Broiled Catfish

This recipe works with not much less nor much more than a pound any small lean fish. Pat whole gutted, scaled or skinned fish dry–this is an important step–score, and slather with softened butter flavored with thyme, pepper, and paprika. Place in a well-oiled pan, add  lemons with juice, and place in a very hot oven until fish flakes to the bone. A final squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of oil before serving adds much to the dish.

Creole Pecan Catfish

This dish was one of our more popular choices at the Downtown Grill in Oxford. Though a Creole mustard is used here, the recipe works well with brown, stone-ground, or Dijon, but hell, use yellow if that’s all you have.

Oil and line a skillet or sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400. Stir together 1 cup finely chopped pecans with about a quarter cup finely-crushed saltines; you can use Panko instead, but for some reason I never seem to have any Panko.

Mix ¼ cup mustard with 1 large egg and ¼ cup water. Beat very well. Dredge the fish through the mustard mixture and coat the tops of the fillets in crushed pecans. Bake at 400 for about 10-15 minutes, depending upon the size of the fillet.

Red Snapper en Mornay

Snapper en Mornay was one of the most popular dishes at the old Warehouse in Oxford. We broiled snapper fillets with a rich in-house sauce, and served them with a dusting of paprika, a sprinkling of sliced almonds, and our house bread.

Make a thick Béchamel. Add grated Swiss or Provolone cheese, chopped green onions, picked lump crab meat, and a splash of sherry. Season with Lowrey’s, mix well, and chill. You’ll need about a cup of sauce for eight ounces of fish; if not snapper, use flounder or another lean white fish.

Score fillets on both sides, place on a buttered pan, cover with sauce,  and broil until fish flakes.