What is a catfish? It depends upon the context. If you are a tween, teen, or early 20-something it may mean a person who sets up phony Facebook profiles and personas to snare love interests. This type of catfish usually posts pictures they’ve copied from unsuspecting Facebook users and uses them in their fake profiles. MTV’s reality TV show, “Catfish,” is based upon a movie of the same name, and purports to help people in online relationships confirm that their electronic paramours are who they claim to be.
National Catfish Day is this week, and I feel certain the intention of this holiday pertains to the culinary context for catfish, which is a bottom-feeding freshwater fish. This type of catfish is popular in the South, especially along the Mississippi River. There it is often rolled in corn meal, deep fried, and served with hush puppies. I ate my first catfish blackened at Paul Prudhomme’s restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The dish ignited a passion within me for playing with spices. My takeaway from that experience is that this fish responds well to flavoring! Let your imagination run wild when you use it.
Catfish tends to hang out at the lower end of the seafood pricing scale and its availability in most supermarkets makes it a good choice for budget-conscious foodies like me. I often use it in place of tilapia in my fish tacos, or instead of cod in my fish and chips as well as other of my easy cookbook recipes because of its price point and availability.
When you celebrate National Catfish Day, do it with the seafood kind, not the faux profile type, and enjoy a delicious seafood meal.
Photo Courtesy of EasyWeeklyMeals.com