Creole Catfish Stew

Chock-full of lima beans, corn, and chunks of catfish, this Creole-seasoned stew is a Southern delight. The heat level is moderate, but you can increase the spiciness by adding more Tabasco sauce or a bit of cayenne pepper.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
  • 3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 2 cups frozen baby lima beans (one 10-ounce package)
  • 2 cups fresh (cut from about 3 ears) or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 pounds catfish fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

  1. 1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme, oregano, mustard, Tabasco sauce, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the tomatoes and broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the lima beans and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the corn and simmer 4 minutes more. Add the catfish and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, bring back to a simmer, and cook until just done, about 2 minutes. Serve topped with the parsley.
  3. Fish Alternatives: Catfish has a firm texture all its own, but you can easily substitute moderately firm, white-fleshed fillets such as rockfish, grouper, pollack, and striped bass.
  4. Wine Recommendation: A light white wine, such as a pinot gris from Oregon or a seyval blanc from the eastern United States, will provide a refreshing counterpoint to the full flavor of the stew.
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