When people tell me they’d like to add more seafood to their diets and are looking for some budget-friendly options, I push them toward Pacific cod, tilapia, catfish, mussels and clams.
Responsible Choice swai is another good choice. It’s a product of Vietnam and is very much like catfish. It’s very reasonably priced. Right now, Hy-Vee is selling two one-half pound fillets for $5.
Pacific cod ranges between about $7 and $8 per pound, which is very affordable when you consider a pound will feed four people.
Mussels and littleneck clams run range from about $5 to $6 a pound and can stretch a food budget. Recipes are very basic, using olive oil, garlic and shallots, some fresh Italian herbs and liquid, either white wine or citrus juice. Don’t forget to buy a loaf of crusty baguette bread for $1.99 to sop up that good broth.
Fish tacos are a hot food trend right now, and they don’t use many ingredients, which makes this an affordable meal. The same goes for blackened catfish, which has a lot of spices, but most people have them in their cupboards already, so it’s easy to throw together. This recipe can also be used with swai.
Spicy Tilapia Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
All you need:
- 1 pound tilapia fillets
- Old Bay Blackening Seasoning, as needed
- 2 cups cabbage slaw mix
- 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 container Hy-Vee peach mango salsa
- 6 to 10 soft or hard corn or flour tortillas
All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fish on a prepared sheet pan and season with Old Bay Blackening Season. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
2. Toss cabbage with red pepper, green onion, rice wine vinegar, sugar and olive oil; season to taste with salt and black pepper.
3. To assemble tacos, place flaked tilapia on tortilla shells. Top with cabbage slaw and peach salsa.
Blackened Catfish with Fresh Lemon
All you need:
- 2 tbsp Spanish paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 5 (5 oz each) catfish fillets, skinned
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 to 4 tbsp sweet cream butter, softened
- 5 fresh lemon wedges
All you do:
1. In a pie plate, combine paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
2. Pat dry the fish and roll in the blackening spice mixture.
3. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil until nearly smoking. Place catfish fillet in pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until done. To serve, top each fillet with a little softened butter and fresh lemon wedge.