Sunday, March 21, 2004

Something's Fishy

Something's Fishy
This Lent has been all about expanding our fish horizens. After all, how many cans of tuna can we go through? This week's adventure was catfish.

Foodgoat doesn't recall having catfish before, but I had catfish once: last year in the Philippines, my cousins took my brother and I to a catfish farm and handed us bamboo sticks with string and a fishing hook. Okay, so it wasn't the most challenging fishing location, but we did catch a lot of fish. Afterwards they skewered the fish and grilled them whole, and we had delicious catfish-on-a-stick.

The catfish Foodgoat made wasn't quite as fresh, but it was quite tasty: he made blackened catfish on a cast-iron skillet. The catfish skillets were covered with the fish spice rub from Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food, which consisted of ground fennel seeds, ground celery seeds, freshly ground pepper, confectioner's sugar (?), paprika, onion powder, ground chile pepper, and file powder. Don't they look good?

He dropped them into a hot, hot cast iron skillet. Then, he poured some melted butter over them, which had a dramatic and (for me at least) unexpected result:

After that, the entire kitchen filled with smoke and I had to hold up a fan and hope that the smoke detector wasn't going to go off. After about six minutes or so on each side, the fish was done but, considering our recent Jetta experience, I'm sure our neighbors were a little worried.

While all this was going on, I was conducting my own food experiments. The first was making baked sweet potato, but instead of baking them in the over for an hour, I threw the sweet potatos (poked with fork holes) in the microwave for four minutes. Then I put them in the oven for ten or fifteen minutes or so. The result is sliced open, patted with butter and sprinkkled with cinnamon sugar, and you'd never know I took a shortcut.

My second experiment was whole wheat couscous, which I picked up at my new favorite place, Urban Herbs. Boil water, pour water over couscous, cover, and ten minutes later, it's all fluffy and ready to eat. Well, except for the salt, pepper, and chopped green onions for good measure. It's SOO easy.

And that completes this edition of adventurous Lenten meals!

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