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Hickory-Smoked Catfish BLT

Hickory-Smoked Catfish BLTRecipe provided courtesy of The Catfish Institute.

Recipe Ingredients:

Catfish Brine:
3 cups water
1/2 sliced lemon
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Tomato Aïoli:
Boiling water, as needed
4 dried tomato halves
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 U.S. Farm-Raised catfish fillets (about 6 ounces each)
8 slices wheat bread, toasted
8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp
8 thin slices tomatoes
1 cup baby arugula, packed

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Catfish Brine: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for brine. Makes about 3 cups.
  2. Add catfish fillets to the brine; cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours
  3. In a hot smoker, using hickory chips, follow manufacturer's instructions for fillets until lightly smoked and fully cooked.
  4. Meanwhile Prepare Tomato Aïoli: Pour boiling water over dried tomato halves; set aside to soften, about 15 minutes; drain well and finely chop. Combine tomatoes with mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, garlic, grated lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups.
  5. Spread each toast slice with aïoli
  6. To Assemble Sandwiches: Place a slice of toast, aïoli side up, on each of 4 plates. Top with a fillet. Layer each slice with 2 slices each of the bacon and tomato, top with arugula. Cover with remaining toast. Cut sandwiches in halves. Serve with chips, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of The Catfish Institute.