Blackened Catfish and Crab Cakes with Cajun Shrimp Cream Sauce

Chef Jamie Roussos said he blackens a six- to seven-ounce catfish filet by coating the fish with melted butter and blackened seasoning (he prefers Paul Pruhomme’s version with a little salt added) and then searing quickly in a skillet set on medium high. It should take no more than two to three minutes per side.

The crab cake ingredients follow:

One-half cup green onionOne-quarter cup celery
One-quarter cup chopped parsleyOne-quarter cup bell pepper
Three-quarters cup bread crumbs2 to 3 eggs
One-quarter cup yellow onion3 tablespoons Cajun mustard
One-quarter cup mayonnaise1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlicCajun seasoning, to taste
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste1 pound lump or claw crab meat

The preparation of the crab cakes goes like this:

Combine onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic to pot with hot butter about 1/2 stick. Cook until semi tender and add crab meat. Cook another few minutes. Cut the heat and add the remainder of ingredients and thoroughly mix. Shape equal-sized crab cakes. Cover the bottom of a sauté pan with oil. Heat oil over medium heat. Place crab cakes in hot oil and sauté 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.

For the Shrimp Sauce, use the following ingredients:


One-half cup yellow onion1/2 cup green onion
1.5 pounds of medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)1 tablespoon minced garlic
One-half cup mushrooms1 quart half and half
One-quarter cup celery1 stick butter
1/2 cup red and green bell pepperCajun seasoning, to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato paste


In large sauce pot on medium high heat add butter and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes and add peppers, celery, mushrooms, and onions cook until tender. Add shrimp and cook halfway. Add seasoning and flour and cook another 2 to 3 minutes to make roux. Whisk in the half and half and tomato paste. Roussos looks for the consistency of a thick and creamy bisque. Stir in green onions, let rest for a few minutes and serve.

Fried Fish Fillets

This general recipe will give you a start.  You may want to change up the spices or the coating from bread crumbs to corn meal, flour or ground-up cereal.Charles Darr fried this fish


  • Boneless fish fillets
  • Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • Bread crumbs
  • Peanut oil

Fillet your favorite species of fish, being sure to remove all bones and skin. Moisten the fillets and sprinkle generously with Creole or Cajun seasoning. (This seasoning comes in a commercially prepared mix that can be purchased at any supermarket.) Cover the seasoned fillets with bread crumbs and drop into the peanut oil that has been preheated to 350-375 degrees. Use enough peanut oil to completely submerge the fillets. Fry the fillets quickly until brown on both sides and they float in the oil. Remove the fillets and drain on paper towels. Serve while hot with hush puppies, freedom fries, and cole slaw. (Note: Bread crumbs do not stick well to fillets that still have the skin on them.)

Submitted by Mike Newman, former Supervising Fisheries Biologist, District VI

Hush Puppies


3/4 cup corn meal1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour1 Egg
1 tsp. salt1 Tbs. cooking oil
1 tsp. baking powder1/2 cup finely chopped onions

Sift all dry ingredients together and place in a mixing bowl. Beat the egg. Add the milk, oil, and egg to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until they form a thick paste. Scoop up rounded spoonfuls and drop into the hot grease. Fry until golden brown and done in the middle. (Note: Keep a glass of ice water handy to dip the spoon in between scoops. This will prevent the mixture from sticking to the spoon.)

Sharon's Hush Puppies


1 cup self-rising corn mealmilk
1 cup self-rising flour1 Egg
1 medium onion finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
2-3 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs (enough to cover the mixture)2 teaspoons Lawry's Seasoning
Oil for frying 

Mix flour and corn meal. Add milk until smooth. Add beaten egg and blend until smooth. Add Italian breadcrumbs, onion, cheese, and Lawry's Seasoning. Stir until smooth. Mixture should be thick, not soupy. Heat oil to 300o. Spoon batter into oil (use two tablespoons, one spoon to dip mixture and the other to rake it into oil). Cook until golden brown. (If the inside is not done, the oil was too hot.)

From Sharon Minton, wife of the late Dr. Vern Minton, Marine Resources Division

Broiled Fish

A general recipe that is lower in calories than the traditional fried fish.


  • Whole fish or fillets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tbs. prepared mustard
  • 1 Stick of butter

Melt butter and add mustard. Rub the inside and outside of the fish with the mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Place fish in a pan that has been covered with aluminum foil and place under broiler in oven. Broil until fish flakes easily with a fork. Baste with butter and mustard as the fish cooks.

Baked Fish

A lower calorie spin on the traditional fried fish.


  • Whole fish or fillets
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 Cup milk
  • Butter
  • Bread crumbs or crushed potato chips
  • Lemon juice
  • Beat eggs and mix with milk, salt, and pepper. Dip fish in mixture and coat with bread crumbs (or chips). Place in a pan that had been lined with a sheet of greased aluminum foil. Pour melted butter and lemon juice over fish and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Baste with butter and lemon as the fish cooks.

