Courtbouillon is a southern comfort food dish. That’s why football and rain translate to this dish. Uncle Cheeky introduced me to courtbouillon. Uncle Cheeky was from the Carolina married to my Great Aunt Mary from the Lower 9th Ward. The dishes they created together were truly foot stomping good!
When I first had courtbouillon, it was made with catfish heads. There is a lot of meat on the jaws of the catfish. I have a dear friend that use to eat this dish with me when we were kids. A couple of years ago she asked me to make it BUT when she realized it was made with catfish heads she said that all right I don’t want any!!!!!!! To accommodate her I cooked this dish with catfish steaks or any other thick fish that will hold its shape and not break apart. This dish also served and presents well as a wrap on a warm flour tomato tortilla.
INGREDIENTS: ¼ tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 tsp. seasoning salt, 2 bay leaves, 2 T. butter flavored shortening, ¼ cup diced white onions, ¼ cup diced celery, ¼ cup diced bell pepper, ½ T. self-rising flour, 1 (10.5 oz.) can chicken broth, 1 (14.5 oz.) can stewing tomatoes, 1 (3 oz.) can tomato paste, ¼ tsp. hot sauce, ½ cup okra, cut into ¼ inch chunks, 1 lb. catfish steaks, 2 cups cooked rice, sliced green onions for garnish.
In a large Dutch oven heat shortening. Add the onions, celery, and bell black pepper. Sauté until the onions are clear. Add the flour this will start your roux, stir with a whisk until well blended, cook to a dark caramel color. Add the chicken broth continue to stir with your whisk until smooth. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and okra. The final step, add the hot sauce, bay leaves, and dry seasoning. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes, cook uncovered. Add the catfish, cover the pot and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Serve over rice, garnish with green onions.