top of page




The seafood industry is ever-changing. Please feel free to message me regarding your questions and interest in the world's seafood fisheries, cooking methods, supplier tips, and basically anything else that "catches" your fancy. I will do my best to address your issues in a comprehensive manner so that we can all benefit from the information learned. Thank you for taking the time to be here, and your interest in solutions that will benefit us all as consumers of the resource.


Let's all get on the same page:

In order for me to be able to go beyond basic cooking instructions or fish selections, I would like to bring everyone up to speed on the basic terminology of the fish market. With this knowledge, you can better understand what the heck I am talking about when I suggest a fish to cook or the technique of cooking your selection. So here is a glossary of fish terms for your use:

16/20 - 10/ 20 - 41/50 etc. - When you see a number preceding a seafood item, this denotes the quantity per pound of that item. For example: 16/20 Gulf shrimp means that there are approximately 16 to 20 shrimp per pound. U/10 means that there are less than or "under" 10 per pound.

Chix- refers to live lobsters. This is the smallest legal lobster that can be sold and refers to lobsters that are between 1 pound and 1 and 1/4 pound.

Cull lobster- refers to live lobsters that have only one claw.

Dry- as in dry 10/20 sea scallops. Dry refers to seafood that has not been treated with a preservative such as nitrates or phosphates. Often in the industry, seafood such as shrimp and scallops are treated with these preservatives to increase their raw weight and prolong shelf life. However, the effect on the product is that it will suffer greater shrinkage when cooked, and in my opinion, will be rendered inedible due to the question of the safety of these chemicals. Always ask your server at a restaurant, or your fishmonger if the product is "dry". If they do not know what you mean, order a steak.

B/I or B/O - This refers to whether the fish is sold "bone-in" or "bone out". Fillet refers to fish that are completely boneless.

Refreshed- refers to seafood that was previously frozen. Also referred to as "PF".

IQF- Individually Quick Frozen

PEI- Prince Edward Island

Domestic- Harvested and processed within the US

P+D- Peeled and deveined

Roe- fish eggs

Dayboat- seafood that is caught and brought to shore on the same day.

Sushi Grade- Although stores use the label "sushi-grade fish," there are no official standards for using this label. The only regulation is that parasitic fish, such as salmon, should be frozen to kill any parasites before being consumed raw. ... The best ones are assigned Grade 1, which is usually what will be sold as sushi grade. NEVER consume raw freshwater species of fish, as they can contain parasites that easily survive and thrive in the human body.

Line Caught- denoting a fish that has been caught with a rod and fishing line, not by trawling with a net.

So that is a basic glossary of seafood terms that you will discover being used in the seafood industry. If I have missed any that you may have come across, please write me a quick note, so that I can add them to the list. Feel free to use any of these terms when selecting your purchase. You may be surprised at the level of service that you receive when your fishmonger knows you are well versed in the lingo of professionals!



Seafood links that I recommend:

Seafood Watch-

Monterey Bay Aquarium consumer guide that helps you make the best seafood choices for your family or customers.

Yankee Fisherman's Cooperative




A great source of direct- from- the-boat seafood. Learn about what is in season locally, and

issues related to northeastern US commercial fishermen.

I got my start in the seafood business trailing Steve Gadaleto through the old South Street Seaport location of the Fulton Fish Market in New York City. Many of the legendary fishmongers are still there working the stalls of this multi-generational landmark. This online marketplace takes your order and then shops the overnight supply of fresh seafood that arrives constantly from around the world, to ship you the very freshest fish to your door.

Browne Trading Company-

Based in Portland Maine, Browne Trading has probably the most exclusive customer list of the country's most celebrated chefs. You can purchase the same high-quality seafood from this fine company. Caviar is also one of their specialties.


A great nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the resource and issues of New York's great river.

john and tim.jpg
seafood watch.jpg
yankee fishermans.jpg
fulton fish logo.png

How To Cook...Seafood!

In the interest of demystifying fish cookery, I offer this primer on the various basic techniques to help cooks achieve maximum pleasure from their seafood purchase. Mastery of these basics will give you the confidence to choose seafood that you may not have prepared before. Thus allowing your fishmonger a little versatility in their recommendations to you.

