Seafood has lots to offer a healthy diet. Much of it is lean, and even the fattier varieties are loaded with the so-called good fats. Keeping it healthy is all a matter of how you cook it.
You'd think it would be best to avoid crispy fish because it would involve deep-frying, but this recipe for baked catfish po'boys with Cajun remoulade (similar to tartar sauce) turns that notion on its head.
To start with, catfish fillets are marinated in hot sauce-spiked buttermilk, which adds a layer of flavor. The fillets then are dredged in a seasoned blend of cornmeal fish fry mix before being misted with a bit of olive oil cooking spray and "oven-fried" to crispy, golden perfection.
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons coarse grain Dijon mustard, divided
3 teaspoons hot sauce, divided
3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning mix, divided
4 catfish fillets (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup unseasoned cornmeal fish fry mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Olive oil cooking spray
Four 5-inch sections of crusty French bread, halved horizontally
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
In a shallow dish or bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of the mustard, 2 teaspoons of the hot sauce and 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning. Add the catfish fillets, turning to coat them with the mixture. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, in another shallow dish or bowl, whisk together the cornmeal fish fry mix, 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning, and the salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make the remoulade, in small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, Worcestershire, the remaining 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and the remaining 1 teaspoon each of hot sauce and Cajun seasoning. Set aside or cover and refrigerate if using later.
When ready to cook the fish, heat the broiler. Use the cooking spray to lightly coat a wire rack large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Place the rack on a baking sheet.
Remove the fish from the refrigerator and turn each fillet in the buttermilk mixture to recoat. Transfer to the cornmeal mixture, turning the fillets to coat completely. Lightly mist the fillets on both sides with the cooking spray and place on the prepared rack (they should not touch).
Broil 4 inches from the heat source for 3 minutes, then carefully flip the fillets and broil for another 3 minutes, or until the fish is opaque at the center.
Assemble the po'boy sandwiches by spreading the cut side of each piece of bread with the reserved sauce. On the bottom half of each bread section, layer with a catfish filet, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and the top piece of bread.