If you are not from the south you may scoff at the idea of catfish gumbo.
In some parts of the USA this fish has a reputation for being strong in taste. This is completely untrue. In the USA 95% of commercially sold catfish are farm raised. These fish are fed a healthy diet of scientifically designed food that makes them firm flaky and tasty. Farm raised and readily available year round, this fish is high in protein, low in fat and is an excellent value.
What an outstanding fresh water fish to use in a gumbo. It's healthy, satisfying, and most of all it is delicious. This recipe is really easy and quick to make. I like it with a lightly browned roux. Something about the color of peanut butter.
When you are down in New Orleans walking the French Quarter look for this gumbo on restaurant menus. If you are lucky enough to find it order a bowl. You will not be disappointed.
2 pounds catfish fillets
1-1/2 quarts seafood stock
1 stick butter
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 cups celery
1 pound sliced okra
1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounce)
Ragin Cajun Original Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 ounce Tasso (or other smoked meat like 1 cup lean smoked sausage)
Cut catfish into bite size chunks. In a large heavy pot melt butter over medium heat and add flour. Stir constantly until lightly brown (peanut butter color). Be careful not to burn the butter.
Add chopped vegetables and cook until soft stirring often. Add everything else except fish and parsley, stir and simmer on low heat for 1 1/2 hour.
Add fish and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir only once and gently. You don't want the fish to fall apart.
Serve over rice and sprinkle chopped parsley on top. This will serve 6-8 and is exceptionally delicious. I love it served with hot french bread and potato salad.