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Cajun Crayfish STUFFED Catfish Filets

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Cajun Crayfish STUFFED Catfish Filets

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Crayfish? Crawfish? Crawdads? Mudbugs? However you refer to these tiny crustaceans, in the deep south bayous they are a staple cuisine. Mardi Gras is coming up, which means I am in the mood for all things cajun. 

Catfish are also a common entree and are often caught by "noodling" in the rivers. Flathead catfish are pulled out of bayous and can weigh up to 125 pounds! No matter where you get your catfish, get the thickets filets you can find.

Prepare the filet by cutting it down the center, without cutting all the way through. Place the knife horizontally in the cut and make cuts along the inside of the filet - think of it like cutting pockets into the filet to hold the filling.

While my catfish baked, I prepared a quick cajun remoulade for dipping on the side. Served on a bed of jambalaya rice, it's the perfect cajun kick off for a delicious Mardi Gras dinner or fish fry. As they say in New Orleans: "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

Categories: Dinner , Seafood , Mardi Gras

Tags: Catfish , Crawfish , Cajun , Mardi Gras , Fish

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Cajun Crayfish STUFFED Catfish Filets

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes + 5-10 minutes broil

Makes 3 servings

For Stuffed Catfish:

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  • 3 catfish filet, thick cut
  • 1/2 lb - 1 lb crayfish, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut in half and half sliced into rings
  • 2 tablespoons cajun spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon Louisianna Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon white pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 sprigs thyme (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • jambalaya rice, for serving (optional)

For Cajun Remoulade:

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  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon cajun spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon capers, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Louisianna Hot Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Here's How:

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  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F } 220 C. In a skillet over high heat, melt the butter. Saute the onions and celery for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Then add the red pepper and jalapeno. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until tender, then add the garlic. Stir until the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add the crayfish to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the crayfish are cooked through. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the juice of half of a lemon and season with the cajun spice blend, Louisianna Hot Sauce and white pepper. Stir to cover the crayfish in spices.
  3. Stir the panko into the skillet. Cook for a few minutes until the panko has adhered to the crayfish and absorbed any excess moisture. Remove from the heat. Cool for about 15 minutes. Add the cream cheese and egg yolk and stir well to combine everything together. Chill until ready to stuff the filets.
  4. Make cut lengthwise down the center of the catfish filet, but do not cut all the way through. You may need to run the knife down the center a couple times to achieve a smooth cut. Place the knife flat on the filet and make a slice along the inside of the center cutter - again not cutting all the way to the edge of the fish - effectively creating a pocket on the inside of each side of the filet.
  5. Gently open the filet and stuff generously with the crayfish filling. Pile the excess filling on the top of the filet. Place the filets in a baking sheet lined with the cut lemon slices and a sprig or two of thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 20 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily. Broil for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the top is crispy and golden brown.
  6. While the fish cooks, mix together the remoulade ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.
  7. When the fish is done cooking, carefully remove it from the pan. Discard the lemon and thyme sprigs. Serve the stuffed catfish on a bed of jambalaya rice and with a hearty dollop of remoulade. Enjoy!

Mouth Feel

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Salty

Savory

Sour

Bitter

Sweet

Spicy

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