Catfish la Fitte Recipe - Authentic Louisiana Flavors

Catfish la Fitte

Catfish la Fitte Recipe - Authentic Louisiana Flavors
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4


Catfish la Fitte
Catfish la Fitte

Catfish la Fitte is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines crispy fried catfish fillets with a creamy shrimp and ham sauce. This dish is perfect for a special occasion or a fancy dinner at home.


Catfish la Fitte is a classic Louisiana dish that is named after the famous pirate Jean Lafitte. It is said that Lafitte used to enjoy this dish while hiding out in the bayous of Louisiana. The combination of crispy catfish and creamy shrimp sauce is a true taste of the South.


How to prepare

  1. In a shallow dish, beat eggs and milk together.
  2. In another shallow dish or on a piece of wax paper, mix flour, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Dredge catfish fillets in the flour mixture, then dip them in the egg mixture, and coat them again in flour. Place the coated fillets on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  4. Pour oil into a deep fryer or a large, deep skillet and heat it to 360°F (182°C) using a deep-frying thermometer.
  5. Place two fillets at a time in the hot oil and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown and easily flake when tested with a fork. Drain the fried fillets on paper towels.
  6. While the catfish is frying, prepare the sauce. Heat 1 tbsp of melted butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add shrimp to the skillet and sauté them until they turn light pink on both sides, making sure not to overcook them.
  8. Stir in garlic, ham strips, and vermouth. Mix in cream, half of the green onion, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to reduce the cream.
  9. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tbsp of melted butter.
  10. Place a catfish fillet on each serving plate and top it with three pieces of shrimp. Arrange ham strips to fill in the gaps between the shrimp.
  11. Spoon the sauce onto the catfish and sprinkle it with the remaining green onion.
  12. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs, and serve.


  • Substitute the catfish fillets with tilapia or cod for a lighter option.
  • Add diced tomatoes or bell peppers to the shrimp sauce for extra flavor.
  • Use bacon instead of ham for a smokier taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to properly coat the catfish fillets in the flour mixture to ensure a crispy crust.

- Fry the catfish fillets in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.

- Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as they can become tough and rubbery.

- Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your taste preferences.

Serving Suggestions

Catfish la Fitte is best served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes or buttered rice. A crisp green salad or steamed vegetables make a great accompaniment to this rich and flavorful dish.

Cooking Techniques

Deep frying the catfish fillets ensures a crispy and golden crust.

- Sautéing the shrimp in butter adds richness to the sauce.

- Whisking in butter at the end of cooking the sauce helps to thicken and enrich it.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use almond milk or coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative to milk.

- Gluten-free flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour for a gluten-free version of this dish.

- Chicken or turkey bacon can be used instead of ham for a lighter option.

Make Ahead Tips

The catfish fillets can be coated in the flour mixture and refrigerated for up to 1 hour before frying.

- The shrimp sauce can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the catfish fillets on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes for an elegant presentation. - Garnish the dish with fresh parsley or chives for a pop of color. - Arrange lemon wedges around the plate for a bright and citrusy touch.

Pairing Recommendations

A crisp white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, pairs well with the rich and creamy shrimp sauce.

- A side of crusty French bread is perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

- Reheat the dish in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through, or in the microwave for a quick and easy meal.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving



- Total Carbohydrates: 24g

- Dietary Fiber: 1g

- Sugars: 2g


- Total Fat: 22g

- Saturated Fat: 9g

- Trans Fat: 0g


- Protein: 32g

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A: 12%

- Vitamin C: 4%

- Calcium: 6%

- Iron: 10%


Contains: Milk, Wheat, Shellfish


Catfish la Fitte is a rich and indulgent dish that is high in protein and fats. It is a great source of vitamin A and iron, but it is also high in calories and saturated fats.


Catfish la Fitte is a decadent and flavorful dish that combines crispy fried catfish fillets with a creamy shrimp and ham sauce. This dish is perfect for a special occasion or a fancy dinner at home, and is sure to impress your guests with its rich and indulgent flavors.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe is still vivid in my mind. It was a warm summer day in the small town of Lafayette, Louisiana. I was just a young girl, eager to learn the art of cooking from my mother, who was a fantastic cook herself. We had gone to visit my aunt who lived on a farm near the bayou, and that's where I learned to make Catfish la Fitte.

My aunt was known for her delicious Cajun dishes, and she took great pride in passing down her recipes to the next generation. On that particular day, she decided to teach me how to make one of her most famous dishes - Catfish la Fitte. She said it was a dish inspired by the legendary pirate Jean Lafitte, who used to roam the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

As we gathered the ingredients - fresh catfish fillets, Cajun seasoning, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes - my aunt began to tell me the story behind the recipe. She said that the dish was named after Jean Lafitte because he was known for his love of seafood and spicy flavors. Legend had it that he used to cook up a similar dish for his crew whenever they needed a hearty meal after a long day at sea.

My aunt showed me how to season the catfish fillets with Cajun seasoning and let them marinate for a while to soak up all the flavors. Meanwhile, she sautéed the bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes in a skillet until they were nice and caramelized. The aroma that filled the kitchen was simply intoxicating.

Once the vegetables were cooked, my aunt placed the marinated catfish fillets on top and let them simmer in the skillet until they were cooked through. The colors of the dish were vibrant - the bright red tomatoes, the green bell peppers, and the golden brown catfish all coming together in perfect harmony.

As we sat down to enjoy our meal, my aunt told me that the key to making a great Catfish la Fitte was to use fresh ingredients and to let the flavors meld together slowly. She said that cooking was not just about following a recipe, but about putting love and care into every dish you make.

That day, I learned more than just a recipe for Catfish la Fitte. I learned about the importance of tradition, of passing down recipes from generation to generation. I learned that cooking was a way to connect with our past, to honor our ancestors and the stories that they left behind.

Since that day, Catfish la Fitte has become a staple in my own cooking repertoire. Whenever I make it, I think of my aunt and the lessons she taught me in her farmhouse kitchen near the bayou. And I know that as long as I keep cooking, the flavors and traditions of my family will live on for generations to come.


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