SMOKED CATFISH AND CRAB SALAD
Combining crab and catfish was something that I came up with before I moved to the coast. Getting fresh seafood was out of the question where I grew up and Phillips brand canned lump crab meat was about as good as it got. However, fresh catfish was readily available with a few lakes, ponds and rivers close by. This salad can be enjoyed on top of fresh crunchy greens, shaved cabbage or eaten with your favorite crackers. This is also a great recipe to use when entertaining guests. Just simply double the recipe and let your guests serve themselves with whatever accompaniments you choose.
1/2 pound catfish fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
1/2 pound lump crab meat
1/4 cup celery, small diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, small diced
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, cilantro or chives are great)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (Creole mustard is even better)
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon lime juice (lemon works too)
wood chips or pellets for your smoker
Coat the catfish with the olive oil and old bay seasoning, cover and place in your refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
Prepare your smoker to a cooking temperature of 250 degrees F. Place the catfish in the smoker and cook for 45 minutes to one hour or until the meat is white and flaky. Set aside and let it cool to room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients except the crab and catfish and stir to combine. Season this mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Now break apart the catfish into small flaky pieces and add to the bowl along with the crab meat. Stir to combine and taste again for seasoning. If you like a little more flavor, simply season the mixture with more salt and pepper or a little old bay seasoning.
If you would like a little more creaminess to your dish, add in two tablespoons of soften whipped cream cheese to the mixture before adding the crab and smoked catfish.
My cured egg yolk recipe works great as a garnish shaved over this dish. It adds a bit of a remoulade flavor to it.