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Pan-Fried Catfish with Chipotle Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS:24 U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets
Kosher salt as needed
14 oz. panko bread crumbs
canola oil as needed
vinaigrette (3 cups)
2 Tbsps. chipotle in adobo sauce
1 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsps. lime juice
¼ cup shallots, chopped
2 cups canola oil
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper as needed
1 lb. cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
24 cilantro sprigsDIRECTIONS:1. Sprinkle fillets with salt and press both sides of fish into the panko crumbs. Place on sheet pan, cover and keep refrigerated 10-15 minutes or until ready to use.

2. In a tilting skillet, griddle, or large fry pan, heat 1/8 inch of oil. Pan fry catfish 2 ½ to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place on a sheet pan and finish cooking fillets in a pre-heated, 350ºF conventional oven 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Keep warm until ready to serve.

3. For vinaigrette: Blend together chipotle, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and shallots. Slowly blend in oil and stir in cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Just before serving, stir cucumbers into vinaigrette. Serve each catfish fillet with 2-3 Tbsps. chipotle vinaigrette. Garnish fish with cilantro sprig.SERVINGS:24 servingsFrom:Mich'l Kann, Chef of Residential Dining, Harvard University