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Spring Shoots and Sprouts with Pastrami-Cured Catfish Fillets and Dill Sauce

INGREDIENTS:5 lbs. U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Fillets
½ cup salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 ½ Tbsp. coriander seeds
1 ½ Tbsp. pink peppercorns
1 Tbsp. dill seeds
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup Dijon mustard, coarse
2 ½ Tbsp. shallots
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup canola oil
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
to taste, salt and ground black pepper
2 qts. mixed sprouts: alfalfa, daikon radish, broccoli, mung bean, etc.
2 cups pea shoots, 1/3 stem removed
1 qt. carrots, julienned
¼ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
½ tsp. granulated sugar
to taste, salt and ground black pepper DIRECTIONS:Wash and dry the catfish fillets. In a half steamtable pan, mix salt, sugar and soy sauce; add catfish fillets and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a heated saute pan, toss mustard seeds, coriander seeds, pink peppercorns and dill seeds; toast lightly until fragrant. Remove from pan and cool. Place cooled seeds in a spice grinder and grind coarsely. Transfer to a small bowl and mix with brown sugar and salt; reserve. Remove catfish from the refrigerator and rinse off marinade. Pat dry on paper towels.

Apply the dry spice rub mixture to both sides of catfish fillets. Place fillets on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F in conventional oven until the fish is cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before covering and placing in the refrigerator to chill. Reserve.

To prepare dressing, in a bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard and shallots. Gradually add the oils, whisking vigorously. Whisk in dill and adjust seasonings. Hold at least 1 hour before serving or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature to serve as directed.

For salad mixture, gently toss together sprouts, carrots and cilantro with vinegar, oil and sugar; taste and adjust seasonings.

To serve, mound the salad in center of a chilled dinner plate. Using a slicing knife, slice the catfish thinly on the bias. Drape the slices around the salad and drizzle the plate with the mustard-shallot dressing (1 Tbsp. per salad). Serve with pumpernickel toasts and a sprinkle of capers, if desired. SERVINGS:24 servings From:Chef Frank Costantino, CEC, CCE, senior culinary instructor, New York City PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: THE CATFISH INSTITUTE

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