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Smoked Catfish Dip with Herb Salad


For the catfish dip:

1 pound catfish fillets

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup crème fraîche

2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice

1¾ tablespoons fish sauce (Red Boat recommended)

2½ tablespoons malt vinegar

For the lime dressing:

¼ cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon Red Boat (or similar) fish sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sriracha (or hot sauce of choice)


Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro

Leaves from 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley

1 small bunch leafy greens (Tuscan kale or tatsoi)

1 thinly sliced red onion

Supremes of 2 oranges for garnish

Freshly grated horseradish to taste


  1. Make the catfish dip: Season catfish filets liberally with salt and pepper, then cook. (Coquette hot smokes the fish with pecan wood at 225 degrees for 2 hours, until just cooked through. Alternatives to smoking the fish: charcoal grill or oven bake at 250 degrees, until just cooked through.) Place in refrigerator to cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, make the lime dressing: whisk together all ingredients for lime dressing. Set aside.
  3. Once cool, place fish in food processor and purée for 30 seconds. It will still be chunky. Add remaining dip ingredients and pulse until smooth, about 30 more seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate if not using immediately. When ready to serve, allow to come to room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly.
  4. Make the herb salad: Toss first four ingredients with lime dressing. Place salad in a serving bowl with a large scoop of catfish dip. Garnish with orange and freshly grated horseradish. Serve with a sliced baguette or crackers.
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