Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pan Fried Lemon Pepper Catfish

Yesterday Raina and I went with the Lindbergs on a fishing excursion to find crappies and blue gill at Lake Pokegama. It was getting dark and most of use had caught fish, except for Raina. Then WHAM! a catfish nails her crappie tube jig almost top water! It was crazy!  She fought hard with her drag set and brought in a nice sized catfish. We were all a little surprised to see a catfish hit that high in the water and on a tube jig!

This is the first catfish we have ever caught so I had to google how to properly fillet, and with a "little" help from my brother-in-law John, we had cut a couple nice fillets : )

So after a fun night fishing and some much needed time with the Lindberg family we came home and I thought about what I wanted to do with the catfish. I remembered my mom making pan fried catfish with lemon pepper and I immediately had a craving for it. I thought I'd spice it up a bit and make a homemade lemon  pepper rub. The rub turned out great and the kitchen smelled amazing with all the lemon zest in the air.

After cooking this today, we will definitely make it more of a point to catch catfish or at least buy some at the store : )

Homemade Lemon Pepper
Makes enough for approximately 3 fillets.

3-4 medium sized lemons
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

Zest lemons, be sure not to zest too far under the lemon skin as the white part is bitter.
Crack pepper and combine all the ingredients, taste and add ingredients to desired flavor. For a more potent lemon flavor add more lemon zest.

Pan Fried Lemon Pepper Catfish

In a cast iron skillet (or an adequate frying pan), add canola oil to fill the pan about 1/4 inch.
Preheat oil and prep fillets.
Wash fillets fillets with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Use a little oil to cover the fillets to help the lemon pepper rub stick.
Coat both sides of the fillet with the lemon pepper rub.
Test oil with the tip of a fillet to make sure the oil is at an adequate temperature. If the oil doesn't start frying the fish, remove immediately until oil is ready.
Fry until fish is golden brown or until fish is just about to flake.
Remove and put on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Serve with lemon slices and parsley, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fillets and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Grilled Salmon with Dill & Dijon Remoulade

On Monday I arrived at the office and had a big surprise...a cooler full of salmon from my boss! It was a great way to start out the week! The salmon was split up between just a few of us, so now I have plenty of salmon in our freezer. This is definitely our family's favorite fish!

We took a package out on Monday night and put it in the refrigerator to thaw. Today I prepared it grilled with very simple Dill & Dijon Remoulade that I've been making since 2006, tonight was my first night measuring ingredients and writing instructions. I recommend this dish any time of the year!

Today we served this with rice pilaf which paired excellently with the remoulade and salmon. This salmon also pairs well with grilled asparagus with E.V.O.O., fresh minced garlic, salt & pepper.

Grilled Salmon with Dill & Dijon Remoulade
*Sauce makes enough for 4 - 6 servings

Grilled Salmon

4 generous portions of salmon
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
Roughly cracked black pepper
Old Bay seasoning
Garlic granules

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Remove any extra bones from fillet with a needle-nose pliers, feel around the fillet for bones and pull with the grain to avoid tearing the fillet. With a fillet knife, remove the skin from the salmon fillets. On each side, rub fillets with the olive oil and season with the cracked black pepper, Old Bay, Garlic granules and top it off with a little coarse kosher or sea salt. Don't over salt, there is salt in the Old Bay seasoning.

With a tongs take a napkin or paper towel and dip in some oil and rub the grates of the grill to prevent sticking.
Put salmon on the grill for about 2-3 minutes per side, adjust to fit your level of doneness.

Dill & Dijon Remoulade
4-6 servings

2 tbsp White Wine (I used cooking wine)
3 tbsp Mayo
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp finely chopped dill
1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt, or to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
Pinch of garlic powder or granules

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth, add more dill for color or to your desired flavor.

Serve with over the grilled salmon fillets and enjoy!

Happy Eating,

Joe & Raina