Blackened Catfish Po'boy


Chef Bryan Szeliga


1     Baguettecatfish_school_

Cut in half, and then cut each half into half again making 4 pieces total.  Cut each portion in half lengthwise for the sandwich.

Note:  If baguette was not baked fresh that morning, place in 350-degree oven for 2 minutes to remove staleness. The outside will become crunchy and the center soft. 


          Organic Lettuce Mix

2-3     Organic Tomatoes – sliced

1        Red Onion - sliced and soaked in cold water for about 5 minutes to remove bitterness.



1/2 C            Pernod (fennel flavored liquor)

1/2 T            Dijon Mustard

1 Clove         Garlic

1/2 T            Salt

2                  Egg yolks

1 C               Grapeseed oil

1                  Lemon

- Heat small skillet until hot, add Pernod to cook off alcohol.


Note:  If the heat is too high, it might flame up.  If it does, place a cover or another skillet on top to starve the fire of oxygen.  This will put out the flame.  The flame is just the alcohol burning off.


- Reduce Pernod by half, remove from skillet and cool to room temperature.

- Place Dijon mustard in a mixing bowl.

- Zest lemon and add to mixing bowl.   Juice lemon and reserve liquid.

- Mince garlic with knife.


Note:  A garlic press allows the cell walls of the garlic to burst, thus creating a bitter and hot taste.  A knife does not burst the cell walls of the garlic. 


- Add salt to minced garlic, then press and rub salt and garlic between the cutting board and metal spatula or side of knife until paste is formed.  Add paste to the mixing bowl.

- Add egg yolks to mixing bowl and whisk for about 1 minute until completely combined.

- While whisking, slowly add in Grapeseed oil.  Stop adding oil and continue whisking if needed to  allow oil to emulsify with egg mixture.  After 1/2 cup of oil has been added, slowly pour in reduced  Pernod while continuing to whisk.  Then slowly add in the remaining Grapeseed oil.  Finish by  whisking in the lemon juice.

- Add lemon juice until Aioli is consistency of mayonnaise. 

Note:  If Pernod if not available, you can add additional lemon juice.


Blackened Spice Mix

1/2 Cup         Paprika

1 T               Salt

1/4 Cup         Onion Powder

2 T               Crushed Red Pepper

1/3 Cup         Ground Black Pepper

2 T               Thyme (chopped if fresh) 

2 T               Oregano (chopped if fresh)

2 t                Cayenne

2 t                D'espelette Pepper  (can substitute smoked paprika)

2 t                Chili Powder (Optional: Use only if you desire a very hot blackened spice)

- Combine all and mix in food processor.


Blackened Catfish

1 Pound        Catfish (4 fillets)

- Dust a plate with the Blackened Spice Mix.

- Place each fillet onto Blackened Spice Mix, with the skin side up.

- Heat saute pan until very hot.

- Add 4 T Grapeseed oil. 

- Place catfish into hot pan and cook for about 3 minutes until spices have turned black.

- Flip catfish and remove pan from the heat.

- Let catfish cook another 1 to 2 minutes until the entire outside of catfish is vibrant white.

- Remove catfish from pan and place on paper towels to rest until the center of the fish is just slightly opaque.


To Plate:  

- Spread Aioli on the top and bottom half of each baguette

- Place Catfish on bottom half, then tomato, red onion, followed by lettuce.