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Catfish is often coated in cornmeal and fried, but its naturally sweet flesh works perfectly with a simple sprinkling of spicy chile powder. Here, it’s served with buttery polenta – a creamy porridge made of finely ground cornmeal – as a nod to the classic preparation (think catfish and cheese grits!). If the polenta becomes too thick, stir in a bit of hot water until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
1.Preheat oven to 500°F. Arrange1 oven rack in top position and place a rimmed baking sheet on rack to heat.
2.In a small saucepan, heat 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp butter on medium-high. Add yellow onion and pinch black pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until softened and no liquid remains, 7 to 9 minutes.
3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vinegar; cook, stirring, until almost no liquid remains, about 1 minute. Add 1¾ cups broth and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by three-quarters, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in all but 1 tbsp parsley and add lemon juice and ¼ tsp salt. Cover to keep warm. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, brush both sides of fish with remaining 1 tbsp oil; sprinkle with chile powder and ½ tsp salt. Remove baking sheet from oven; carefully line with parchment paper. Arrange fish on prepared sheet. Bake on top rack, turning once, until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp parsley. (Note:Normally parchment shouldn’t be used on very high heat, but since it’s only in the oven for a short time, it works well in this recipe. Preheating the baking sheet ensures both sides of fish cook uniformly.)
5. Prepare polenta: In a large saucepan, bring 2¼ cups broth and 1 tbsp butter to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; slowly whisk in polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, green onions (if using ), and pinch each salt and pepper.
6. Divide polenta among plates; top with mushroom mixture and fish, dividing evenly.
- Serving Size 1 fillet and 1/4 of polenta and ragu
- Calories 573
- Carbohydrate Content 39 g
- Cholesterol Content 106 mg
- Fat Content 35 g
- Fiber Content 5 g
- Protein Content 29 g
- Saturated Fat Content 13 g
- Sodium Content 817 mg
- Sugar Content 6 g
- Monounsaturated Fat Content 15 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g