Dish that'll elevate status of catfish

DINNER TONIGHT

DinnerTonight

September 08, 2004|By Donna Pierce | Donna Pierce,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"I just think of big ugly fish with whiskers," one colleague responded when this menu was announced. But she gave it a thumbs up for delicate flavor after a sample.

If an advertising campaign can succeed in upgrading the lowly prune into dried plums, I say it's time to gather a marketing team to come up with a catchy new name for catfish.

In the meantime, if you plan to feed doubters, you could refer to this refreshing dish as fish fillets with tomatoes and pecans.

Tips:

Pecan toasting isn't mandatory.

Substitute vine-ripened tomatoes for the canned when in season.

Menu:

Catfish with spicy tomato sauce and pecans

Wild rice pilaf

French green beans

Biscuits and honey

Vanilla ice cream, butter cookies

Sweetened iced tea

Catfish With Spicy Tomato Sauce and Pecans

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; cooking time: 25 minutes

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) tomatoes

5 green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup toasted pecan halves (see note)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 limes, juice and zest of 1, the other cut into wedges

1/2 teaspoon salt (divided use)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 catfish fillets or other white fish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine tomatoes, onions, garlic, pecans, cilantro, olive oil, red pepper flakes, lime juice, zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl; set aside.

Place fillets in a greased baking dish; season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Pour tomato mixture over fish. Bake until fish begins to flake, about 20 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

Note: Toast pecan halves in single layer on a baking sheet in a 400-degree oven 5 minutes.

Per serving: 487 calories; 35 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 101 milligrams cholesterol; 13 grams carbohydrate; 38 grams protein; 512 milligrams sodium; 4 grams fiber

- Recipe and analysis from the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper

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