Monday, August 25, 2008

Pond Bank Harvest 2008

September means a lot of things...SEC football, back to school, our church's Parish Fair. But, most importantly, it's our Annual Pondbank Harvest! We just started doing this a few years ago, and it's become quite the Delta event. You can bring the whole family (put the kids in their mudboots!) and your cooler, and load up on fresh, straight-out-of-the-pond prawns for a great price.

We only do this for 2 weekends a year - this year it will be
SEPTEMBER 20TH AND 27TH from 10am-4pm. Large prawns are $7/lb., and jumbo prawns are $8/lb. Also, the best U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets you have ever tasted (Lauren Farms Catfish, of course!) will be available in 2 lb. packages for $11.50.

Let me give you a bit of advice - if you know that you want some prawns, and you will be heading out on one of those dates,
CALL ME AHEAD OF TIME AND BOOK YOUR PRAWNS! 662-390-3528. We ALWAYS sell out, and usually have to turn folks away (which is never fun) so stake your claim before you come. And if you are coming after 1 o'clock, call us on the way out so we'll know you still want your prawns.

Also, don't forget your coolers and ice!

There are plenty of fun things to do around the Delta if you are from out of town. Feel free to email me ( or call, and I'll be glad to give you any information you need for your Leland trip. I usually put signs up around our farm to lead you in from the highway. It's easy to get lost on the way to my house, but I try to make the directions as easy as possible.

More to come on the Harvest later, but I just wanted to get you all excited! Definitely put the event on your calendar - you'll get our tasty, fresh prawns for a steal of a deal.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mini Catfish Cakes

Another wonderful recipe to use U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish in - I recently cooked this on WABG's Delta Kitchen. It's perfect for football season! I can't believe it's already here..... Go Dawgs!!!

Mini Catfish Cakes Appetizer

1 pound U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets
11⁄4 cups Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) **
3 green onions, minced
2 large eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
Caper-Dill Sour Cream, fresh dill sprigs

1. Chop catfish into 1⁄4-inch pieces. Combine catfish, 3⁄4 cup breadcrumbs, and next 5 ingredients; gently stir until well blended. Shape mixture into 12 patties (about 1⁄4 cup each). Dredge patties in remaining 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs.

2. Cook patties, in batches, in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden; drain on paper towels. Garnish, if desired.

Yield: 6 appetizer servings

*11⁄4 cups fresh breadcrumbs may be substituted.

** At Lauren Farms we used store-brand unseasoned breadcrumbs in the mixture. We dredged the cakes in panko bread crumbs. The panko give a delightful, crisp coating. If you can’t find panko, don’t stress – these catfish mini cakes are truly delicious!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What a whirlwind!

Wow, have I been busy - but good busy! Between traveling to Shreveport, Jackson, Columbus, Baton Rouge, Memphis and Montgomery, and then also cooking on Greenville's WABG every Tuesday, I haven't had much time to update the blog! I've had an excellent time traveling to different stations to promote U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. During the last month, I've cooked some great Catfish recipes and shared them with people all over the Southeast. I'm hoping to get some of the videos so I can post them on the blog to share with ya'll.

Now that National Catfish Month is coming to a close, it's time for me to focus my efforts on Lauren Farms' Annual Pondbank Harvest, which takes place in September. It's your only chance to get pounds and pounds of freshwater prawns fresh off the pondbank at a GREAT price! I'm going to post more specific information on the Harvest very soon, so please check back... it's such a fun event, and it's become very popular over the last couple of years. Lauren Farms is very lucky to have such loyal customers and supporters!

On to the good stuff! I'm posting the Catfish recipe that I cooked on WAKA in Montgomery, Alabama. The sandwiches were a hit with the news team and crew. The recipe is sooo easy - and everyone likes Catfish sandwiches, right?! The firecracker sauce is so tasty (and adding the avacado on the finished product makes it even better!)

Catfish Fillet Sandwiches With Red "Firecracker" Sauce

For the catfish:
4 4- to 5- ounce U.S. Farm-Raised catfish fillets, frozen
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil

For the Red Firecracker Sauce:
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving:
4 soft sandwich rolls
Lettuce leaves, alfalfa sprouts, or coleslaw
8 slices ripe avocado
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices red onion
4 teaspoons sour cream or plain yogurt

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. To prepare the catfish, place the frozen catfish fillets in a baking pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Sprinkle with oregano and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the fillets with olive oil. Bake about 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Cool. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the sauce. The catfish can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

3. To prepare the red firecracker sauce, place lime or lemon juice and mustard in a non-corrosive medium bowl. Using a wire whisk, mix until smooth. Whisk in chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Gradually whisk in olive oil until it forms a smooth, slightly thickened sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside. The sauce can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. (If the sauce separates, whisk until blended.)

4. Cut the cooked fillets in half and coat each piece with some of the sauce. Spread a little of the sauce on the bottom of each roll and cover them with lettuce leaves or sprouts or coleslaw. Place two pieces of the dressed fillets on top of the greens on each roll. Place avocado slices on top and season with salt and pepper. Place red onion slices on top of the avocado and add a small dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Top with other half of the roll. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

The sandwich is delicious made with warm or hot catfish fillets.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bringing Catfish to WLBT!

On Monday, I will be in Jackson continuing the 2008 Catfish Media Tour for National Catfish Month. I will be on WLBT (Jackson's NBC affiliate) at Noon cooking Southern Crusted Cornmeal sure and tune in at lunch to get your stomach growling! This recipe is really tasty and VERY easy - the recipe is below.

Thanks so much for all of your support! Come back soon to see what town I will be cooking in next.

Southern Crusted Cornmeal Catfish (with Crunchy Corn Relish)

Crunchy Corn Relish:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup water
4 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
1/4 cup minced red pepper
1/4 cup minced green onion
2 tablespoons half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste
A dash of cayenne pepper – optional

Southern Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish:
4 2 to 3-ounce U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain, nonfat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter (option: use Canola oil if you worry about the butter burning – LFI)
1 tablespoon olive oil

To make Crunchy Corn Relish:
1. Melt butter in a large skillet.
2. Add water and corn; cover and simmer for 4 minutes.
3. Stir in red pepper and cook for 1 additional minute.
4. Add green onion, half-and-half, and salt and pepper to taste.

To make Southern Cornmeal Crusted Catfish:
1. Stir together buttermilk or yogurt and hot sauce; brush on catfish and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. (Option: dip fillets in mixture and shake off excess – LFI)
2. Press catfish fillets in seasoned cornmeal.
3. Melt butter and olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When skillet is hot, sauté catfish about 3 minutes on each side, turning only once, until golden and crisp.
(LFI: Preheat electric skillet to 400 degrees (or manufacturers recommendation). Add cooking oil and heat. Place presentation side of fillet (rounded side) in skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook 3-4 minutes. Should be a beautiful golden brown.) Serve with relish. Makes 4 servings.