Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Jim bought a box of Louisiana food items for his family’s Christmas Yankee swap (gift exchange), but we decided to keep it and give some cute Christmas door decorations instead. Don’t judge. I got excited by a Cajun fish rub that came in the box but my excitement ended when I saw MSG in the list of ingredients. Ick. I don’t remember if MSG gives me a bad reaction or not; I’ve avoided it all these years because of the S – sodium. Plus, I only like using food made out of real ingredients, unless I’m gorging on chips and dip or something like that. There are exceptions to every rule.

So there I was with catfish fillets and no plan B. I spun around the spice rack and made my own rub. I went the real lazy route and dumped everything in the Pyrex, including the oil, gave it a stir and coated my fillets with that.

The green beans were an experiment as well. While they were sautéing I spotted a Vidalia onion steak sauce in the refrigerator and thought, why not add a little bit of that too.

spicy baked catfish recipe food cooking green beans

"I'll be right with you." ~ photo by Louisiana Sea Grant College Program

Spicy Baked Catfish

You’ll need an oven-safe casserole – I used an 8″x12″ Pyrex. You can get creative with the spices; I used what appealed to me at the time.

  • 1-1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 catfish fillets

Preheat your oven to 450. Add oil, garlic salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, hot sauce and black pepper to an oven-safe casserole dish. Stir it around so everything is distributed evenly. One by one, add fillets to the dish and roll them around so they’re covered evenly on all sides with the spice-infused oil. Sprinkle the top of the fillets with the crumbs and cheese.

Bake at 450 for 10-13 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Sautéed Green Beans

You’ll need a large skillet and lid.

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 pound green beans, ends snipped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tsps Vidalia onion steak sauce, or your choice of sauce

Heat oil in large skillet. Add mushrooms and onions, sauté a few minutes. Add green beans to pan and sauté a few minutes more. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add sauce and stir. Cover pan and let steam until beans are just crisp-tender. Remove lid and continue cooking if you wish to evaporate any liquid or want the beans to get a bit more tender.

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