I've decided that it would be fun to have a guest cook once in a while on Your Place or Mine. It won't be hard to find a guest cook where we live and for this installment I didn't have to search far. My husband JT cooks once in a while and definitely has his own style of cooking. He enjoys cooking in our big cast iron pot, he calls his style as a camp cooking which usually calls for a lot of guests or much welcomed leftovers. So when we visited our local seafood stop for a taste of crawfish and they had some really nice Catfish fillets he thought of just the dish he wanted to make. So along with the crawfish for lunch he bought some to make a Catfish Courtbouillon. This dish is a red sauce base type of fish stew and traditionally served over rice.
A courtbouillon is a Cajun style recipe which is not only a geographic area of Louisiana but a different way of cooking than in New Orleans. There are many similarities between the Creole cuisine of New Orleans and the Cajun cuisine of Acadiana and rural French Louisiana, there are lots of differences too. Creole food is fancy, particularly the things you find in restaurants these days. The cuisine of the Cajun people is less complex, usually one-pot, based on what ingredients the land and the water happen to give you at the time. The dishes may be simpler but they're hearty, full of flavor and no less delicious.
You will need:
2 lbs. of fresh fish fillets (we used Catfish, but you can use Redfish or Tilapia), cut in to large chunks
3/4 cup of a prepared dark roux (we used Savoie's Dark Roux)
5 tbsp of oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup of celery, chopped
1/2 cup of bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of water
1 cup of red wine
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1 tsp of dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 cup of green onion, chopped
hot sauce to taste (we left out and let everyone spice their own serving)
What to do:
By all means, if you have a cast iron pot use it! If not, it's okay...just use a large dutch oven or pot that will hold the dish.
Saute onions, celery and bell pepper till soft in oil. Add the minced garlic and stir. Add the prepared roux and stir to combine with the veggies. Add the chicken stock, water, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer uncovered for an hour, you want the sauce to reduce some to a gravy type consistency.
Taste for seasoning, make adjustments if needed then add the fish and green onion. Allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit.
Serve over cooked rice. Have some warm french bread and hot sauce on the side.