Three-Pepper Catfish Rub
3 tablespoons coarse-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons coarse-ground white pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Six 8-ounce catfish fillets
Catfish Mop (optional)
2 cups seafood or chicken stock
½ cup oil, preferably canola or corn oil
Juice of 3 limes
1 to 1 tablespoons remaining Three-Pepper Catfish Rub
Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce (optional)
1 cup white vinegar
¾ cup prepared yellow mustard
½ medium onion, minced
1/3 cup water
¼ cut tomato puree
1 tablespoon paprika
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Makes about 2 cups
(Recipe for making the Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce:
Mix the ingredients in a saucepan and bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the onions are tender and the mixture thickens, 20 to 25 minutes. Use the sauce warm or chilled. It keeps, refrigerated, for a couple of weeks. Variation: Add a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise or brown sugar for a different level of tang.)
Recipe for Peppered Catfish:
At least 2 ½ hours before you plan to barbecue, or preferably the night before, mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover the catfish lightly and evenly with the rub, reserving at least 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture if you plan to baste the fish. Place the fillets in a plastic bag and refrigerate them for 2 hours or overnight.
Prepare the smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature to 180 degrees F to 200 degrees F.
Remove the fillets from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
If you are going to use the mop, mix the ingredients together in a small saucepan and warm over low heat.
Place the catfish in the smoker on a small grill rack as far from the fire as possible. Cook the fish for approximately 1 ½ hours, dabbing the catfish with mop every 20 minutes in a wood-burning pit, or as appropriate for your style of smoker.
When cooked, the catfish will be opaque and firm, yet flaky. Serve warm. If desired, accompany the catfish with Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce.
Taken from the section on, "Smoking Slow and Low" and the chapter entitled, "Fishing for Compliments" in the book, Smoke & Spice by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. Publisher: Harvard Common Press in Boston, Massachusetts
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