Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm Hitting the Road for U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish!

If you know me, or have seen me on TV, chances are you know that I'm big time supporter of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish (partly due to the fact that my husband, Steve, has been in the fingerling business for a long while - but also because it's just GOOD!) I swear, I prepare as many catfish recipes as I do prawn recipes! It's a versatile fish, with a mild taste that compliments every dish - and it's sustainable and all natural! What could be better?!

The Catfish Institute is a wonderful organization that has enlisted me to spread the good word about U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish across the Southeast U.S., and I'm very excited! I will be traveling for the entire month of August to promote and prepare USFR Catfish on local TV stations. I'll be sure and let you know what cities I will be in so you can tune in, or tell family and friends that live in the area to watch! This Friday, August 1st, I will be in Shreveport, Louisiana, on KTAL at 5 pm.

And don't forget ....if you're ordering/buying Catfish at a grocery store or restaurant, please be sure and ask where it comes from. Stay away from those polluted imports, and make sure you are eating only U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

One of the best prawn dishes - hands down!

You haven't lived unless you try this dish. I promise it is wonderful and way too easy to prepare! It's so light and healthy, and all of the flavors taste amazing when mixed together. I promise you won't be disappointed - I know my family wasn't!

(PS: This recipe is a really good way to use all of those fresh herbs that you have growing like wildfire in your garden!)

Prawn Diavolo with Lemon Parmesan Pasta

1 lb. freshwater prawns, peeled
1 to 2 teaspoons salt (Kosher salt if you have it)

1 to 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1-2 tablespoons

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 (14 ½ oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 tablespoon dried, crushed)

Toss the prawns in a medium bowl with salt and red pepper flakes. (Remember that prawns are freshwater and have very low sodium. Adjust salt to taste.) Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prawns and sauté for several minutes, turn, and continue cooking until just cooked through. Transfer the prawns to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion to the same skillet and add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté until translucent or about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine (or chicken broth), garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce is reduced and thickened slightly or about 10 minutes. Return the prawns and any juice to the tomato mixture and toss. Cook for a minute so that the flavors blend. Add more salt to taste. Serve over plain pasta or lemon pasta.

Lemon Parmesan Pasta

1 lb. pasta (we used Dreamfield’s low-carb spaghetti)

2/3 cup olive oil

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or 2 to 3 tablespoons dried)

Cook the pasta in salted water until tender but still firm. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, cheese and lemon juice to blend.

Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce. If it is needed, add a little of the reserved liquid. (We did not need any liquid with the low-carb pasta and sauce. Refrigerate the liquid and use it to add moisture when reheating leftovers.) Season with salt and pepper.

Cat Cora's Faux-Fried Catfish & The Colonel's Slaw

Steve and I prepared tried this catfish recipe with sage yesterday evening, and it was delicious, but the truth is... we just love lemon pepper! So, I tried it with lemon pepper on Delta Kitchen, and it was wonderfully tasty. Rachel Elvis of WABG also suggested trying 'Blackened Redfish Magic' ( but of course, you can use Old Bay Seasoning - it's the "old" standby).

The buttermilk bath was rich and thick and coated the fillets perfectly. The Colonel's Slaw calls for buttermilk, also. The Jackson Jr. League's Come On In has a recipe for watermelon sorbet using buttermilk that is delicious. And cornbread. Just trying to think of ways to use all that buttermilk!

Cat Cora's Faux-Fried Catfish

6 (2-3 oz.) U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups corn flakes (we used 3 cups to coat the six fillets)
½ cup light buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) (we used ¼ teaspoon+)
1 teaspoon paprika
½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or ½ teaspoon powdered sage

(Lauren Farms variations: In place of sage, use lemon pepper and lemon zest or Blackened Redfish Magic or Old Bay or your favorite seasoning.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 2 teaspoons of olive oil into a baking dish large enough to hold catfish fillets. With your fingers, lightly coat the entire dish with oil. Set the dish aside.

Rinse catfish in cold water and pat dry. In a wide bowl or plate, season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge each fillet through the flour so it’s completely coated, tap the catfish against the side of the bowl to jar loose excess flour and set the piece aside. Discard the flour.

Crush corn flakes by placing them in a large resealable plastic bag (with as little air inside as possible) and crush the flakes with a rolling pin. Open the bag and pour the crushed flakes into a wide bowl or a plate.

In a large bowl (big enough to dredge catfish fillets) mix the buttermilk, mustard, spices and herbs. Give each floured fillet a good buttermilk bath, then roll it in the corn flake crumbs. Arrange catfish in the oiled baking dish and place in hot oven. Cook until crispy for about 15 minutes or until done. If desired, broil for a few minutes to brown the fillets.

The Colonel's Slaw

My little nephew, Jacob, always loved & requested the “Colonel’s” slaw when he visited! This is a very good replication of the famous recipe! The “little ones” love it as is. Add some chopped onion and chopped sweet pickles to please the “grown ups”.

1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ cup milk
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice (the juice of 1 large lemon)
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 medium carrot, shredded

Optional: One package pre-shredded slaw mix, rinsed
Optional: chopped onion and chopped sweet pickle

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate about an hour or longer. Toss before serving.

Friday, July 4, 2008

We're Famous!

If you haven't picked up a copy of Martha Foose's new cookbook
Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, then you really are missing out on a treasure (she's the executive chef at the Viking Cooking School). Not only is there an abundance of tasty recipes (believe me, I've sampled them!), but there are beautiful photographs and nostalgic stories from around Mississippi on almost every page. It's one of those cook books that you really can read like a novel - my favorite part are the intros to the recipes that give a true taste of Southern life.

...And, not to brag, but if you turn to page 33, you'll see a great recipe for - yes, you guessed it - Lauren Farms 'Inland Prawn Toast'. We thank Martha for mentioning us and our product in her cookbook!

Be sure and pick up a copy of your own at your local bookstore!