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.

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