By Scott Koeneman / FighttheFatFoodie.com
Most food bloggers are not only information providers, most of us are huge consumers. Like everyone, I have blogs I absolutely love to read. One of those is Drick's Rambling Cafe. Drick writes about great southern recipes from around Mobile Bay, including Gulf Coast seafood, Creole, Cajun and Mexican. All his recipes look absolutely wonderful. But, as is often the case in Southern cooking, many were higher in fat and calories than the dishes I normally. do.
Recently, he posted a recipe for "Southern Oven-Fried Catfish" that looked absolutely fantastic. It also got me thinking. "Self," I said, "didn't I set out to take food I love and make it healthier while trying to retain or even improve on the flavor of the original?"
"Yes," I answered to myself. "Well, then do it!"
I started with Drick's recipe for catfish and thought about some of my other favorite Southern dishes. Mashed sweet potatoes, those wonderful green beans with bacon, and corn bread all came to mind. So, this is my homage to Southern cooking.
We'll start today with my version of Drick's Oven-Fried Catfish and I'll post the others in coming days. For the fish, I substituted low-fat buttermilk, reduced the salt and used Hungarian Paprika, which I find to be more flavorful than the generic paprika. It can be found in many groceries and international food markets. The fish was absolutely delicious! The coating had a fantastic crunch and a savory flavor. The fish was flaky with a creamy flavor that had just a hint of the mustard from the marinade. Each fillet worked out to only 309 calories with 13 grams of fat and 1 of fiber.
Try it with some of my jalapeño tartar sauce!
I used the same technique on some chicken for our son and it was just as good. We'll be using this on other dishes in the future.
Makes 4 servings
4 6-ounce catfish fillets
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1/4 cup corn meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Whisk together buttermilk, vinegar and mustard in a glass baking dish or bowl. Add fish and coat thoroughly. Cover and let marinade at least one hour.
Preheat greased broiler pan and broiler to medium-high.
Combine cornmeal and a spices in a large bowl. Remove fish individually from marinade, letting the excess drip off. Dredge fish through cornmeal mixture, ensuring each piece is completely covered. Place fish on broiler pan and broil, 4-5 inches from heat element, for about 4 minutes per side. When the thickest part of the fish is flaky, remove and serve.