Catfish with Meunière Sauce


GISELE PEREZ

The LA to L.A. Chef column and recipes are written by Gisele Perez, a New Orleans native living in Los Angeles. Click the crawfish for the archives.

The LA to L.A. Chef column and recipes are written by Gisele Perez, a New Orleans native living in Los Angeles. Click the crawfish for the archives.

Various types of fish with Meunière Sauce are found on menus all over New Orleans.

Meunière Sauce is a Creolized version of a classic French preparation, Trout (traditionally) á la Meunière, meaning in the style of the miller’s wife – a lightly floured and pan fried fish fillet finished with a Beurre Noisette aka Brown Butter.

New Orleans chefs have added their signature to the dish by adding a healthy amount of Worcestershire Sauce and a dash of hot sauce, and then finishing the dish with a handful of toasted pecans.

A couple of years back, after returning from a trip to New Orleans, fresh with the taste memory of Redfish Meunière, I decided to try my hand at the dish.

In browsing recipes, I found they varied quite a bit. One is made with only seafood stock, one with beef stock, and another recommends either beef or veal stock.  Some have up to a half cup of Worcestershire sauce, and some have none. The amount of butter in each recipe varies a lot, too.  A couple are made with a roux, one with only a beurre manié to thicken it. One instructs the cook to sauté a mirepoix first, while a couple advise to just boil the veggies with the stock, and one just skips them altogether.

Ah well, this is the version I came up with for now. I used a combination of shrimp and veal stocks. I can see where the beef stock would be good, though, giving it that hefty depth I find so appealing in some versions of the sauce. I’ll have to try that on another attempt…

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Catfish with Meunière Sauce

If you’re lucky while dining in New Orleans, you’ll find speckled trout or redfish – both delicious specialty fishes of the region, with Meunière Sauce. Those of us in far flung regions generally have to settle for a fish like catfish (still very tasty) when preparing it.

Yield: 4-6 Servings

  • 6-8 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced

  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced

  • 1/4 cup carrots, finely diced

  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups seafood, veal or beef (or a combination) stock

  • Flour for dredging and the roux

  • Black Pepper

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Creole seasoning (i.e. Seafood Magic)

  • Worcestershire Sauce

  • Hot Sauce, optional

  • 4-6 fish filets

  • @ 1 cup pecans, toasted

  • Chives, optional
  1. Heat @ 2-3 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan until bubbling. Add and sauté the vegetables, parsley and @ 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black peppercorns until the vegetables are soft.

  2. Add the stock to the vegetables (aka mirepoix) along with the lemon juice and simmer for about 10 minutes.

  3. While the stock is simmering, heat 2 tablespoons of butter to a cast iron pan until it’s bubbling. Add 2 tablespoons of flour, and whisk for several minutes until it browns slightly, to make a roux.

  4. Add the roux to stock a spoonful at a time, and whisk to smooth. Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Optional: Whisk in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of butter and a dash of hot sauce, if desired.

  5. Sprinkle fish filets liberally with the Creole seasoning, then dip in flour, shaking off the excess. Heat a tablespoon or so of butter in a sauté pan until sizzling. Add fish to the pan and sauté about 5 minutes per side.

  6. Plate the fish and nap with the sauce. Sprinkle the fish with the pecans, and garnish with snipped chives, if desired.

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2 thoughts on “Catfish with Meunière Sauce

  1. Pingback: Shiitake Stuffed Baked French Toast |

  2. Pingback: October 11 is Southern Food Heritage Day! | Southern Food and Beverage Museum

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