Tomato Gravy Catfish – With Bacon! My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge Has A Feast From “Mr. Joe”!

A Delicious “Tomato Gravy Catfish With Bacon!”

Who’s hungry? If not, you will be after I share my latest “52 In 22” cooking challenge – thanks to a brilliant Chef from my home town of Seattle and a guy named “Mr. Joe”!

And who is “Mr. Joe?” Well, Chef Tom explains in his cookbook;

“Mr. Joe was our next-door neighbor for 18 years in Newark Delaware, where I grew up. No calling adults by their first names in those days – it was MR> Joe and MRS. Alice.”

You see, every week Mr. Joe would make this dish and Chef Douglas loved it!

Douglas never forgot that recipe, and when he asked his parent for it they admitted they had no idea – it was something Mr. Joe came up with – so the parents got Mr. Joe to write it down for Chef Tom and he has it in his cookbook as an homage!

This is a delicious and for me unusual way to serve fish – but sine I love the sweetness of that fish, let’s make it in honor of Mr. Joe!

For The Tomato Gravy:

8 slices bacon

2/3 cup chopped onion

-1/2 cups canned diced tomato

1 cup canned tomato sauce

Chef Tom notes that while he always uses fresh tomatoes at his restaurant, Mr. Joe did NOT – so he is honoring the original recipe by using canned!

Tabasco sauce to taste

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

salt and pepper to taste

The first thing to do is to fry the bacon until crispy then set aside for later…and as an added treat, a little video of it bubbling away on the stove…here’s a little “bacon frying music” for you…

Now, cook the onions in 2 tbl of the bacon grease for about two minutes then add the tomatoes.

Cook for ten minutes, then puree in a food processor….I did it briefly to keep a chunkier consistency which I like…

Return the gravy to the pan and add your tabasco and all seasonings. Simmer for five minutes, then add the corn starch and it will make the “gravy”…

Now that your gravy is done, time to fry some food – but let’s not forget to make Tom’s special spice rub first!

For The Spice Rub:

Both the catfish and the artichokes can use the same spicy mixture.

2 tbl. paprika

2 tsp salt

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne

I dredged my artichokes first – I used cooked the quarter chunks and they worked just fine…

They took less than ten minutes and then I set them aside with the bacon and the last part of the process was frying up the catfish!

1-1/2 pound catfish fillets, cut into portions

3 tbl peanut oil for pan frying the fish

4 lemon wedges

Oh, and they want you to use fresh parsley so here I am with mine:

Frying fish doesn’t take long at all.

Heat your peanut oil in a frying pan and fry your catfish, about 4 minutes per side.

While they are cooking, reheat your bacon briefly in the oven so it’s nice and warm – you can put your artichokes in as well…then it’s time to plate the dish!

Here’s the process:

As you saw in the video, you ladle the gravy onto a plate, put a catfish portion over the sauce and lay two strips of bacon over the top!

Garnish your plate with parsley, lemon wedges and the fried artichokes and your “tomato gravy catfish” is ready to enjoy!

What a delicious bite of food!

Bravo to Chef Tom Douglas – he has a great line of canned spice rubs for salmon, steak, chicken and vegetables too…they are terrific!

I love using regular products in new ways…

Yes, this was a single strip of beef I needed for another of these “52 In 22” cooking challenge – I love cooking unique recipes like this one…

It was “gingered beef with asparagus and leek” and it was incredible thanks to Chef Ming Tsai’s recipe!

You can see how easy and delicious it is by clicking on my story here:

I also made potstickers at home for the first time – and “siu mai” as well:

I made these for the first time and they turned out well…click here for the recipe!

This is perfect “finger food”, as you can make a wide variety and let me pick away…much like the Japanese Pub food I prepared:

This “52 In 22” cooking challenge replicated an Izakaya meal served in a Japanese pub…see what it all was and get the recipes by clicking here:

Of course, I shared another unique dish I made for the first time as well…

These “Spinach-Stuffed Eggplant Rolls” were vegan and delicious and you can see the recipe here:

Also, for all of you foodies, I am saving all of the “52 In 22” recipes at my food website:

“Bite! Eat! Repeat!” is filled with recipes and so much more – check it all out here:

If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like…click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right…

Thanks so much for reading, and if you enjoy it, feel free to share on social media – and bravo to Chef Tom Douglas and “Mr. Joe!”

Categories: BACON, cookbooks, Food, food blog, Food Review, Recipes, Restaurants, Wacky Food

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10 replies

  1. Yes you made readers hungry!🤤 I never tried cooking catfish (and even a couple of times eating catfish) but by pan frying them with peanut oil and tomato bacon gravy sound extra flavorful to the whole dish! Yum😋

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m all in on this one.


  3. yummm, love the look of the sauce and I’d like a full cd of the bacon music


  4. Another yummy recipe! Those artichokes could be used as a side dish for many things.


  5. We could all do with more bacon music in our lives! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have never tried Catfish, but I like the look of that recipe with artichokes and bacon, John.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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