When I think of Courtbouillon, I always think of Redfish. Here is Donald’s recipe using Catfish. Either fish works well in this recipe.
1 tablespoon unsalted Butter
1/2 medium Onion, finely chopped
1 stalk Celery, finely chopped
1/2 Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 medium Tomato, diced
1 Jalapeño or Serrano Chili, finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon each White Pepper, Black Pepper, Paprika
1/2 cup dry White Wine
1 1/2 cups Fish or Shrimp Stock, preferably homemade but store-bought if you must
1 pound (3-4) Catfish Filets, cunt into 4-inch pieces
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Cornmeal, preferably white and finely ground
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil or Bacon Fat
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Parsley
1/4 cup chopped Scallions
Juice of 1 Lemon
5 Basil Leaves, coarsely torn
Hot steamed Rice, for serving.
Melt the butter in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, pepper, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, thyme, salt, white pepper, black pepper, and paprika and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the white wine, bring to. boil and simmer until it has almost completely evaporated, about 10 minutes, then add the stock and simmer 10 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat and cover to keep warm.
Season the catfish with salt and pepper. On a plate or pie tin, whisk together the flour and cornmeal. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the catfish filets in flour and cornmeal mix, shaking to remove excess, and transfer to skillet. Sauté fish for 3 minutes on the rounder, fuller side, then flip the fish and add the sauce (using a spatula to scrape it into the skillet) and let Sommer for 5 to 8 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Sprinkle in the parsley, scallions, lemon juice and fresh, torn basil.
To serve, gently remove the catfish with a slotted spatula and set over rice, then spoon a generous amount of sauce over the catfish.
Note; Traditionally courtbouillon is made with fish stock, but shrimp stock, or virtually and shellfish stock, or even chicken stock, all work juts fine. Do not, however, make this with water, because it won’t be worth the effort, flavor-wise. At the very least, take two whole, small fish and chop them up to make a quick fish stock with the scraps of your vegetable prep.
Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!