Cooking technique:

There are six essential cooking techniques that the home chef should consider when making a seafood selection: Grilling, Deep frying, Saute', Poaching, Steaming, and Broiling. Each has a distinct role in the chef's repertoire. Knowledge of these techniques will provide innumerable options in your selection of a seafood purchase. Professional chefs consider the act of practicing these techniques a life long pursuit of perfection, so do not get discouraged if your first attempts are less than optimal!

clam casino.JPG
Flounder Fish Sketch
fish grilled.jpg



There are two important things to consider when grilling fish. What type of fish to grill, and what type of grill to use for optimal flavor.

First, the type of fish that you should choose is determined by the firmness of the flesh. Fish that is very delicate in nature such as flounder, sole, and cod should only be grilled if the cook is confident in their skills. For novices, salmon, tuna, swordfish, shark, halibut and shellfish are better choices. The firmness of these choices makes grilling them easy, and enjoyable for the cook. As far as which type of grill to use, that is a matter of personal preference. I feel that any serious cook should have a charcoal grill as well as a gas grill. The flavor profile of wood/ charcoal grilling brings out the best flavor in steak fish such as swordfish, tuna, and shark. Salmon and trout benefit as well from a smoky heat. If wood is your fuel of choice, very little beyond olive oil, salt and pepper is needed, as the wood smoke provides a great depth of flavor. Experiment with different wood types such as apple, hickory and mesquite, as each has very different flavor characteristics, and your choice here will dramatically affect the results. If you choose to have only one type of grill, I recommend the charcoal over gas, as it's versatility is proven.

Sometimes you want to stop by the fish market on the way home from work, pick up a nice piece of fish, go home, turn on the gas grill and have dinner prepared shortly thereafter. For this reason, a gas grill is a logical choice. Most restaurants utilize gas grills, so you can certainly achieve good results with a little creativity. When grilling over a gas grill, start the grill first before you prepare your fish. This allows the heat inside to get the grill surface VERY HOT. This is important, because fish will stick to a cool grill surface. The hotter and cleaner that your grill surface is, the easier it will be to flip and remove your precious seafood. Marinades work well to boost the flavor of grilled seafood. But remember my rule – do not over season or marinate grilled fish. You want to highlight the quality and freshness of your seafood purchase, by honoring it with just enough seasoning to bring out it's natural flavor. Also note that many commercial marinades contain papain – which is an enzyme found in papaya. Papain will turn your fish to mush, as it is used as a tenderizer in many marinades. Read the label of commercial marinades to be sure you are not eating anything that you wouldn't want. A better solution is to make simple marinades yourself with common ingredients found in your larder. Generally, oil should be your primary ingredient, with an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice added to enhance the flavor. Salts are also commonly used to bring out flavor, and experimenting with a variety of them is recommended. For example, applewood smoked sea salt can add a smoky flavor profile, when charcoal or wood grilling is not possible due to time constraints. Pepper, garlic, onions should be used to add flavor to a marinade for steakfish. Whichever grilling method you choose, the fish should be coated lightly with oil, and sprinkled with a small quantity of breadcrumbs to help your fish easily lift from the grill surface. The grill should be very hot and clean when the fish is placed on it, and the heat can then be turned down a bit to allow proper cooking. Shellfish such as lobster tails and shrimp should be cooked in their shells for added flavor and moisture retention. And don't forget that clams and oysters are scrumptious when they are coaxed open with gentle heat from a  fire.



perch fry.jpg

You can deep fry anything. And everyone knows why this form of cookery is so beloved in the American diet. Golden fried shrimp, clams, flounder, scallops, and cod are among the top-selling items in restaurants. And for good reason- it is delicious! As far as fryers go, you can get good quality home fryers at any household goods store. If you are adventurous, a simple cast iron pan with deep sides and clean oil will do fine. Oil selection is important. Choose an oil that has a high flash point, and low flavor profile, such as peanut oil, soybean oil, or optimally- coconut oil. Frying in olive oil is not recommended due to cost, and flavor considerations. While olive oil has a very high flash point (the temperature at which oil bursts into flames!) its strong flavor can overwhelm your finished product. Oil can be used several times before it breaks down and starts to create greasy, burnt flavor.

