Food TV icon Rachael Ray has a winning formula: 30-Minute Meals.
But when home cooks gripe about Rachael Ray, it’s because those very same quick meals load the body with calories and the sink with pots and pans. What’s the point of eating at home if you might as well hit the drive-through? What’s the point of cooking supper in 30 minutes if it takes another 30 to clean up?
This quick supper (might I add, this tasty supper?) is low in calories. It requires only a skillet and a spatula, a cutting board and a knife, plus a bowl for dredging.
Now that, home cooks, is truly a winning formula!
CAJUN SPICE MIX With a well-stocked spice pantry, it’s easy and inexpensive to blend homemade spice mixes. I fill empty spice jars with my own blends, then just add them to the collection. For Cajun flavors, combine a tablespoon each of paprika, cumin and kosher salt with a teaspoon each of garlic powder, black pepper, thyme and oregano.
CORNMEAL CATFISH with
WARM POTATO SALAD
Time to table: 30 minutes
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon bacon grease
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound new or Yukon gold potatoes, skins on, diced very small (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
- ½ pound fresh or frozen okra, cut in small bites (optional but tasty)
- 1 small red onion, diced small
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 cup frozen peas or bottled capers (omit if using okra)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (see TIPS)
- 2 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix (or use a commercial blend)
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease
- 1 pound catfish filets, in 4 pieces
Bring water, bacon grease and salt to a boil over medium high in a cast iron or heat-tolerant skillet. Add potatoes, okra, onion and garlic as prepped. Cook, stirring occasionally; add water if needed so not to stick. When potatoes are done and water is cooked off, stir in vinegar and peas til peas are warmed through. Season to taste. Transfer to bowl, keep warm.
While potatoes cook, combine cornmeal and spice mix in a flat bowl. Dredge (see TIPS) filets, covering completely. Add bacon grease to the skillet (just wipe it out a bit) and heat til shimmery, then add fish. Cook through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to serving plates with potato salad on the side.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food writer Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.
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