Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fresh fish; not in a landlocked state.

Hubby and I enjoy eating fish.  While we lived on the East Coast, we were able to purchase fresh fish, not only in our own supermarkets, but off the docks in various states.  Oh, to be able to bake whiting in a simple butter sauce, the flesh easily slides off the bone; succulent and sweet like a candy.

Teriyaki glazed salmon searing on a smoky grill while toasted sesame seeds wait to adorn it.

Blue fish, topped with buttery crumbs, sizzling on a griddle; to lie on a toasted bun smeared with a spicy seafood sauce.

Fried catfish, crispy on the outside, flaky within; served with puffy hushpuppies and cool coleslaw.

Crab cakes fried to perfection, served with a creamy remoulade (that's French for tartar sauce), and that's how Roy likes them; I prefer the spicy seafood sauce (basically cocktail sauce with extra horseradish mixed in).

Are you drooling yet?  I am, and it's mixing with the tears for I know that, while I can make these items, they have to be with defrosted seafood, not the freshest.  The local markets will sell fish that looks as if it was packaged fresh, but, in reality, it is defrosted fish, and needs to be cooked very quickly before spoiling.  Or you can buy, in the freezer section, prepackaged, cut into portions, fish.  When it comes to crab meat, you're more likely to find it in a can, and very expensive.  Lump crab meat costs about $20, and that's for a 5 ounce can; about the size of a regular can of tuna fish.   Or, you have the old standby, imitation crab or lobster which costs about $2.50 to $3 for a 12 ounce package.  Imitation crab is whitefish that has been flavored to taste like crab or lobster.  Yeah, it's depressing for someone who really enjoys eating seafood.

So, if you're lucky enough to obtain the fresh stuff...yes, I'm jealous, but I'll still share a couple of recipes with you.

Cajun Catfish
4 catfish fillets, cut into thirds
*Seasoning mix
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup canola or peanut oil
*Seasoning Mix
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp each salt, garlic powder
 1 ½ tsp each dried oregano, thyme
1 tsp each ground black pepper, onion powder
 3 tsp paprika
Stir together cayenne pepper, salt, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, black pepper, onion powder and paprika until evenly blended. Store in an airtight container.
Rub each side of catfish with seasoning mix. 
Mix cornmeal with flour.  Dip fillets into beaten egg, then dredge into cornmeal/flour mix; shake off excess.
In a medium skillet, heat oil on high; fry 3 fillets at a time, so they are not crowded and fry evenly.  Fillets should fry for 7 minutes on each side.  Drain on paper towels.
Makes 6 servings. 

Crab Imperial
1 lb crab meat (claw and/or lump, picked clean), or imitation crab, flaked
½ cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp each roasted red bell peppers and green onion, minced
¼ tsp each dry mustard and paprika
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray a 1 qt baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together thoroughly all ingredients, except bread crumbs.  Place mixture into baking dish; sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over top.
Bake 20-25 minutes; or until bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Makes 4 servings.

Mary Cokenour

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