Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
When I think of catfish court-bouillon, I vividly remember running through my Mawmaw’s house while she was elbow deep in supper prep. She would shake her wooden spoon in frustration and holler “eh, las bas!” as I knocked things over in my haste to flee outside and leave the front door wide open. Friend of the market and James Beard Award Winner Chef Donald Link brings me back there with this super simple recipe. Pick up some Louisiana wild catfish from the market and enjoy!
- Cristina Berthelot, Market Manager
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cup fish stock
- 1 pound (3 to 4) catfish fillets, cut into 4-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal, preferably white and finely ground
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon fat
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- Juice of one lemon
- 5 basil leaves, coarsely torn
- 2 cups cooked white rice
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, jalapeños, garlic, salt, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, and paprika. Sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and simmer until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the stock and simmer 10 minutes more. Remove skillet from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Season the catfish with salt and pepper. On a plate or in a pie tin, whisk together the flour and cornmeal. Dredge the fillets in the flour and cornmeal mix, shaking to remove excess. Heat the oil or bacon fat in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the fish for 3 minutes on the rounder, fuller side, then flip the fish and add the reserved sauce. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Stir in the parsley, scallions, lemon juice, and basil.
To serve, gently remove the catfish with a spatula and set over the cooked rice. Spoon a generous amount of sauce over the catfish.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.