Just about any seafood can be deep-fried. It is a matter of your personal taste. However, there are a few rules to follow when deciding on which coating to treat your fish with before it's swim in hot oil. For delicate fish such as flounder, sole, and turbot, you should coat the fillets with first flour, then egg wash (1 egg to one cup of milk- scale up as necessary for the quantity of fish being prepared) and finally into breadcrumbs such as panko. This creates a firm sturdy crust that will hold your delicate fillets together after cooking. For sturdier fish such as cod, halibut, tilapia, and grouper, simply coat the fish in flour, then egg wash, then back into the flour again. This produces a light crust that is desirable for thicker cut fillets. Shellfish such as clams, oysters, and scallops should use the flour, egg wash, breadcrumb coating method, as the breadcrumbs will help to retain moisture while offering a crunchy bite. Fish such as swordfish and tuna should not be deep-fried, as usually these fish are prized when cooked medium rare, and it is hard to obtain a good crunchy crust without overcooking them. Another crust variation is cornmeal. Cornmeal is often chosen for its sweet flavor for fish such as catfish, smelts, or sardines. Clams and oysters benefit from a cornmeal crust as well. Finally, you could prepare a beer batter or tempura batter to coat fish when a substantial crust is desired. For beer batter, choose a light but foamy beer such as ale or lager. Mix 12 oz of beer with flour to create a batter that is about as thick as melted ice cream- runny, but not too thin. Tempura batter is made by mixing 1 cup cornstarch with 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp. of baking soda and sparkling or fresh water, to desired consistency (think of the melted ice cream!). Simply dip your seafood in flour, shake off the excess flour and then dip into the batter. From the batter, immediately drop the fish into hot oil (350 degree f.) one piece at a time. This takes a bit of courage and concentration, as you are placing your fingers very close to the hot oil as you do this. Experience, and perhaps a few small burns will determine your commitment to this method of cooking. The results however, will be your reward, as your family and friends will be amazed at your golden fried bounty from the sea.


fish saute.jpg

To saute' is to cook in a small amount of hot fat on the stovetop in a shallow fry pan. The purpose of sautéing is to retain the flavor of the fat in the food. For example, if you are making a sole piccata, the fish is dredged in an egg/ cream batter, then placed in a saute' pan with hot butter. After the fish is cooked to a golden brown, often the sauce is made from the remaining butter in the pan, to which shallots, white wine, lemon juice, capers, and herbs are added. The resulting sauce is poured over the coated, cooked fish for a delicious entree that retains all of the flavors of the fish and butter originally in the pan.  Sautéing is a method of cookery that can take years to master, but it is worthwhile because the results can be incredibly rewarding. The fat choice is important when cooking foods via this method, as the fat is usually incorporated into the sauce. For this reason, choose flavorful fats such as butter, Extra virgin olive oil, or good quality lard. It is important also to coat your seafood with a light dusting of flour (wheat, rice, corn) before placing it into the hot oil, to prevent sticking, and to provide a light coating for the pan sauce to absorb into.


fish poached.png

To poach is to cook in a low-temperature liquid that fully covers the fish. The liquid generally is a French preparation called court bouillon. To make court bouillon, choose a pan that is deep enough to put your fish into while also accommodating the presence of liquid to completely cover it. There are fish poaching pans found in finer cookery shops designed especially for this purpose. A good substitute is a deep roasting pan or loaf pan. Put enough water in your pan so that when you add the fish, it will be completely submerged by about 1 inch. Add to the water: bay leaves, diced fresh carrots, onion, celery, sea salt, white wine, vinegar, and fresh herbs like dill or chervil. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer on the stovetop, and cook for twenty minutes, turn down the heat until the liquid is just barely steaming from the top. Place your fillet of fish- salmon is classic, but any fillet that is at least 1 inch thick can be used, into the liquid and be sure that it is covered completely. You can add a splash of wine or water to make up for liquid that has evaporated. Slowly cook the fish in the court bouillon until it is firm and cooked all the way through. If you plan to serve your poached fish hot, remove the fillet to a serving platter, and serve with a good quality sauce such as Hollandaise or beurre blanc. If you would like to serve the fish cold, allow the fish to cool in the court bouillon completely. This will prevent the fish from drying out as it cools. Once cool, remove the fish to a serving platter, decorate with various garnishes such as cucumber slices, capers, lemon slices, etc. Serve with a fresh yogurt-based sauce that is mixed with fresh dill or chervil. You can experiment with different poaching liquids as well, such as tomato water, pineapple juice, or miso broth. The variety of which is only limited by your imagination. Please note-  although the fish has been cooked in liquid, this is the one method of cookery that could leave you with a very dry finished product due to the lack of fat involved in the cooking process. To prevent this, do not overcook the fish, or allow it to sit too long before serving (if served hot) as the moisture and juices will run out of the cooked fillet once the heat is removed. Aside from the rich sauces that are often served with poached fish, this method of cookery is very healthful.


fish steamed.jpg

Often when one thinks of seafood, images of steaming pots of crab or crawfish are conjured in the mind. To successfully steam fish, many of the lessons of poaching must be heeded. However, because steaming requires higher heat than poaching, the resulting product can go from scrumptious to dried out very quickly. Care must be taken to remove steamed seafood the very moment that it is ready. When properly executed, steamed fish can be a healthy and satisfying preparation.

