I have always been a huge fan of the outdoors, especially anywhere by the water. Give me a beach or a lake and I’m like a kid again! When we were kids my dad would take us fishing, with our little Mickey Mouse fishing poles and (GIANT) orange life jackets.
When we went on our camping and lake trips we’d always find that perfect “down-home/deep-fried/hole-in-the-wall” kind of place that had that perfect Southern seafood that would simply melt in your mouth, like at Dye’s Fish Camp in Louisville, GA. They served the best seafood buffet in all of Middle Georgia! ALL YOU CAN EAT! Believe me, we did. They didn’t call me Big Dave for nothing!
My favorite dish was always the batter-fried catfish with hushpuppies. However, I have had to give up my deep-fried palate for dietary reasons. Alison and I are always looking for ways to clean up and adapt recipes so that we can still enjoy tasty food that we love. This catfish dish was adapted from the Baked Grouper recipe in the book Bon Appétit Y’all.
We use almond meal/flour as a substitute for the wheat flour.
“What the heck is Almond Meal/ Flour”…you ask?
The almond meal/flour is essentially finely ground blanched almonds that serves as a great addition to many recipes. It allows you to remove the gluten from the original recipe and provide the added benefits of the almonds such as being low carb and full nutrients like magnesium and Vitamin E. Give it a try, it may surprise you!
“Where can I find Almond Meal/Flour?”
You can find Almond Meal/Flour at most local grocery stores in the baking, flour or gluten-free baking aisles. Bob’s Red Mill is a popular brand that carries the Almond Meal/Flour and Kroger even has it as part of their Simple Truth line.
We used Almond Meal/Flour most recently in Alison’s Turkey Meatloaf “Cupcakes”.
This dish is first pan seared with a little coconut oil and then briefly baked at a high temperature to give it that crisp finish. It gives the taste and texture of that deep-fried classic, but no need to alert your arteries! This clean cooked catfish dish is low fat and still full of flavor!
Season your fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. Add your spices, almond meal/flour and cornmeal to a brown paper bag or Ziploc and shake each fillet to season well. Dip each fillet in the beaten eggs and place back in the bag to season again.
Place 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet and warm to medium high heat, but not smoking. Place the well seasoned fillets in the skillet and cook for about a minute on each side. Add more coconut oil as needed.
If you are not using an oven-safe pan such as an iron skillet, then transfer the fish to a lightly oiled glass baking dish.Place your oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Bake at 500F for about five minutes or until the fish is cooked through. (See detailed recipe instructions below)
Ready to be plated, Enjoy!
- ¾ cup of almond meal/ flour
- ¾ cup of gluten free cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon of onion powder
- Coarse sea salt and ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 to 6 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
- 6 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Preheat oven to 500°F. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Combine the almond meal/flour, cornmeal, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in a brown paper bag, and shake to mix.
- Place the beaten eggs in a shallow dish.
- Season the fish first with salt and pepper on each side, and then place each fillet in bag to coat well with the mix. Dip the fish in the eggs, and then shake in the mix again to coat. Transfer fish to a plate.
- Warm 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet on medium high until hot but not smoking.
- Place each fillet in the skillet and let brown on each side, about 1 minute per side, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of coconut oil as needed.
- (If you are not using an oven safe pan to brown the fish, such as an iron skillet) Place the fillets in a lightly oiled baking glass baking dish
- Place baking dish in the upper third of the oven and bake until the fish are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
This dish is best when served immediately.