2011, Recipe 119: Catfish and Grits with Chardonnay Cream

Recipe courtesy of Darius at Everyday Cookin'

This is one of my favorite fish recipes EVER!! I can't believe it's been almost two years since I last made it. Just a crying shame! I decided to health it up just a little (sauteing instead of deep frying) to see if it would still be yummy. I put all of my changes in parentheses. Stay tuned...

For the catfish:
  • 2 catfish fillets
  • Sazon by Goya (2 packets)
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Olive oil, for sauteing (my change)
Liberally season fish with Sazon, salt, pepper, and paprika. Allow to sit for up to 30 minutes to marinate. Heat oil. Sauté until golden brown and flaky. When done, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

For the grits:
  • 2 ½ cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups of stone ground grits or polenta
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (you could eliminate to make it even healthier)
  • ¼ cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add salt and grits and stir continuously. Once grits have thickened and cooked through add in butter, cheese, and cream. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through until thick and creamy. Remember, you can’t rush this process – you will need about 30 minutes to cook grits properly.

For the sautéed spinach:
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Combine everything in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook through until spinach has wilted to your desire. Be sure to mix well to ensure all seasonings have been thoroughly incorporated.

For the Chardonnay Cream Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 medium shallot minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon of flour (my add to help it thicken)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of Chardonnay (or any white wine)
  • ½ cup of 2% milk (my change)
  • ½ cup of Asiago cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium sauce pan sauté shallots and garlic cloves in the butter until soft. Start sauté on medium heat and be sure not to brown too much. Mix in flour and cook for a minute or two to get rid of the raw taste. Add Chardonnay and let reduce by half. Turn heat to low and add in cream, parsley, and cheese and stir until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste and spoon sauce over entire dish.

Result: JUST AS DELICIOUS!!!! Darius is a genius. Also last time I made the sauce with a sauvignon blanc and this one with a pinot grigio. Still awesome. The chicken broth is marvelous with the grits. Rashan though the spinach was the best thing EVER!! It was really funny. How about this spinach is the one that made me realize once and for all spinach makes my teeth feel AWFUL. Chalky and dry. :((( I love spinach. I shant stop eating it. But yes, everything about this recipe is marvelous! Do yourself a favor and try it!