Catfish from the Farm
I recently received a recipe folder in the mail called Eight New Recipes (Or Should We Call Them Makeovers?).
This collection of recipes is promoting the use of U.S. farm-raised catfish. You can order your free copy or download the recipes from The Catfish Institute. If you're a paper freak like I am, you'll likely prefer the recipe book to the download. It's very nicely done--printed on heavy blue-textured cardstock and illustrated with some scrumptious-looking catfish dinners.
My favorite way to fix catfish is by simply dredging fillets or pieces in a mixture of cornmeal and flour and frying in oil until golden. I've honestly never thought about preparing catfish in any other manner.
However, the eight recipes are illustrated so nicely and sound so good that I'm definitely tempted to give some of them a try: Grilled Catfish over Mixed Greens; Almond-Crusted Catfish; Grilled Catfish with Black Bean Salsa; Ranchero Catfish; Sesame-Crusted Catfish with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce; Tuscan Catfish, Parchment-Steamed Catfish with Spring Herbs and Vegetables; and of course, Classic Fried Catfish with Jalapeno Hush Puppies.
At one time I felt catfish was nothing more than a muddy-tasting fish from the bottom of the river and I wouldn't eat or prepare it at all. If I caught one while fishing, I would throw it back. My mind was changed one night after an all-you-can-eat catfish dinner at a restaurant in the backwoods of Tennessee (that I have been unable to locate ever again). They served farm-raised catfish and I was an instant convert.
I have a hard time thinking of fish as an agricultural crop like beans or corn. However, the practice of aquaculture, or fish farming, is on the rise. And it's a controversial subject to say the least.
Other than catfish, I'm always in a quandary when I peer through the glass of the seafood case at the supermarket and try to choose between wild or farm-raised fish or shellfish. I'm on the fence. How about you?