Submitted by Mike Newman, former Supervising Fisheries Biologist, District VI

Classic Fried Catfish


  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • garlic powder
  • fillets from 2 freshly-caught Alabama catfish
  • Vegetable oil
  • For garnish: Sliced tomato and parsley sprigs

Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Coat catfish with mixture, shaking off excess. Fill deep pot or 12-inch skillet half full with vegetable oil. Heat to 350°F. Add catfish in single layer, and fry until golden brown, about 5 - 6 minutes, depending on size. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Grilled Catfish with Strawberry Salsa

This is not your traditional catfish recipe. Serves 4.

Fish Ingredients

  • Fillets from two freshly-caught Alabama catfish or 4 Alabama farm-raised catfish fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each.
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) Unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Strawberry Salsa Ingredients

  • 2 cups ripe Alabama strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the mustard. Prepare a hot fire. When ready to grill, place an oiled grill rack over the fire. Lightly baste each side of the fish with the mustard butter and place on the rack. Grill until opaque and just beginning to flake when tested with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning once halfway through the grilling time and basting frequently with the mustard butter.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Serve with the salsa on the side.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Blackened Catfish and Crawfish Gravy

The recipe is from David Rainer's judging an Alabama Wildlife Federation Cook-off with fish winner Team Choctaw Bluff. The team wasn’t real specific on the portions of ingredients, so you may have to experiment a bit.

Crawfish Mix

  • Sautee red, yellow, green peppers and yellow onion in butter/oil w/ Italian seasoning.

  • Add Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper, and a few Tabasco shakes.

  • Add flour to thicken. Add cream (half and half and/or heavy cream) and reduce.

  • After mixture has thickened, add crawfish tails, stir and simmer.

  • Add Parmesan Cheese to mixture to thicken. Continue to simmer to desired consistency.

    Fried green tomatoes:

  • Slice green tomatoes quarter-inch thick.

  • Mix flour, Creole seasoning, pepper, milk and eggs all together to form thick batter.

  • Roll tomatoes in mixture (double batter if necessary). Fry to golden brown.

    Blackened Catfish

  • Heat cast iron skillet until white hot.

  • Dip catfish in butter.

  • Rub down with black pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder, paprika.

  • Place in skillet 2 minutes per side or until charred. (Add pat of butter to top of fillet).

  • Squeeze a fresh lemon on the catfish, place it on the crispy fried green tomato and drizzle crawfish gravy on top.

Smoked Fish Dip


  • 3 oz. smoked fish
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • dash of Tabasco
  • whole milk, as needed
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chives, snipped

Remove any bones from the fish.
Place the fish and all ingredients except the chives and mild into a food processor with a steel blade.
Blend until smooth, mixing with a little milk to thin, if necessary
Fold in the chives.

Serve with crackers or fruit

Carlos' Pan Broiled Fish


  • boneless fillets
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • lemon pepper
  • Tony's creole seasoning (or seasoning of choice)

Pre-heat oven to 400.
Dry fillets on paper towel.
Season both sides with all seasonings.
On stovetop, use large, cast iron skillet and a couple of tablespoons of butter and olive oil.
When butter sizzles, add fish fillets and sear for 2 minutes on each side.
Place in oven for 10-minutes.
Serve with wild rice, green salad, and garlic bread.
Great leftover by adding a pat of butter and warming in the microwave.

Carlos' Quick Fish Creole


  • 3-5 pounds of any thick-bodied boneless fish cut into 1' X 2" chunks
  • four tbsp. of "jar" garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • olive oil
  • 24-36 oz. jar of chunk-style salsa (hot or mild to taste)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • fresh chives, snipped, for garnish

Saute onions in olive oil for 3 minutes or until soft.
Add garlic and tomatoes and simmer for five minutes.
Add salsa, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and simmer for 20-minutes.
Add fish and stir gently and simmer with cover for about 10-minutes.
Serve over rice with chives for garnish.

Stuffed Flounder

•1/2 pound butter
•1 cup white onion, minced
•1/2 cup green onions, minced •1-1/2 cups celery, minced
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1 cup parsley, chopped
•2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
•2 cups cornbread, finely chopped
•1/2 pound crabmeat
•Salt and pepper, to taste
•8 flounder (1 to 1-1/2 pounds each)
•16 whole shrimp

In butter, sauté white onions, green onions, celery, garlic and parsley.
Gradually stir in 1 cup of bread and 1 cup of cornbread, cooking until thickened.
Add crabmeat and thicken further with remaining breadcrumbs and cornbread.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare flounder: split each flounder, and fill with dressing.
Garnish each fish with 2 whole shrimp.
Then cook under broiler about 15 minutes or until fish is done.

Yield: 8 servings.

Catfish Hors D’oeuvres Recipe

by John E. Phillips

•20 to 30 fillets of catfish (any white fish will work) in approximately 2-inch by 2-inch pieces
•Soy-based steak sauce
•Lemon juice
•Strips of bacon


Place the fillets on a platter. Lightly salt, and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle each piece of catfish with steak sauce. Apply a small pat of butter to each fillet. Squeeze freshly-cut lemon over fillets, and cover fillets with slices of bacon. Cook in a smoker or an oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the bacon is done.

Additional Fish Recipes

African-style Fried Catfish

Catfish Sloppy Joes


Video on Cleaning Catfish with a Fillet Knife