Des Allemands, Louisiana, the Catfish Capital of the Universe. Des Allemands, not to be confused with Belzoni, Mississippi, Savannah, Tennessee, and Selkirk, Manitoba, all towns with the title-“Catfish Capital of the World.” Obviously universe beats out world! I grew up close enough to Des Allemands, to take many Sunday drives–with the sole objective of going eat the best fried catfish and returning home, “fuller than a tick.” Nowadays my fried catfish splurges come from my own frying at our camp, because you can’t have a fishing camp without having fried fish…on occasion. Other occasions, it’s this quick and easy one pot poached catfish, o.k., I admit, it’s usually when it’s my turn to clean the kitchen-less mess.
The beauty of this recipe is that it works well with not only leftover shrimp etouffee but also crawfish etouffee, creoles, bisques, or stews, like Old Fashioned Shrimp Stew.
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: What other stews or soups would be good? How about a loaded potato soup? What else could you add instead of the onions and bell peppers? Eggplant? Squash? Zucchini? Think of any vegetable that would add flavor when steaming. How about serving up the poached catfish on polenta, grits, or pasta? Does your leftover cup have rice already in it? No problem. Have leftover rice on side? Add it to the skillet as a bed for the fish or reheat and serve fish over it. Need a quick way to reheat rice? Simply put into a strainer and run hot water over it until hot.
FOOD FUN: My Sunday road trips with my family were filled with many memories way beyond the catfish. There were no distractions of phones or internet, just family fun…and some very serious games of car bingo. Does you family have a favorite Sunday drive outing? When was the last time you set out for it? Don’t have one? Why not get everyone in the car and take a drive and discover a hidden treasure. No phones allowed.