MilkWood's Pan-Fried Catfish in Bacon Vinaigrette Recipe

MilkWood's Pan-Fried Catfish in Bacon Vinaigrette Recipe
Staff Writer

Excerpted from Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Grant Cornett.

Chef Edward Lee of MilkWood in Louisville, KY creates his own spin on this classic Southern dish. The catfish is fried and then placed in a vinaigrette of bacon, grapes, and mustard, creating a tangy, savory dish that reinterprets the traditional meal. 

Click here to see 24 Southern Dishes That You Need to Know How to Make

 

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette

  • 5  Ounces  bacon, cut into 3 thick strips
  • shallot, minced
  • 10  Ounces  seedless red grapes, plus more for garnish
  • 2  Teaspoons  chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1  Teaspoon  sherry vinegar
  • 1  Teaspoon  creole mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the catfish

  • Four  4-ounce fillets skinless catfish
  • 1  Tablespoon  butter
  • 1  Teaspoon  olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

For the vinaigrette

Finely dice the bacon and place it in a medium skillet over high heat. Cook until the fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add the shallots and stir frequently until  both the bacon and shallots are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes.

Place the grapes in a blender and pulse until they are crushed and juiced but still lumpy, about 10 or 15 pulses. Add the grapes to the skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the thyme, vinegar, and mustard to the skillet and turn the heat to low. Stir gently and let simmer about 5 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and keep warm until ready to serve. 

For the catfish

Season the catfish filets with salt and pepper, to taste. In a large skillet separate from the vinaigrette, heat the butter and oil over high heat.

When the butter begins smoking, place the catfish on the skillet. Cook on one side for 3 minutes then gently flip the catfish and lower the heat to medium. Cook the catfish on the other side until crispy and cooked all the way through.

Ladle a few tablespoons of the bacon vinaigrette into the bottom of warm bowls. Place the catfish over the vinaigrette. Top with fresh thyme and slices of fresh grapes. Serve immediately.  

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
12g
17%
Sugar
11g
12%
Saturated Fat
2g
8%
Cholesterol
1mg
0%
Carbohydrate, by difference
20g
15%
Protein
5g
11%
Vitamin A, RAE
2µg
0%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
11µg
12%
Calcium, Ca
27mg
3%
Choline, total
4mg
1%
Fiber, total dietary
3g
12%
Fluoride, F
5µg
0%
Folate, total
2µg
1%
Iron, Fe
2mg
11%
Magnesium, Mg
6mg
2%
Niacin
3mg
21%
Phosphorus, P
115mg
16%
Selenium, Se
1µg
2%
Sodium, Na
555mg
37%
Thiamin
4mg
100%
Water
76g
3%

Milk Shopping Tip

Buy cultured dairy products like yogurt, sour cream, and buttermilk; these contain live, active bacteria (the friendly kind) that have been shown to ease certain digestive problems.

Milk Cooking Tip

Products like buttermilk and yogurt make for flavorful marinades that tenderize – use yogurt marinades for lamb or try soaking chicken or fish fillets in buttermilk before frying.