A few recommendations should be considered:

  1. Use a pot that allows enough space for the fish to cook evenly by giving it enough room for the steam to develop properly.

  2. Place no more than 3 inches of liquid in the bottom of the pot. It is important to not let the liquid evaporate entirely, as this will burn the pot, and render the fish inside inedible.

  3. Put some flavor into the liquid, such as Old Bay seasoning and Louisiana hot sauce.

  4. Have plenty of melted butter on hand to dip the fish in while eating.

  5. Use the liquid that is left in the pot to make a great broth or soup to accompany the feast.

  6. Have plenty of napkins or wet naps available for easy cleanup of fishy fingers after the feast.

  7. Enjoy with plenty of good friends and cheer!


fish broiled.jpg

Broiling seafood is very similar to grilling, however, the high heat comes from above rather than below. The same care should be taken to ensure that your seafood does not dry out. Generally, you should pre-heat your broiler the same as you do for grilling. Seafood for broiling is placed on a catch pan so that after the fish is cooked, the juices can be poured over the fish to create a delicious sauce. Broiling can be tricky, but the main rule here is to not walk away from the cooking task, as the fish is cooked very quickly utilizing very high heat. Coat the fish in a small amount of butter or olive oil, sprinkle with breadcrumbs lightly, and place under the broiler. Cook until the desired result is reached, and then remove to a serving dish. Pour the pan juices over the top, and serve with fresh lemon or lime wedges. Many types of seafood can be prepared in the broiler, such as lobster (tails or whole split) salmon, haddock, cod, fluke, halibut, bluefish, striper, clams casino, oyster Rockefeller, scallops, and shrimp.

Final notes on cooking seafood:

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a cooking method is to cook what you like. If you gain the skills described in this section, you will have a much more enjoyable dining experience. If you are still not sure about which seafood to choose, ask your fishmonger for their advice.  Any reputable fishmonger will be proud to walk you through their fish case, showing off their variety of freshly caught bounty of the sea.

fish sauce.jpg

10 Essential Seafood Sauces

Imaginative variations of these sauces can create infinite possibilities for the preparation of your seafood purchase!

I chose these ten because if you can understand the preparation method of each, you will gain the courage to experiment with their technique to create your own signature recipes.

  • Remoulade

Know as tartar sauce in English, this classic sauce is the perfect accompaniment to fried fish and shellfish.


1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise

1 whole sweet gherkin or dill pickle (The French use cornichons- the tiny dill pickles they serve with country pate')  if you use cornichons, use two.                                                         1 Tablespoon cape

½ lemon – juiced

1 Teaspoon fresh chopped parsley or dill

1 Teaspoon Frank's hot sauce

Technique: In a food processor, put all ingredients together and puree until desired texture is achieved.

Remove to a clean glass canning jar and place the lid on securely. Refrigerate until service. Stores well.


  • Cocktail sauce

This is another classic sauce that while incredibly simple to make, has innumerable uses for raw and cooked shellfish. It is also well regarded as a delicious dip for fried fish and hush puppies.


1 cup of Heinz ketchup

¼ cup prepared horseradish  Note: use more or less to taste.

½ lemon juiced

Technique: Mix all ingredients together with a whisk in a small glass or metal mixing bowl. Remove to a clean glass canning jar or serving bowl. Refrigerate until service. Stores for up to one week.

Note: The lemon juice will cause the sauce to firm up in the container. Just stir vigorously to smooth out.

  • Hollandaise

One of the classic French five mother sauces. The father of classic French cooking August Escoffier identified 5 sauces that if mastered, would serve as the basis for making a large variety of secondary sauces. For example: For sauce Bearnaise, Escoffier calls for starting with the recipe for Hollandaise, to which the cook adds a vinegar reduction with chopped shallots, tarragon and black pepper.  For sauce Choron, chopped fresh tomato concasser ( skinless and de-seeded chopped tomato) is added to the Bearnaise. The versatility and richness of Hollandaise is what earned it a place in our list of 10 essential sauces. Serve Hollandaise or one of it's many children with delicate fish preparations such as sauteed, steamed, or poached fillets.


