Friday, February 6, 2009

Cat Fish - Nuh-uh, NOLA. Hello Chola!

When I was an irresponsible college student living in New Orleans, there were inevitably months when my financial aid cash would be depleted before month's end on necessary school supplies (ie. daiquiris and books).  Rather than survive on Stove Top as many of my classmates did, I opted for catfish.   After a while, I developed a strong distaste for those whiskered bottom-feeders and I've avoided them ever since.  But catfish-hater, I am no more.

The catfish, or seawolf, lives in the muck at the bottom of rivers.  It's not the most noble of fish but when left in peace, they can get pretty damned enormous.  A friend told me about Volkswagen-sized suckers being found in St. Louis when they diverted a part of the Mississippi, and I actually saw a documentary on the gigantic Mekong River catfish.  Those things are mythical!

Seeking to rekindle some kind of a relationship with the seawolf, I tossed up some up this week in classic southern fish fry (otherwise known as flour and cornmeal).   Rather than serving them up NOLA style, I went chola! (That's a shout out to my favorite demi-chola, Aunny D!).  Brian fried up some corn tortillas and I made a chipotle cream sauce (sour cream and chipotles in adobo).  The piping hot crunchy catfish paired with cooling shredded cabbage and a spicy, smoky cream sauce made for some pretty delicious midnight fish tacos.

The fish was crunchy on the outside thanks to the cornmeal, and soft and tasty inside.  Altogether, I'd say it was one of my better late night inventions.  Bad part?  The fish and the tortillas had to be fried.  Not so healthy...but damn they went well with cold beer.  Plus, we have left over catfish frozen for the next time we have a late night craving.  No better photos of the tacos themselves because we gobbled them up before I could snap a shot!

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