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Catfish Cakes

INGREDIENTS:8 lbs. (24 fillets) U.S. farm-raised catfish
as needed, canola oil
as needed, salt and ground black pepper
8 large eggs
3 cups mayonnaise
1 cup half-and-half
½ cup Dijon-style mustard
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 qts. cracker crumbs (saltine-style)
½ tsp. red pepper hot sauce
3 cups all-purpose flour
as needed, salt and ground black pepper
as needed, butter, unsalted
24 lemon wedges or slices
if desired, fried green tomatoes
if desired, black-eyed pea succotash
if desired, cooked mustard greens or kale
if desired, prepared green tomato ketchup DIRECTIONS:Brush fillets with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay catfish on a sheet pan and bake in pre-heated 350°F oven 15-18 minutes. Cool catfish and flake into small pieces. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add mayonnaise. Add half-and-half, mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay and hot sauce; mix well. Add cracker crumbs and flaked catfish and mix to blend. Shape mixture into 24 four-inch patties and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge both sides of catfish cakes in seasoned flour. Heat butter in a large skillet. Add several catfish cakes (do not over-crowd in the pan) and pan-fry cakes 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Keep catfish cakes warm while cooking remaining cakes.

To serve: For each serving, plate 2 catfish cakes per person with lemon wedges or slices. If desired, serve with 2 fried green tomato slices, ½ cup black-eyed pea succotash, ½ cup cooked greens as well as 2 Tbsp. green tomato ketchup. SERVINGS:24 servings From:Chef Jimmy Kennedy, River Run Cafe, Plainfield, Vermont PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: The Catfish Institute