4 egg yolks

6 oz. Melted butter

1 lemon juiced

1 Tablespoon of water

Dash of Tabasco sauce

Sea salt and pepper to taste


Place egg yolks in a medium stainless steel mixing bowl.

Add water and mix with a whisk over a double boiler until yolks are cooked but still smooth. This requires constant whisking to avoid overcooking the eggs.

Once eggs are at the desired temperature, place the bowl on a kitchen towel to keep it in place.

Pour in the melted butter very slowly while whisking continuously to avoid breaking the sauce. This technique is called emulsification- bringing eggs and fat together to create a smooth, stable mixture.

Once all of the butter has been incorporated, add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Finish with a dash of Tabasco sauce.

Serve immediately or keep warm until fish is cooked. Thin with water a drop at a time if necessary.

  • Beurre blanc

While not one of Escoffier's five mother sauces, Beurre blanc deserves its place here on the list for much of the same reason as Hollandaise. It's versatility as a mother type sauce, as well as it's rich, creamy flavor, make it a great go-to sauce for grilled, steamed, or poached seafood.


2 Tablespoons of minced shallot or onion

1/3 cup of white vinegar

½ cup heavy cream

1/3 pound of good quality butter – cut into ½ inch diced pieces

Salt and pepper to taste


In a small saute' or saucepan,  place the minced shallots and vinegar.

Place on the stove with medium-high heat.

Reduce the vinegar/ shallot mixture until the vinegar is nearly gone.

Immediately pour in the cream, and bring to a boil. After about one minute of a rolling boil, the cream will be slightly thicker from reduction.

While the cream is still boiling, whisk in the butter pieces a few at a time. Once half the butter is used, remove the sauce from the heat, and continue whisking in the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Note: once the sauce is made, you can customize it with chopped fresh herbs such as dill or tarragon, or chervil. Also, you can experiment with different kinds of vinegar such as red wine, sherry,  balsamic, or raspberry. The addition of capers to a balsamic version of this sauce is delicious on grilled Yellowfin tuna or wild Alaskan salmon.

  • Vinaigrette

Chef Jean Jorges Vongerichten in his groundbreaking book Simple Cuisine- The Easy, New Approach To Four-Star Cooking, introduced a breath of fresh air and lightness to the French cuisine vocabulary.  His tool kit involved the use of fresh vegetable juices and kinds of vinegar to create dramatic plate presentations with “broken vinaigrettes”. The effect of intensely fused fresh flavors, as well as the broken lava lamp look of his vinaigrettes, were revolutionary at the time. By reducing the vinegar to a caramel-like consistency, and simply pouring in an infused oil, he was able to transform a simple grilled fish fillet into a visual and flavorful masterpiece.


Good quality vinegar such as balsamic, raspberry, or sherry

Or juices such as carrot, arugula, beet, etc.

Oil such as Extra virgin olive oil, hazelnut, walnut, or grapeseed oil


Mix and match a variety of vinegar and oils, at a ratio of 1 part vinegar or juice to 2 parts oil. Even this formula is not set in stone, as some preparations may call for a higher proportion of juice or vinegar to oil. Your personal taste is the only guide. Use this type of sauce sparingly, to offer a “burst” of flavor and drama to your seafood presentations.

  • Brown butter

Brown butter is a simple yet dramatic preparation.  To prepare, simply put the desired quantity of butter in a saucepan and heat gently over a medium-low flame until the butter turns dark brown (but not burnt!). The French refer to this preparation as Beurre Noisette- or hazelnut butter, as the resulting product has a nutty-sweet flavor.

Simply spoon a small amount of the brown butter over lightly sauteed fillets of fish.  Garnish with a lemon slice, and you have seafood nirvana!

Note: for a great variety of Hollandaise, brown the butter before whisking it into your cooked egg yolks. Result- nutty, rich golden hued Hollandaise sauce!

  • Picatta

In this version of lemon-herb butter, capers are added for tanginess and texture. Typically, in a picatta presentation, the seafood is dredged in an egg- cream savory batter, sauteed in butter, and then topped with the sauce. The crispy egg batter soaks up the sauce and creates a flavor that has been a favorite staple of quality restaurants forever.


