Blackened Catfish Salad

Blackened Catfish Salad

So, who’s snowed in today? Yeah, me too. I have lots of work to keep me occupied, but sometimes I get cabin fever on snow days anyway – I think it’s the whole not having the option to get out that does it. Hopefully today is sane enough for us all! All of you snowed in – what’s cooking and/or baking? I’ve got a very ambitious list, in the hopes that it will stave off cabin fever. We’ll see what gets accomplished!

Blackened Catfish Salad

In the meantime, I’m turning the classic dish I grew up eating, Blackened Catfish, into a main dish salad! This was incredibly delicious. I love blackened anything, I do stop short of just licking blackening seasoning off the countertops, but that should give you an idea where I stand. So of course this salad is right up my alley.

Buttermilk Dressing for Blackened Catfish Salad

A few recipe notes: take the time to dredge your catfish pieces in the seasoning. Don’t just toss the catfish with the seasoning in a bowl. That might make it evenly coated, but it won’t really blacken up for you, and the flavor won’t be as strong. This particular recipe uses a Cajun seasoning blend, which was very tasty, but feel free to sub in any other blackening rub you prefer. And lastly, don’t be like me and forget to add the pecans at the end!! I couldn’t believe I did that. They would add that amazing salad crunch we all love, like croutons, so please don’t miss out on them.

Blackened Catfish Salad

And I think that’s it! Enjoy and be safe today!

{One Year Ago: Balsamic-Lacquered Baked Chicken Wings}

Source: adapted from Chile Pepper Magazine, March/April 2012

Ingredients:
1 lb. catfish fillets, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-3” strips
4 tbs Cajun spice rub, or more to taste, plus 2 tsp, divided
Kosher salt, IF your blackening rub doesn’t already have it
Olive oil
½ cup buttermilk, well shaken
2 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 large romaine heart, chopped
¼ head of red cabbage, cored and shredded
About 2/3 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 roasted red pepper, sliced
3 tbs chopped toasted pecans

Directions:
Prep the catfish as instructed and dry really well on paper towels. Sprinkle the 4 tbs Cajun seasoning in a pie plate. Add salt if your rub doesn’t contain it. One at a time, dredge each catfish strip in the seasoning, getting all sides coated. Set aside on a plate.
Preheat a cast-iron or other nonstick large skillet over high heat. Drizzle in some olive oil. When the skillet is good and screaming hot, cook the catfish strips, in batches as necessary, for about 2-3 minutes per side. Don’t walk away here, they cook up very quickly. Remove with tongs to a plate and let them cool a bit.
Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, and the remaining 2 tsp Cajun seasoning. Add salt if your seasoning mix doesn’t have it. Refrigerate if not using very soon.
Now assemble the salad. Add the romaine, cabbage, tomatoes, and pecans to a large salad serving bowl. Drizzle in a little dressing and toss to coat. Lay the catfish strips over top and drizzle on a little more dressing. Serve immediately.

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