Creole Shrimp Sauce with Pan-fried Catfish

2 Tbsp oil
½ large onion, diced fine
2 stocks celery, chopped medium
1 red bell pepper, chopped medium
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 jalapeño pepper, minced fine (not traditional Creole I know, but it adds sooooo much!)
1 - 16 oz cans tomato sauce
1 Tbsp Bart’s Creole Seasoning (or whatever good quality Creole seasoning you have available)

1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 - 2 tsp sugar (add slowly and cook a bit between tasting to ensure you don’t get it too sweet)
Juice of 1 medium fresh lemon
1 bay leaf
Hot pepper sauce to taste

1 pound shrimp, 30 count, uncooked peeled and deveined

4 fresh catfish fillets, skinless and boneless, seasoned with Creole spice, ground pepper and a pinch of salt
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp grapeseed oil

Place heavy bottom pan over medium heat and sauté onion, celery, red pepper, jalapeño and garlic for 3-4 minutes.  

Add tomato sauce, bay leaf, sugar, Creole Seasoning, lemon juice.  Bring mixture to a boil them turn down to simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove bay leaf then set to seasoning mixture with a pinch of salt to taste, a dash of hot pepper sauce to build it to the heat level you prefer and some fresh ground pepper. 

Serve this with 1 lb of peeled and deveined shrimp added at the 20 minute mark then cook them for 3-4 minutes, spoon over pan fried catfish just prior to serving. (Chicken thighs or breast, and any kind of fish works well. You can panfry, broil, poach or grill the meat, your choice!)

Place butter and oil in large non-stick frying pan, once the bubbling has stopped place catfish into pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, flip over to fry other side for 3-4-5 minutes or until cooked.

Timing is tough to call as it depends on the thickness.  Once fish is cooked to your liking remove from pan, then place on some folded paper towel to remove some butter and oil, then place on serving plate and top with shrimp and Creole sauce.

Serve over couscous, rice, noodles, potatoes or what have you. I served it with the Lemon and Jalapeno Couscous recipe that is posted elsewhere on the blog, perhaps you should as well...

Play with the proportions and you will arrive at a recipe that suits your taste buds.  Warmer, milder or screaming for a suicide pill hot, it is all good.

Serves 6