Sunday, August 27, 2006

Spicy Peanut-Encrusted Catfish

from Christine Cooks

3 catfish fillets (I used barracuda)
1 c dry-roasted, salt-free peanuts, chopped fine
2 T blackening spice (see below)
2 T olive oil or peanut oil
1/2 c Eggbeaters or other egg substitute, or 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and have a baking sheet ready. Blot fillets with paper towels until thoroughly dry. Set aside.With a chef's knife, chop the peanuts until they're in very fine pieces. You could use a small food processor but I like to chop such a small amount with my knife, avoiding the possibility of turning them into peanut butter. Combine the chopped peanuts and the blackening spice and place on a flat plate. Pour the eggs or egg substitute into a wide bowl. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium and add the oil. The oil should just shimmer in the pan, not smoke, or you could burn the peanuts (hmmm, how do I know that...?). Dip a fillet into the eggs to coat then into the peanut mixture, coating both sides and pressing lightly to make the peanut pieces adhere. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Place in the hot skillet and, keeping them from crowding each other, saute for about 5 minutes on one side then flip and saute the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove fillets to a baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven to finish - about 5 minutes more.

Blackening Spice
from Christine Cooks

5 T kosher salt
5 T paprika (I used sweet)
1 T dried thyme
1 T freshly ground black pepper
1 T garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 t ground white pepper
Mix it all up and store in an airtight container.

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