Gasp! A Cooking Blog! Say It Ain’t So!!

A number of folks on my f-list make fairly frequent cooking-related posts and I think I’ve done one or two ever. That’s likely because I’m not as much of an avid cook. At any rate, today when I was doing the shopping alone and thinking about how I’d like to do something special and different for dinner tonight to help my somewhat-broken wife feel better, I saw something that almost literally leaped off the shelf at me. Catfish Fillet. Mmmmm.

Now, I’d never cooked catfish before, and I very seldom prepare fish of any stripe, so I knew it’d be a risk but I wanted to take that challenge on.

So I bought it and a selection of vegetables that felt right to me. As cooks go, I’m very much one that likes to go by instinct and to intuit what flavors will go well together rather than relying on recipes. After getting home, I did go to the internet for a few quick pointers on fixing catfish since I didn’t have prior experience on this one to go on.

So, without further ado, here’s what we had for dinner. I’ll start with the salad because I’m a tease.

The salad started with romaine (I’ll die before I use iceberg for a fresh salad) lettuce, into which we chopped carrots, broccoli, celery, green bell pepper, tomato and cucumber. A handful of red seedless grapes and feta cheese later, we were ready to drizzle some poppyseed dressing over the top. The dressing was selected because it’s got a slightly sour zing to it which I anticipated would go well with the fish.

Next, the veggies: I sauteed some green bell pepper and onions in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat and after maybe two minutes added yellow zucchini, soybeans, italian cut beans, red bell pepper, spinach and artichoke hearts.  Conveniently, that later set of vegetables is available as a tuscan blend in the local supermarket’s frozen section – a blend that I seldom purchase but thought would be just right for this meal. Like I said, I’m not an avid cook though I do enjoy cooking something nice on occasion. I poured in some melted butter to help with the sauteeing process and tie the lot with what I was doing to the fish.

Allrighty, fish! I started with a reasonable-sized catfish fillet (approximately 0.8 pounds, IIRC) which I halved lengthwise for the presentation that I had in mind. I heated up a skillet with a little olive oil over medium-high heat while prepping the fish itself. While the skillet was warming up I soaked some lemon juice into the fish and brushed both sides with the remainder of the melted butter. I seasoned with black pepper and lemon pepper, then it went straight to the skillet. 4-5 minutes on each side with only one turn and it’s ready. Catfish (like many other types of fish) should be cooked quickly. When the flesh loses its translucency and turns white, it’s finished. The layer of butter and spices helped a nice, shallow golden crust form on the outside of the fish while the inside remained white, fluffy and juicy.

I plated the long, thin catfish fillets on a bed of the sauteed veggies, we put the salad on the side and the meal was ready to eat.

The verdict? Good stuff. This was a satisfying and successful meal that required little prep time. The flavors on the whole meshed very well. K and I were both very pleased, and I think I’ll definitely make something like this again. I’m glad that my instincts were right about this.

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10 Responses to “Gasp! A Cooking Blog! Say It Ain’t So!!”

  1. creativedv8tion Says:

    I’m not real big on some of the veggies you mentioned, but in all, it sounds rather delish.

    I like adding a little paprika and/or ground cayenne pepper for seasoning fish.

  2. uhlrik Says:

    Some of those veggies are also on the list of veggies that I almost never use. In this meal, they really worked.

    Paprika.. that’s good stuff. I used paprika on a beef and rice dish a few days ago. 🙂

  3. bosantibe Says:

    Food is so good. Always. A couple of years ago when I was really starting to figure out my alfredo sauce recipe, I used to have it with a nice filet of flounder. Conventional? Nay. Greatasticularious? I think you know the answer.

  4. uhlrik Says:

    I love food. Unfortunately, yesterday I was reminded that food does not always love me.

    I have a cast-iron stomach but there is one thing that is kryptonite to me: crustaceans. I’m allergic to shrimp and crab.

    Yesterday, my wife came home from the aforementioned schmancy indian restaurant with leftovers for me. Chicken Tikka Masala. Mmmmmmmmm

    One problem: one of her friends had accidentally switched with her and she came home with Tikka Masala… Shrimp Tikka Masala. I tucked into that stuff (unable to see the great big shrimp at first, what with the rice and thick nummy sauce and stuff), and very swiftly realized that I had been poisoned. Thankfully before I could sink my teeth into an actual shrimp.

    At least the sauce was super yummy.

  5. bosantibe Says:

    Another chance to cheat death, then. You are obviously a man of skill and achievement. Me, I don’t know of any food allergies I may have, but I’ll probably discover them in the eleventh hour, you know.

  6. uhlrik Says:

    That’s always the best time to discover them, I think.

    I do cherish the opportunity to cheat death. Fortunately, he sucks at cards. Unfortunately, he’s a sore loser.

  7. bosantibe Says:

    Yeah, he’s kind of a bitch when he finally does win, especially when it comes to Twister.

  8. bosantibe Says:

    Yeah, he’s kind of a bitch when he finally does win, especially when it comes to Twister.

  9. uhlrik Says:

    Yeah, it’s totally bogus when he does that.

  10. uhlrik Says:

    Yeah, it’s totally bogus when he does that.

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