Pan fried Basa with cheesy grits and sauce Piquant
It’s no secret that I love Southern food— BBQ, Smoked, Etouffe and Gumbo to name a few—- so coming up with this “dinner winner” was easy as pie and although it may appear to be a bit time consuming in the making it is definitely worth the effort.
When I first started out to make this one I had every intention to use Catfish because it is such a staple of Southern cooking however I soon found out that my local grocery store (we don’t have an easily accessible fish monger) does not sell it anymore because it is so expensive to get in and no one buys it so I did the next best thing—- Basa and since Basa is Vietnamese Catfish it fit into the recipe quite well.
Here’s how we do this one.
- 2 medium Basa or Catfish filets
- 4 cups Chicken broth
- 1/4 cup Canola plus 2 tablespoons oil for frying
- 1/2 cup old fashioned Grits
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 3/4 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar
- 3 Garlic cloves – chopped and divided 1 for Grits 2 for Piquant
- 1/2 cup Corn flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped yellow onions
- 3 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped green onion for garnish.
Putting it all together:
For the Sauce Piquant…..
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, 1 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, red pepper and stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Transfer to a food processor or blender, and puree on high speed. With the motor running, add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil through the feed tube and process until smooth. Serve warm.
For the Grits…..
- In a medium saucepan, combine broth and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Slowly stir in grits; reduce heat to low, and cook until grits are tender, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter.
For the Fish…..
- Mix the Corn flour with 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- Coat the fish in the seasoned flour
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pan and fry the fish until golden brown, about 10 minutes
- Remove from pan and drain on paper towels
To plate the fish simply spoon some grits onto the center of a plate, place the fish on top and spoon some sauce Piquant over the fish. Garnish with some green onion and enjoy.
There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”
Until next time………