Lemon-Brown Butter Catfish with Crispy Smashed Potatoes & Creamed Spinach

Lemon-Brown Butter Catfish

with Crispy Smashed Potatoes & Creamed Spinach

50 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s sophisticated steakhouse-style entrée pays tribute to classic American flavors. The star of the dish is beautifully crisped catfish, topped with a delicious brown butter sauce. Chopped almonds play off the nutty flavor of the sauce, while a bit of lemon juice gives it a burst of brightness—complemented by the comforting, woodsy depth of fresh thyme. For a pair of elegant sides, we’re serving creamed spinach and Parmesan-topped potatoes, which we’re boiling, smashing and browning to develop a creamy interior and crisp exterior.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    580 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
tried-and-true
kitchen tools
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tips & techniques
Cook & smash the potatoes:
1 Cook & smash the potatoes:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook 18 to 20 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a clean, dry work surface. When cool enough to handle, using the flat side of your knife, carefully smash each cooked potato once to flatten. Wipe out the pot.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the potatoes cook, pick the thyme leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the almonds. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

Cook & drain the spinach:
3 Cook & drain the spinach:

While the potatoes continue to cook, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes per batch, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer the drained spinach to a cutting board; finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

Brown the potatoes:
4 Brown the potatoes:

In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the smashed potatoes in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Transfer to a plate; immediately top with half the cheese. Set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the catfish & make the sauce:
5 Cook the catfish & make the sauce:

Place the flour on a plate. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat 1 side of each seasoned fillet in the flour (tapping off any excess). Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, melt the butter on medium-high until hot. Add the fillets, coated sides down, and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and add the thyme, almonds and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges to the pan. Cook, occasionally spooning the sauce over the fillets, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the catfish is lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Make the creamed spinach & plate your dish:
6 Make the creamed spinach & plate your dish:

While the catfish cooks, in the pot used to cook the potatoes, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the chopped spinach, sour cream and 2 tablespoons of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until heated through. Turn off the heat. Stir in the remaining cheese. Divide the creamed spinach, browned potatoes and cooked catfish fillets between 4 dishes. Top the fillets with a few spoonfuls of the sauce from the pan. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Cook & smash the potatoes:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook 18 to 20 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a clean, dry work surface. When cool enough to handle, using the flat side of your knife, carefully smash each cooked potato once to flatten. Wipe out the pot.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the potatoes cook, pick the thyme leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the almonds. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

Cook & drain the spinach:
3 Cook & drain the spinach:

While the potatoes continue to cook, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes per batch, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer the drained spinach to a cutting board; finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

4 Brown the potatoes:

In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the smashed potatoes in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Transfer to a plate; immediately top with half the cheese. Set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

Brown the potatoes:
Cook the catfish & make the sauce:
5 Cook the catfish & make the sauce:

Place the flour on a plate. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat 1 side of each seasoned fillet in the flour (tapping off any excess). Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, melt the butter on medium-high until hot. Add the fillets, coated sides down, and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and add the thyme, almonds and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges to the pan. Cook, occasionally spooning the sauce over the fillets, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the catfish is lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

6 Make the creamed spinach & plate your dish:

While the catfish cooks, in the pot used to cook the potatoes, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the chopped spinach, sour cream and 2 tablespoons of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until heated through. Turn off the heat. Stir in the remaining cheese. Divide the creamed spinach, browned potatoes and cooked catfish fillets between 4 dishes. Top the fillets with a few spoonfuls of the sauce from the pan. Enjoy!

Make the creamed spinach & plate your dish:
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