This being Friday, we had (as usual) fish for dinner. But we tried it with a new variation on a smoked paprika-tomato sauce that was really great and easy to make. This sauce worked very well with fish (in our case, fresh catfish), but it would also be equally good with chicken or, for a veggie/vegan option, with potatoes or crispy tofu.
The ingredients are pretty simple: about a pound of fresh catfish fillet (we got just over one pound), 1/3 cup of diced roasted bell pepper, 1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes, 1/3 cup of diced sweet or Vidalia onion, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano leaves, 2 cloves of garlic; not shown: olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, fresh lemon juice, 2 scant cups of canned oven-roasted diced tomatoes.
Core and quarter the red bell pepper and put in the oven to broil for 8 to 10 minutes.
While the pepper is roasting, dice the onion and crush the garlic cloves. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan, and add the onion. Sauté for 2 minutes until it begins to soften, then add the garlic.
About now, the pepper should be done. Remove from heat once it has seared.
Place in a paper bag, and close the bag. Let it rest about 5 minutes. In the meantime, rinse and halve the cherry or grape tomatoes.
Add one more tablespoon of olive oil, then sprinkle the smoked paprika into the pan and stir. Cut the catfish into four equal portions (in terms of weight), then add to the onion-garlic mixture.
Sear in the pan for 2 minutes, then turn over.
Dice the roasted bell pepper and add to the pan. Also add the cherry or grape tomatoes halves and the oven-roasted diced tomatoes. Sprinkle with the dried oregano leaves.
Cover with a tight lid and lower heat to the lowest possible level. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and, if desired, a sprinkle of lemon juice.
We served this tonight with Creamy Hasselback Potatoes (one of my husband’s favorites) and steamed broccoli. And our wine was the 2012 Magnolia Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve. This is a very nice Cab Franc, with deep cherry and plum notes and a crisp acidic uplift. However, when paired with this dish, the wine and the smoked paprika-tomato softened each other and blended beautifully. A great combination!