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Southern Catfish with Butter-Pecan Sauce

Southern Catfish with Butter-Pecan Sauce

Southern cooking conjures up soothing images of home-cooked meals and comfort food.  However, it also has a reputation for being high in fat and calorie content!  Well-loved Southern dishes include deep fried chicken, sweet corn, okra, black eyed peas, fried green tomatoes and seafood, particularly catfish.  Indeed, among the many types of fish, catfish is the one that has a special place in Southern cooking.  Here is a healthy recipe combining three well-loved Southern ingredients – catfish, okra and corn.

Serves 4

  • 1 lb baby okra
  • 2 cups tomatoes
  • 1 1.5 lbs catfish fillets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 cans sweet corn, drained
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon juice of lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Garnishing (optional): lemon wedges


  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Put 1 oven rack in the upper part of oven, and another rack on the lower third of oven.
  • In a bowl, mix together okra, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Spread the vegetable mixture in a shallow baking pan.
  • Put the baking pan in the lower third of the oven and bake.  You will know it is done roasting when you see the skin of the tomato bursting.  It will take about 10 minutes.
  • In the mean time, while you are waiting for your vegetable mixture to be done roasting, pat your catfish fillets dry and lay them on another shallow baking pan.  Rub both sides of the fillets with 1 ½ teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning.
  • Now, back to the vegetable mixture roasting in the oven.  When the skin of the tomatoes begin to burst, add corn to the mixture.
  • Put the catfish fillets in the upper part of the oven.  The fish will cook in about 10 minutes.
  • While you’re waiting for the vegetable mixture and catfish to be done roasting, put a skillet over moderate heat and melt 6 tablespoons of butter.  Mix in the pecans and the remaining ½ teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning.  Stir occasionally until nuts are cooked.  You will know it is done when the nuts and butter have a golden color to them.  This will take about 3 minutes.  Then remove skillet from heat and stir in lemon juice.
  • Now that everything is cooked, put the vegetable mixture on top of the catfish fillets and pour the sauce over it.  Your Southern Catfish with Butter-Pecan Sauce is ready to eat!

Now this is what I call good old southern cooking!