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Wine suggestion
Something light, white and crisp, like an Old World Sauvignon Blanc or a New World Sauvignon Blanc that does not see any oak: Château Maimbray Sancerre, 1997, or Alan Scott Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand, 1999

It used to be that catfish was served primarily in the south, but more and more northerners now enjoy these fish. Much of this change is of coarse due to the burgeoning industry of wet-farming the fish. Many farmers are finding good profits in this light, white-fleshed, tasty critter.

Yield: 4 entrées


  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Four 8-ounce filets of yellowtail snapper (or other thin, delicate fish)
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter, to cook the fish in
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Citrus Butter

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bay leaf, broken
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound butter, cut into small pieces and kept very cold

Put the orange juice, vinegar, shallots, bay leaf and cracked black pepper in a small, heavy, non-reactive saucepan and bring it to a simmer over a medium heat. Allow the liquid to reduce until only about 3 ounces remain (this should take about 10 minutes). Now add the cream. Once it boils, whisk in the butter, a little bit at a time, until it is all incorporated. Now strain the sauce through a fine-meshed strainer and keep in a warm place.

Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 4 generous servings

  • 12-16 new potatoes, peeled, diced and put into a pot of cool water (Note: Since potato sizes vary or you may use different potatoes just know that you will need about 6 cups of raw, peeled and diced potato.)
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of roasted garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons whole butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes into a large pot with cold water and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a medium simmer. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in another saucepan. Whisk in the Roasted Garlic Power and allow to reduce down to 2 cups. Reserve and keep warm until ready to assemble and serve the potatoes.

Asparagus Spears

  • 1 pound trimmed and peeled asparagus salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat an oven to 425°F.

Prepare the egg wash by beating the whole eggs with the half and half and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Cut the fish into 4 equal sized portions. Dust the fish fillets with flour and spank off any excess. Put the fish into the egg wash and leave them there until ready to cook. (This can be done up to 6 hours ahead of time.)

About half an hour before dinner, prepare the Garlicky Mashed Potatoes and the Citrus Butter Sauce. When just about ready to serve, put a pan of water on to boil for the asparagus. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat or two. When the sauté pan(s) are quite hot, carefully ladle in the clarified butter. Lift the fish out of the egg wash with your hand and gently lay the fish into the hot butter taking care to letting the fish fall away from you. Gently shake the pan. Now let the fish cook for about 2 minutes. When they are deeply golden, turn them over with a spatula, tilting the butter toward the bottom of the pan and flipping the fish toward the top to avoid splashing again. Now drain off all the excess butter into a catch bowl and put the fish in an oven. The thickness of the fish will determine the cooking time. It will take about 7-10 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, drop the asparagus into the pan of boiling water. Add a touch of salt. When the fish is cooked take it out of the oven. Place a tall scoop of the prepared mashed potatoes onto four large plates. Top the mound of mashed potatoes with the four sections of yellowtail. Ladle some of the citrus butter sauce around each fish. Top the citrus butter with the asparagus spears in an attractive way. Serve.