Cast Iron Seared Catfish, Black-eyed Peas, and Hot Sauce Gastrique – TCI

Cast Iron Seared Catfish, Black-eyed Peas, and Hot Sauce Gastrique

Recipe from Nick Wallace

Serving Size: 2

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What you’ll need:

  • Cast Iron Skillet Catfish:
  • 2 8 oz. catfish filets
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Fish Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Braised Black-eyed Peas
  • 8 oz fresh to frozen black-eyed peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ small red onion diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

  • Hot Sauce Gastrique
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I used part apple cider and part red wine)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of Nick’s 26 seasoning

How to prepare:

Cast Iron Skillet Catfish:

Add the spices to a shallow dish and stir with a fork until combined. Pat the catfish filets dry with a paper towel. Then, dredge the fillets in the rub mixture, shaking off any excess.

Preheat the Blackston griddle to medium-high heat or Cast Iron Skillet. Add the canola oil and spread in an even layer with a long-handled spatula. Then, add the butter and spread it around until it is melted and foamy.

Place the fillets on the hot griddle and cook on each side for about 3 minutes, until the fish is browned and flakes easily with a fork.


To cook in a cast-iron skillet: Preheat a cast iron over medium-high heat, then add the canola oil and butter. Once the butter is melted and foamy, add the catfish. Cook on each side for 3 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. To avoid a lot of smoke indoors, heat the cast iron skillet on a gas grill with the lid closed instead.

Another cooking method is frying the blackened catfish in an air fryer.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges for a squeeze of lemon juice that brightens the flavor.

Don’t miss the sides of the fish when coating it with the spice mixture!


Braised Black-eyed Peas:

Rinse black-eyed peas thoroughly

Heat skillet on low heat. Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add paprika and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Increase heat to medium. Add red onions and red peppers and mix well. Add black-eyed peas and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the infused oil touches all individual peas. Season as needed with salt, pepper, and more paprika. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh basil or parsley.


Hot Sauce Gastrique:

Add sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Turn heat to medium-high. Stir now and then until the sugar melts. When the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and let the mixture cook until it turns amber in color.

Add the hot sauce, vinegar, and spices and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches a slightly syrupy thickness. It will thicken more upon cooling. Watch for the bubbles to become a bit smaller and test by placing a bit on a plate and allowing it to cool. Any crystals forming on the side of a pan should be washed down with a pastry brush and a little water.