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Crab-Stuffed Catfish Fillets with Cajun Rémoulade

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

 

Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 1 hr, 35 mins
Yield Makes 6 servings
Chef Rusty Hamlin feeds the Zac Brown Band members and their fans at big, casual "Eat and Greet" suppers when the band is touring. Here's one of Rusty's favorite dishes, which he serves with Cajun Rémoulade and grits.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 pound fresh lump crabmeat, drained
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 6 (7-oz.) fresh catfish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cajun Rémoulade

How to Make It

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add celery and next 3 ingredients, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in lemon juice and next 2 ingredients, and cook 1 minute. Gently stir in crabmeat, breadcrumbs, and, if desired, additional Cajun seasoning and hot sauce. Remove from heat; cool completely (about 15 minutes).

  2. Preheat oven to 425°. Butterfly catfish fillets by making a lengthwise cut in 1 side, carefully cutting to but not through the opposite side; unfold fillets.

  3. Spoon crab mixture down center of 1 side of each butterflied fillet; fold opposite side over filling. Brush fillets with olive oil; sprinkle with paprika and desired amount of salt and pepper. Place fillets on a wire rack coated with cooking spray in a jelly-roll pan.

  4. Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Serve with Cajun Rémoulade.