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Crispy Catfish

with Sicilian Eggplant Caponata

  • Group Created with Sketch.
    Time
    35-45 mins
  • icon_serves Created with Sketch.
    Servings
    2
  • icon_cals Created with Sketch.
    Nutrition
    Est. 550 calories
    Nutrition Label
    Nutrition Label
    Nutrition Label
    Nutrition Label

Though we most readily associate catfish with the American South, they can be found throughout the world, including the Mediterranean. Here, we’re serving up crispy, pan-fried catfish with a seasonal, Sicilian side. Caponata consists of eggplant, aromatics and other summer vegetables simmered with capers and vinegar, which balance the natural sweetness of the produce. We’re also adding fresh marjoram, a citrusy herb in the oregano family, to complete the dish’s flavor profile.

fresh
ingredients
Crispy Catfish with Sicilian Eggplant Caponata
Title
tried-and-true
kitchen tools
time-saving
tips & techniques
step-by-step
instructions
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Cut off and discard the eggplant stem; medium dice the eggplant. Cut out and discard the stem, ribs and seeds of the bell pepper; medium dice the bell pepper. Peel and medium dice the onion; separate the layers. Pick the marjoram leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Brown the eggplant:
2 Brown the eggplant:

In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the eggplant; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a large, paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Start the caponata:
3 Start the caponata:

In the pan used to brown the eggplant, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened.

Finish the caponata:
4 Finish the caponata:

Add the tomato paste to the pan of bell pepper and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the tomato paste is dark red. Add the browned eggplant, capers, vinegar, half the marjoram and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place.

Cook the catfish:
5 Cook the catfish:

While the caponata cooks, place the rice flour on a plate. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat both sides of each fillet in the rice flour, tapping off any excess. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated fillets and cook 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, or until golden brown. Flip the fillets and add the butter. Cook, occasionally tilting the pan and spooning the butter over the fillets, 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and immediately season with salt and pepper.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the cooked catfish fillets between 2 plates. Top with the finished caponata. Garnish with the remaining marjoram. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Cut off and discard the eggplant stem; medium dice the eggplant. Cut out and discard the stem, ribs and seeds of the bell pepper; medium dice the bell pepper. Peel and medium dice the onion; separate the layers. Pick the marjoram leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

2 Brown the eggplant:

In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the eggplant; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a large, paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Brown the eggplant:
Start the caponata:
3 Start the caponata:

In the pan used to brown the eggplant, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened.

4 Finish the caponata:

Add the tomato paste to the pan of bell pepper and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the tomato paste is dark red. Add the browned eggplant, capers, vinegar, half the marjoram and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place.

Finish the caponata:
Cook the catfish:
5 Cook the catfish:

While the caponata cooks, place the rice flour on a plate. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat both sides of each fillet in the rice flour, tapping off any excess. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated fillets and cook 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, or until golden brown. Flip the fillets and add the butter. Cook, occasionally tilting the pan and spooning the butter over the fillets, 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and immediately season with salt and pepper.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the cooked catfish fillets between 2 plates. Top with the finished caponata. Garnish with the remaining marjoram. Enjoy!

Plate your dish: