I'm not sure what caught John's attention here. This is a bland dish that I can't really imagine being saved by modifications. There are simply better catfish dishes around. The only change I made was substitution of a dry white wine for Vermouth which was unavoidable and I can't imagine that making a difference.
Novelist John Grisham says this is his favorite catfish recipe.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper, divided
- 4 catfish fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- Vegetable oil
- 12 unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup vermouth
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 very thin cooked ham slices, cut into strips
- Garnish: lemon wedges
- Combine eggs and milk, stirring until well blended.
- Combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in flour mixture; dip in milk mixture, and dredge again in flour mixture.
- Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 360°. Fry fillets 6 minutes or until golden; drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
- Peel fresh shrimp, and devein,if desired.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add shrimp and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp, reserving drippings in skillet.
- Stir vermouth into reserved drippings; bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute. Add whipping cream, 2 tablespoons green onions, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper; cook, stirring often, 12 to 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
- Place catfish on a serving plate; drizzle with sauce. Top with shrimp and ham; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons green onions. Garnish, if desired.
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