Catfish Evangeline

Makes 6 servings. Recipe is from Natchitoches Parish 4-H.

For the rice:

21/2 cups water

2 cups uncooked rice

Measure 21/2 cups water and pour into the rice cooker bowl. Stir in two cups of rice and set rice cooker settings, cooking according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For the fish:

6 (3 to 4 oz.) catfish filets

Olive oil non-stick cooking spray

5 tbls. light butter, melted

4 tsps. fresh lemon juice

2 tbls. lemon pepper seasoning

1. Rinse catfish filets and pat dry with a paper towel. Coat wire rack with spray.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Add lemon juice and mix well. Pour mixture into a shallow dish.

3. Dip each fillet in the mixture and place on wire rack. Sprinkle fillets with lemon pepper seasoning on both sides.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

For the Creole sauce:

2 tbls. olive oil

11/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1?8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. sugar

4 tbls. no-salt-added tomato paste

3 tsps. cornstarch

1 cup water

1 lb. cooked crawfish tails

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1. Pour olive oil into a skillet, add the onion, celery and garlic and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

2. Stir in salt, peppers, sugar and tomato paste. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch into water. Add cornstarch mixture to the vegetables and stir occasionally until sauce thickens. Stir in crawfish tails and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

3. To plate the dish, place a 1/2-cup serving of rice onto a plate. Top with a fish fillet and 1/4 cup Creole sauce. Garnish with green onions.