BLUE CATFISH ESCABECHE
Blue Catfish Escabeche
1 pound sea blue catfish fillets, cut into 2” wide pieces
1/4 cup corn flour
vegetable oil for frying
1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 sweet onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
3 bay leaves
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1) Pat the blue catfish dry with paper towels, then generously salt and pepper both sides. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and dust all surfaces of each filet with the flour.
2) In a heavy bottomed pot, add 1” of vegetable oil and heat until the oil reaches 360 degrees F. Prepare wire rack by lining with 2 sheets of paper towels. Fry the blue catfish in batches and drain on the paper towel lined rack.
3) Add the bell pepper, onions, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, sugar, bay, and thyme to a bowl and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
4) Place the warm fried fish in a shallow non-reactive container such as a glass baking dish and pour the vegetables and marinade over the top of the fish, making sure to cover it evenly with the onion and bell pepper mixture.
5) Refrigerate overnight and serve at room temperature with a salad or crusty bread.
Yield: 4 servings