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Review by Debbie Mazo
If you've ever traveled to the South, chances are that you've ordered a traditional staple of deep-fried catfish from the menu. No longer seen as the poor relative of seafood, catfish is winning new admirers every day as cooks everywhere discover new ways to prepare this light-tasting fish. Step into the Catfish Kitchen, and you'll discover why Americans have more than doubled their consumption of catfish since 1986, making it the one of the most popular fish in the country.
Hosted by the Catfish Institute, the Catfish Kitchen is here to help shed the image of catfish as a one-trick pony. Browse through the site, and you're sure to be convinced when it comes to the tremendous adaptability of catfish to various types of cooking techniques. For an inside look at how chefs serve up catfish, click on Cooking Techniques featuring video clips on everything from grilling to poaching to sautéing. If you're a fan of the steaming technique, take the site's advice and use fresh, unbreaded fillets or steaks sprinkled with minced aromatic vegetables. Then, steam until the flesh of the fish is firm and flakes easily.
Now that the secret is out about catfish, you can explore the diverse collection of recipes found at the site. Choose from one of the innovative categories of recipes including quick and easy choices or selections using 10 ingredients or less. You can also see how catfish stacks up in ethnic dishes like Spanish Catfish Paella or Moroccan Catfish Couscous. If you like your fish hot and spicy, catfish is a perfect choice for fiery entrees like Grilled Lemon Grass Catfish with Hoisin-Ginger Sauce or Spice-Rubbed Catfish Kebobs with Southwestern Salsa. You can also check back regularly for the Catch of the Week featuring one of the favorite recipes from the Catfish Kitchen.
Across the country, chefs have been turning to the diverse possibilities that catfish has to offer. In 1996, the Catfish Institute launched the Restaurant Register Award Program to recognize restaurants that regularly feature innovative catfish dishes. From coast to coast, catfish has been showing up on the menus of all types of eating establishments, some of them featured at the site. Whether you sample catfish in a formal restaurant or serve it at home, this flavorful fish is bound to get you hooked.
Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She's been writing the NetFood Digest column for FoodWine since 1997. You can contact her at djmbc@[email-address-removed].
Copyright © 2000, Debbie Mazo. All rights reserved.
This page created November 2000