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Catfish Parmesan

Michael Gordon

Catfish Parmesan


Probably the most famous of all the eaten fish is the catfish. In the South, catfish is king and is prepared many ways. I love the whole, fried catfish, crispy and eaten whole and the fried fillets served with the usual hushpuppies and cole slaw. 

In my part of the country, we are blessed with abundant waters full of catfish. Bullheads, channel cats, flatheads and blue cats are a few,  but I think the best to eat are the channels and the small bullheads. Every year we catch large channel cats, fillet them up and do the usual fish fry, same with the smaller bullheads, but I found a good way to use up some really large catfish filets in a classic way.

When I lived in Florida, we caught blacktip shark and I used this recipe on them. I served it to a person who swore they would never eat anything with shark in it and they loved it! They couldn’t believe it was shark. That's the power of parmesan!  Catfish parmesan is awesome!


  • 1 glass baking dish
  • Iron skillet for browning
  • Olive oil
  • 2 lbs of thick catfish fillets cut into equal portions (about 5 oz )
  • 2 qts of your favorite italian marinara sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1½ cups grated pecorino and parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups seasoned italian bread crumbs
  • ½ cup good red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the cleaned catfish filets in the flour, dip the filet in the egg mixture then in the bread crumbs. Set aside. 
3. Heat the iron skillet with the olive oil, then add the garlic. Gently place the filets in the hot oil just to brown. (We will bake the fish later.) Nicely brown all the filets and place them on an absorbent towel. 
4. Place about half of the sauce in the dish. Add the wine. Add the filets, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with the remaining sauce. Don't drown them in sauce though, just gently cover them. Finish with the cheese and parsley. 
5. Bake uncovered 25 minutes. The sauce will get nice and bubbly, and the fish will absorb a lot of flavor. You can also add some mozzarella cheese on top if you like. Let the fish set for about 10 min before serving!

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