Sesame crusted catfish with geechee peanut sauce

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time70 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyMedium
200g whole sesame seeds
220g polenta
Salt and pepper
4 catfish fillets, skinless
Groundnut oil, for sauteing
225g sliced okra
Geechee peanut sauce, recipe follows

For the geechee peanut sauce

1 tbsp bacon fat
55g small-diced green capsicum
55g small-diced red capsicum
110g small-diced celery
220g small-diced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp red wine
350ml tomato paste
120ml chicken stock
1 tbsp brown roux, recipe follows
30g peanut butter

For the roux

30g butter
1 tbsp plain flour
1) Grind 100g of sesame seeds in spice grinder into a rough powder. Leave the other 100g whole. Combine the sesame powder, sesame seeds, polenta, salt and pepper and place in a shallow bowl.

2) Dredge the catfish fillets in sesame-polenta mix and saute in hot groundnut oil until golden brown. Remove the catfish and keep warm. Empty the skillet of oil and crusty polenta. Add new oil to the hot pan and saute the fresh sliced okra until it becomes slightly brown, about 8 minutes.

3) Place the geechee sauce on the plate and put the catfish fillets on top. Add another ladle of geechee sauce and put sauteed okra on top.

For the geechee peanut sauce:
1) Sweat the capsicums, celery and onion in bacon fat until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the red wine and reduce by one third.

2) Add the tomato and stock. Whisk in the roux and peanut butter. Check seasoning. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

For the roux:
1) Melt the butter in a saute pan. When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir to combine. Cook slowly over low heat, stirring constantly, until the roux gets dark brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Don't rush it or the roux could burn and become bitter tasting.

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