Number 94: Catfish

11 Jul

Remember when I had Kathryn’s Seafood Mania a couple weeks ago? Well, this is a leftover that I never got around to posting.  Sometimes I like to pretend that I am a gourmet chef and I throw together amazingly delicious meals in no time.  The truth of the matter is that lots of the time, I’m just heating up pre-made stuff and passing it off as my own.  This is one of those instances!  How much did I actually MAKE of that yummy-looking meal?  Uh, one-third.

Those tasty stuffed potatoes were actually purchased from Omaha Steaks, as I recently went a little bit crazy in their store.  How crazy?  THIS crazy:

Yeah, the less said about that the better…Anyways, the catfish was from Burhop’s Seafood Market that I talked about a couple weeks ago.  They had frozen cornbread-crusted catfish fillets with jalapenos and I grabbed ’em like they were the last fish fillets on earth!

The only thing I actually made was the (world’s easiest) wild rice pilaf.  I used this recipe and just changed out the broccoli for green beans.  It was deee-lish!

Before I made the meal, Dan warned me that he hated catfish, but I thought that the flavor of the breading might make it tolerable.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  He took one bite, pushed the catfish to the side, and said “it tastes dirty!”

The second he said that, I completely understood what he was talking about.  It tasted like the ocean floor or something.  Dan went on to explain to me that catfish are bottom-feeders.  They hang out at the bottom of lakes, ponds, or rivers, eat whatever they can find- sludge included- and just filter the inedible stuff out.  You definitely get a sense of that when you taste catfish, and after I realized that, it was kind of a struggle to finish my piece, even with the cornmeal breading.

THE VERDICT
Catfish does, in a way, taste kind of dirty.  It kind of encapsulates all the flavors of the undersea world, instead of having a mild flavor like cod or haddock.  I know that’s what people generally like about catfish, but I just couldn’t get into it.  I just kept imagining those fat whisker-faced little mongrels on the floor of a pond eating up the scum…then me eating them.  Ugh.

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6 Responses to “Number 94: Catfish”

  1. Laura in Cancun July 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    “it tastes dirty” hahahaha

    never had catfish, and after reading this… I probably never will! 😛

  2. Miss Angie July 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    That sure looks good though! Man I want to eat your dinner up there!

  3. Allison @ PickyEatingRD July 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Blehhh I dislike fishy tasting err rather “dirty” tasting fish. I know exactly the taste you are trying to describe with catfish its gross!

  4. IntenseGuy July 12, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    I’ve not eaten catfish in ages – my landlord in college used to bake some on a cookie sheet and give me and my “starving” roommate the leftovers – we always ate ’em.

    But I never did develop a taste for ’em. Some of them do live in some disgusting looking water, that’s for sure.

    That Omaha Steak order must of cost a fortune.

  5. Nancy July 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    I think that old saying is true, “You are what you eat”. The catfish, I mean.

  6. Mike July 15, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    What do you think crab and lobster eat? They’re bottom-dwellers as well. I’ve read most catfish is now being imported from SE Asia and the water quality and conditions they’re raised in is less than desirable. Pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals…all can be found in the flesh of fish (and also produce) imported from that region.

    The price of corn (the main ingredient in catfish feed) is the reason there aren’t many American sources of catfish. I’ve got a friend who raises his own catfish; he starts them off in a pond, feeds them a medicated commercial food, then seines them out when they’re close to the size for eating. He then puts them in a galvanized stock tank to “finish” off for a few weeks. He makes his own feed from corn meal, wheat shorts, corn syrup and during the last week before he harvests, adds various herbs to the food. He changes the water out frequently, keeps it oxygenated w/ an air pump and doesn’t feed them at all for the the last couple of days before he butchers the fish. (that’s not so much f/ the flavor, but is just a little less messy when he cleans the fish.)

    I really like it when he uses a lot of thyme in the “finish” food. I seldom eat seafood – or pork* – but his fish are the best I’ve ever eaten, sweet and clean with subtle hints of the herbs

    *Pigs will eat anything; sure, most hogs are raised on commercial feed, but not all. I haven’t had pork since Hurricane Katrina when I read pigs were found eating corpses…those people killed by the storm as well as bodies washed out of their shallow New Orleans graves.

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