Catfish are ugly! So ugly that the image of the first one I ever saw at 8 years old is seared in my memory. My grandfather had either caught a catfish or bought one from a fish monger to make fish stew. Apparently, on a summer visit to Louisville, my mother asked her Dad to fix her his fish stew. She loved it as a child and had a lot of delicious memories associated with his famous dish.
Fish stews are ubiquitous throughout Italy. My grandfather, Pellegrino, cooked up a traditional stew with fresh ingredients. His catfish stew contained a variety of homegrown vegetables, herbs and spices. Since grandpa followed a traditional Tuscan-style recipe, his always contained vine-ripened tomatoes (peeled, deseeded and chopped), basil, oregano, rosemary and parsley (all fresh and in season).
I have created a stew below from store bought veggies, dried herbs and spices and canned products. This summer I plan to try again with fresh grown ingredients. The catfish is OK but I like halibut or cod much better. Shrimp and/or clams is also a good choice in place of catfish.
In 2 TBSP of olive oil fry green onions
and garlic in cast iron skillet.
Add vegetables, herbs & spices. S
Saute for 10 minutes, 15 minutes MAX!
Lay chunks of catfish over top of vegetable mix.
Bake in 350 degree oven 15-20 minutes
(until catfish is cooked through).
Serve with brown rice and garnish with green onion tops.
Ingredients for Summer Catfish Stew ala Grandpa Pellegrino
1 medium carrot, sliced thin
1 each zucchini and yellow squash
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
alt & pepper to taste
2 trimmed catfish fillet (or other favorite fish)
Grandpa garnished his stew with chopped anchovy filets
(my husband hates anchovies!)