While this is a catfish recipe, it is a modification of a redfish recipe. And as you might suspect, you can modify this recipe for any other fish you choose to use. I've seen blackened salmon, trout, flounder, walleye, black bass, seabass... you get the point. The fish is less important than the technique. As for the maque choux (mahk-shoo) , as you can see it is basically Cajun succotash. Corn, onions and green peppers are its foundation, and it usually has tomatoes and a little hot sauce, too. White rice is the perfect side dish here. Simple, kinda bland, you need it on the plate next to the spicy catfish.
Make the maque choux first. Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat, then add the onion. Saute the onion for 1 minute, then add the green pepper. Sprinkle salt over everything and saute for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the corn kernels and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover while you make the fish.
Get a cast-iron frying pan hot over your hottest burner. Turn the stove fan on high, and open the windows nearby, as this creates smoke. Let the frying pan get hot for a good 3-4 minutes. While the pan is heating up, melt the butter and pour the Cajun spices into a shallow dish.
Dip the fish fillets in the melted butter, then dredge in the Cajun spices. Shake off any excess. Do this for as many fillets as will fit in the frying pan; I find that 4 normal fillets is as much as it will hold. Lay the fish down on the hot pan. It will sizzle up fiercely and smoke. This is normal. Let the fish cook this way for 2-3 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, carefully flip the catfish fillets and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
When you flip the catfish, add the tomatoes and the Tabasco to the maque choux.
Serve with white rice, the maque choux and a good beer. And revel in the fact that some idiot paid $130 for this back in 1983...