¼ pound of good quality butter

1 Tablespoon of minced shallot or onion

½ cup of dry white wine

½ lemon juiced

2 Tablespoons of capers

1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh Italian parsley


In a small saucepan put the butter, shallots, and wine.

Bring to a rapid boil, to cook out alcohol from wine.

Remove from heat and add capers, lemon juice, and chopped parsley.

Serve over fillets of mild-flavored fish that have been sauteed in an egg/cream batter (Think French toast batter). Garnish with lemon slice and sprig of parsley.

  • Mignonette

This sauce is a celebration of the humble- sexy oyster. The classic version simply requires a good quality vinegar such as sherry or red wine, to which is added: minced shallots, tarragon, and a generous quantity of cracked black pepper. The sauce is served on the side of a plate of glistening freshly shucked oysters presented over crushed ice.

  • Fruit or vegetable salsa

Just got your hands on some beautiful mangoes, watermelon or sweet corn? Fresh in-season fruits and vegetables can be combined with lime juice, cilantro, and green onions to give your summer grilled lobsters, scallops, or steak fish a fresh simple garnish.

Simply cut the ingredients into bite-size pieces, combine with freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, and chopped herbs. Set aside while you grill your seafood to allow flavors to mingle.

The variety of fresh vegetable or fruit salsas is infinite, and should only be limited by whatever is ripe, fresh, and in season.

  • Lemon or lime juice

When you are treating yourself to a new variety of oyster or trying out some sushi-grade fluke, why cover up that great fresh flavor with anything but a simple squeeze of tangy, fresh lime or lemon juice?

Seafood purchased from a reputable fishmonger should only need a squeeze of juice to highlight its superior flavor.

Bon Appetit!

Chef John Vargo

Copyright 2017

All rights reserved.


Wester Ross All Natural Scottish Salmon with wild mushroom - soy cream

​Yield: 4 portions

2# Wester Ross Salmon Fillet cut into 4 portions

1 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free flours may be substituted)

8 oz butter

1 pound of your favorite wild mushroom variety (Oyster, Shiitake, Crimini, etc.)

2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion or shallots

1/4 cup good quality soy sauce

1/2 cup heavy cream


Place 1/2 the butter in a skillet large enough to cook all 4 pieces of fish at once.

Heat the skillet to medium heat so that the butter begins to sizzle in the pan.

Dredge the fish in the flour and tap to remove excess.

Place each coated piece of fish into the skillet and cook over medium heat until brown on both sides.

Once cooked to desired doneness (medium rare recommended) remove portions to a warm plate.

Add the remainder of the butter to the pan and add your thinly sliced mushrooms and minced onions

Stir or toss the mushroom mixture until lightly browned.

Add the soy sauce to the pan and turn up the heat to reduce by half.

Add the cream to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens to desired consistency- for thicker sauce reduce more, for thinner, reduce less.

Pour the sauce over the salmon on the plate and serve immediately.

Blackened Catfish Fillet with Creole Sauce

Yield: 4 portions

2# Catfish fillets

1/2 cup of blackening spice

4 oz. melted butter

For blackening spice:

1 Tablespoon each of ground-

black pepper


dry thyme


garlic powder

onion powder

sea salt

Creole Sauce:

1/2 cup medium diced onion

1/2 cup medium diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup medium diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup fine diced celery

2 cups dry white wine

1/2 cup cut okra - fresh or frozen

1 cup diced tomato in juice (fresh in season or canned)

3 Tablespoons small capers

2 Tablespoons of minced garlic

2 Tablespoons of finely chopped fresh thyme

2 Tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley

1 Tablespoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

2 oz. Butter

1 teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce (optional)


Mix the spices for the blackening mix well and dredge the catfish fillets in it.

Following the spice mix, coat the fillets in the melted butter and set them aside while you make the sauce.

For the sauce- place the butter, garlic, onion, celery, bell peppers, and fresh thyme in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

After the vegetables are cooked gently, add the white wine and turn up the heat to cook off the alcohol from the wine for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients except for the fresh parsley. Bring to a simmer and cook gently while you blacken the fish.

To blacken the fish- Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat and turn on an exhaust fan to capture excess smoke.

Place the coated fillets of catfish into the pan and cook on both sides until the spice/ butter mix is blackened. Remove to a deep dish baking dish.

Pour the hot creole sauce over the fish and place in a preheated 400-degree f oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the fish to a serving platter and sprinkle with the fresh chopped parsley.

Serve with Carolina style white rice.

bottom of page