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Catfish with Sherry Vinegar Lentils
“In this healthy catfish recipe, a brush of Dijon mustard and a generous sprinkle of crushed peppercorns temper the subtle earthy flavor this fish is sometimes known for. Feel free to use farmed catfish in this recipe: catfish are omnivorous, so they have a lighter environmental impact than farmed species that need to be fed pellets made from other fish.”
2 tablespoons chopped onion plus ¼ cup finely diced, divided
1 tablespoon chopped carrot
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 clove garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
½ bay leaf
3 cups unsalted chicken broth
1 cup French green lentils, rinsed
2 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced ( ¼-inch)
¼ cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
4 (5 ounce) skinned catfish fillets
1½ teaspoons cracked pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon canola or avocado oil
¾ cup finely diced Granny Smith apple
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1Place chopped onion, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf on a double layer of cheesecloth. Bundle up and tie with kitchen string to create a sachet. Gently smash the sachet to release some of the aromas. Combine broth, lentils and the sachet in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard the sachet.
2Meanwhile, cook bacon and the remaining diced onion in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and the onion is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in vinegar and 1 tablespoon mustard, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the lentils and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
3Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush catfish with the remaining 1 tablespoon mustard and sprinkle with cracked pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt. Brush oil over the grill pan. Add the fish and cook until the bottom is browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the fish just flakes with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes more.
4Stir apple, butter, jalapeño and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt into the lentil mixture. Serve the fish on the lentils, garnished with parsley, if desired.