Herbed Stuffed Catfish — Excellent Mid-Summer Dish
It’s easy for most people to conjure up the image of a catfish: that kissable fishy face with long sets of “whiskers” hanging down. People all over the world can imagine this classic picture, as catfish inhabit the waters of every continent except Antarctica. They’re so prevalent, it’s no surprise catfish have been a worldwide dietary staple for hundreds of years. Catfish was once considered a delicacy in Central Europe, and it remains particularly popular in the southern United States.
Farm-raised catfish became such an important part of the American diet that on June 25, 1987, President Reagan gave catfish its own observance in National Catfish Day. Also in the late ‘80s, August became the official month to celebrate this nutritious, low-calorie, low-cholesterol fish, which is also delicious!
Obviously the catfish deserves a little recognition for its contribution to the American diet! It’s readily available and relatively inexpensive, and its low mercury levels make it a great choice for expectant moms. Plus, this healthful and versatile fish can be prepared beyond a simple fry or poach. Kick your summer catfish celebration off right with this light and easy recipe for Herbed Stuffed Catfish!
Herbed Stuffed Catfish
4 catfish fillets, about 1.5 pounds
1 cup bread crumbs, fresh
3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp onion, chopped with Kyocera’s chef’s knife
1 tbsp celery, chopped with Kyocera’s chef’s knife
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper, divided
1 tbsp lemon juice, divided
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Season the fillets with half of the salt and pepper and 1 tsp of the lemon juice. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the cream cheese, onion, celery, thyme, parsley, and the remaining salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Divide stuffing mixture into four equal portions. Starting at one end of each fillet, add a portion of stuffing and roll the fish fillet around the stuffing. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with all four fillets. Place rolls on a lightly greased baking dish and bake 15¬–20 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
Optional: For a meaty twist, cooked, but not crispy, bacon strips can be wrapped around the fish fillets before they are placed in the oven.