Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish with Collards and Creole Mustard Vinaigrette

This recipe is from one of my all-time favorite restaurants in the Boston area — Hungry Mother. After eating and loving their catfish dish more than once, I was over the moon to find that the recipe was shared online! I actually found this recipe about a year ago and ever since have been looking for Creole mustard. Literally, every.single.grocery trip I stopped to survey the mustard selections and could never find it. Well, folks, this weekend I found it. Waaaay too excited to find mustard, let me just tell you. On the way to a friend’s house, we stopped for espresso and stumbled upon a fantastic gourmet food store called The Cook Shop. Along with the Creole mustard (yay), I grabbed some whole wheat cavatappi (also an impossible find), a rockin’ Microplane pizza wheel, and a few other fun kitchen gadgets and food stuffs.

I’m so glad I finally found this mustard. I’m sure I could have easily substituted another mustard, but because I was trying to replicate a restaurant dish, I really wanted to try to make it as authentic as possible. This dish was amazing, and well worth the search.

Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish with Collards and Creole Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Just the Tip / Inspired by Hungry Mother

Here’s what I used:

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Creole mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp drained capers
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the catfish:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 6-7 oz catfish fillets
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

For the Collards:

  • 1 pound collard greens
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Here’s what I did:

For the vinaigrette:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the shallot and vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the Creole mustard, capers, honey, and season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in both oils and set aside.

For the catfish:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300.
  2. Beat the milk and egg in an 11×7 baking dish.
  3. In a pie dish, whisk the cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne together.
  4. Lay the fish in the milk mixture in a single layer; turn to coat.
  5. Dip each fillet into the cornmeal mixture and coat well on both sides. Place the coated fillets on parchment paper and set aside (this can be done 2 hours ahead of time).
  6. Heat the canola oil in large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Place 2 fillets of fish at a time in the pan and cook until opaque and browned, about 4 minutes on both sides. Remove to a baking sheet and place in the oven to stay warm while you cook the remaining fillets.

For the collards:

  1. Strip the leaves from the stems and stack them into two piles. Roll each pile like a cigar and thinly thinly slice them into strips.
  2. Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the slice garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the collards and toss until coated and heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, plate the collards on a dish and top with a catfish fillet. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over top and enjoy!

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