Catfish and Vine-Ripened Tomato Fricassee 4.000

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Top Tomato 2014 Aug 20, 2014

Here, the fish keeps company with a smooth, elegant sauce that's easy to make.

Make Ahead: The sauce can be made and refrigerated a day or two in advance. You may need to add a little water to achieve the original consistency when you reheat it.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (see NOTE)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth, preferably no-salt-added
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound skinned catfish fillets


Melt the butter in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir to coat; cook for 3 minutes, stirring as needed.

Add the chopped tomatoes, broth, ground cumin and salt, stirring to incorporate. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, then whisk in the heavy cream to form a smooth, pale orange sauce.

Add the fish fillets; and turn them over to coat. Cover and cook for 5 or 6 minutes or more, until the fish flakes easily under the tines of a fork.

Divide the fillets among individual plates. Spoon the sauce over each portion. Serve right away.

NOTE: To peel tomatoes, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato and remove the stem. Place in the boiling water for 10 or 15 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to quickly transfer to the ice water. The skin should slip off.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Karen Kuebler of Dallas.

Tested by Andrew Sikkenga.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at