Did you know that August is National Fried Catfish Month? Lucky me, because I LOVE Catfish! I love filets, nuggets, sandwiches, blackened, fried, smoked, smothered....whatever, I love it! In honor of this joyous occasion my boyfriend and I whipped up a batch, with only a few minor setbacks.
When we went fish shopping, the meat market man convinced M (my boyfriend) not to get the traditional catfish I had my eye on, but instead get the Basa that was on sale. Hmm....I was more than skeptical because it did not look like catfish and I had never heard of it before. When I got home I googled it, and found that Basa is the Vietnamese cousin of the American catfish. Let's just say that there's a lot of controversy surrounding the fishing practices in Vietnam.
With no backup plan (and having just spent 12 bucks on this stuff), I put my skepticism behind and fried forward. The fish itself didn't have the skin that I like, and it was a lot less dense. The cornmeal "fish fry" that I used battered it just fine. I ran out of Crisco, so I had to use vegetable oil for frying. I think that Crisco is the best fry grease out there. In the end it came out alright. It was pretty hearty, and tasted pretty good.
I made cornbread muffins, a small salad, and M made his famous mac and cheese (he'll get his own post on that) to round out the meal. We had a nice dinner together and watched "Death at a Funeral."
The next day I made myself a fish sandwich with some of the leftovers, and let me tell you - the fish was way better the next day!!!