Blackened Catfish with Veracruz Sauce

Blackened Catfish

with Veracruz Sauce

50 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

The Mexican state of Veracruz, which hugs the country’s coast along the Gulf of Mexico, is known for a number of tempting seafood specialties. Tonight’s dish is inspired by those zesty offerings. We’re making a sauce brimming with the traditional flavors: tomatoes, garlic, olives and red pepper flakes (plus golden raisins for pleasant pops of sweetness). For extra heartiness, we’re stirring potato right into our sauce, which we’re serving with our take on “blackened” catfish—fillets rubbed with a bevy of Mexican spices, then pan-seared to deepen their flavors.

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

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the potato. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice on an angle, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Small dice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits. Roughly chop the olives. Roughly chop the raisins. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands.

Cook the potato:
2 Cook the potato:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the potato and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and softened. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

While the potato cooks, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the celery, garlic and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the olives, raisins and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked potato. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Coat the catfish:
4 Coat the catfish:

Place the flour and spice blend on a plate; stir to combine. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Thoroughly coat 1 side of each seasoned fillet in the flour-spice blend mixture. Transfer to a separate plate.

Cook the catfish:
5 Cook the catfish:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated catfish fillets, coated sides down, and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the sauce between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked catfish fillets. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the potato. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice on an angle, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Small dice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits. Roughly chop the olives. Roughly chop the raisins. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands.

2 Cook the potato:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the potato and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and softened. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the potato:
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

While the potato cooks, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the celery, garlic and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the olives, raisins and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked potato. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Coat the catfish:

Place the flour and spice blend on a plate; stir to combine. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Thoroughly coat 1 side of each seasoned fillet in the flour-spice blend mixture. Transfer to a separate plate.

Coat the catfish:
Cook the catfish:
5 Cook the catfish:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated catfish fillets, coated sides down, and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the sauce between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked catfish fillets. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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