce; stir to thoroughly combine. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let stand for at least 2 minutes before serving.

Assemble & bake the gratin:
Coat the catfish:
5 Coat the catfish:

While the gratin bakes, place the spice blend on a plate. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat 1 side of each seasoned fillet in the spice blend (tapping off any excess). Transfer to a separate plate.

6 Cook the catfish & serve your dish:

Once the gratin has baked for about 10 minutes, wipe out the pan used to cook the vegetables. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated catfish fillets, coated sides down, and cook 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned and crispy. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat.Top with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve with the baked gratin. Enjoy!

Cook the catfish & serve your dish:
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