CATFISH CORN CHOWDER
6 to 8 servings
This chowder is a great recipe to serve guests after the football game
and can be prepared in advance and reheated.
Pan-fry bacon in a medium heavy skillet over moderate heat until crisp. Drain and crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion to pan and sauté over moderate heat until tender but not browned. Drain onions, reserving drippings.
Prepare catfish and other vegetables for cooking.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine drained potatoes, carrots, celery, fish bouillon cube, if used, tomatoes, water, herbs, and seasonings. Cook, partially covered, over moderate heat for about 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender. Do not overcook vegetables.
Add crumbled bacon, bacon/onion drippings (see note), onions, catfish pieces, and corn. Adjust seasonings to taste. Reduce heat and simmer until fish pieces are just cooked and opaque in color. Do not overcook fish pieces, as they will become tough if overcooked. Vegetables should not be mushy. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.
Note: For 4 servings, decrease ingredients to 2 to 3 slices bacon, 1 onion, 1 large potato, 1 carrot, 1 celery rib, 12 ounces catfish fillets, pinch of fish bouillon cube, if desired, 8 ounces diced tomatoes (about 1 cup) 2 cups water, ½ bay leaf, ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, ½ teaspoon seafood seasoning or to taste, ¼ to ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon celery salt, and hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook as previously directed.
Note: To reduce fat content, may omit bacon drippings if desired.