Flavorful Catfish Stew Recipe Stirs Memories of the Cuisine From the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay

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Annapolis, Maryland, rests on the scenic Severn River that empties into the Chesapeake Bay. Residents growing up there decades ago ate lots of fresh seafood caught straight from the water. Crabs, oysters, catfish, perch, eels, spot, and hardheads (Atlantic Croaker) were plentiful and lent themselves to a wide variety of seafood recipes.

The waters were so clean that you could eat any of the fish and shellfish without fear. Today, however, most US catfish is farm-raised.

Catfish is a favorite of many people because it is versatile, quick and easy. It is a tasty and firm-textured fish that adapts well to all kinds of cooking methods and recipes from appetizers and sandwiches to salads and stews.

Catfish stew was a staple and offered warmth on a chilly day. The following dish stirs memories of days as a kid enjoying the bounty of the sea in a city on the bay.

Catfish Stew

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 chopped green pepper

1-1 1/2 lbs. catfish nuggets cut into bite-sized chunks (Available in many supermarkets)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried celery seed

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. garlic salt (or to taste)

1/4 tsp. pepper (or to taste

1 can cannellini beans

4 c. water

Put olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until hot, not smoking. Add onions and green pepper, sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in catfish nuggets and cook until coated, about 1 minute. Add water, beans and remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, gently stirring on occasion.

Serve in bowls over hot steamed rice. Makes about 4 servings