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Crispy Catfish & Paella-Style Rice

with English Peas & Saffron Aioli

Crispy Catfish & Paella-Style Rice with English Peas & Saffron Aioli
Cook Time
30-40mins
Makes
4 Servings
Nutrition
We're still sourcing!
Check back soon for nutritional information.
Group 2
Est. 630 calories

Paella is one of Spain’s most treasured culinary traditions. The wholesome rice dish, often prepared with seafood, is beloved for its vibrant flavor and color. In this recipe, we’re serving fried catfish with paella-inspired rice. In true Spanish fashion, after simmering the rice with spices, tomatoes and fresh peas, we’re pan-toasting it to create a satisfyingly crispy layer on the bottom. (And to preserve this layer of texture, we’re serving the rice straight out of the pan.) A garnish of creamy saffron aioli adds the perfect, luscious finish.

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions on an angle, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Shell the peas. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels and cut in half crosswise; place in a bowl.

Cook the rice:
2 Cook the rice:

In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the rice, spice blend and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and 3½ cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the peas. Simmer, stirring frequently, 16 to 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. (If the mixture seems dry, add up to ¼ cup of water to achieve your desired consistency.)

Make the saffron aioli & batter:
3 Make the saffron aioli & batter:

While the rice cooks, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and saffron powder; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and ½ cup of water until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Coat & cook the catfish:
4 Coat & cook the catfish:

While the rice continues to cook, season the catfish with salt and pepper; toss to coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, working in batches, thoroughly coat the seasoned catfish in the batter (letting any excess drip off). Carefully add the coated catfish to the pan. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt. Set aside in a warm place. Carefully discard the oil and wipe out the pan.

Finish the rice:
5 Finish the rice:

Add the cooked rice to the pan used to cook the catfish. Using a spoon or spatula, press the rice into the pan; cook on medium-high, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the rice begins to crisp and pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.

Serve your dish:
6 Serve your dish:

Transfer the cooked catfish to a serving dish. Serve the finished rice out of the pan (or transfer to a serving dish, if you’d like). Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and parsley. Serve with the saffron aioli and lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions on an angle, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Shell the peas. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels and cut in half crosswise; place in a bowl.

2 Cook the rice:

In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the rice, spice blend and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and 3½ cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the peas. Simmer, stirring frequently, 16 to 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. (If the mixture seems dry, add up to ¼ cup of water to achieve your desired consistency.)

Cook the rice:
3 Make the saffron aioli & batter:

While the rice cooks, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and saffron powder; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and ½ cup of water until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

4 Coat & cook the catfish:

While the rice continues to cook, season the catfish with salt and pepper; toss to coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, working in batches, thoroughly coat the seasoned catfish in the batter (letting any excess drip off). Carefully add the coated catfish to the pan. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt. Set aside in a warm place. Carefully discard the oil and wipe out the pan.

Coat & cook the catfish:
Finish the rice:
5 Finish the rice:

Add the cooked rice to the pan used to cook the catfish. Using a spoon or spatula, press the rice into the pan; cook on medium-high, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the rice begins to crisp and pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.

6 Serve your dish:

Transfer the cooked catfish to a serving dish. Serve the finished rice out of the pan (or transfer to a serving dish, if you’d like). Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and parsley. Serve with the saffron aioli and lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

Serve your dish: