Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES -

“With that base, any of the lower-end fish would go well with it be­cause there’s a lot go­ing on,” said Josh Smith, Gen­eral War­ren’s ex­ec­u­tive chef, who men­tioned skate wing, which is “ba­si­cally a baby stingray,” and cat­fish.

“Cat­fish is an­other big one that’s un­der­uti­lized and pi­geon-holed into one way you can make it,” he de­scribed. “You could add it to a bouil­l­abaisse or a fish stew.” Ab­ney’s also a cat­fish fan. “There’s a sweet­ness to it and a crispi­ness, de­pend­ing on how you cook it. Cat­fish is of­ten fried down South,” she said. “Grits or po­lenta would be nice, lots of fresh herbs.”

There truly are plenty of fish in the sea. So don’t be afraid to look beyond shrimp or salmon and talk some trash ... fish that is.

“To of­fer some­thing beau­ti­fully pre­sented and fresh from the wa­ter, you can’t beat that.”

Au­tumn Seafood Stew IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

Fresh fish Sea­sonal veg­eta­bles

Spiced car­rot puree:

6 cups car­rots, small dice

3 ta­ble­spoons shal­lots, small dice

1 ta­ble­spoon gar­lic

5 star anise

4 bay leaves

1 bot­tle (750ml) sparkling cider

4 cups wa­ter

2 cups blood or­ange juice (may sub­sti­tute or­ange juice)

2 tea­spoons salt


Place star anise and bay leaves in a cheese­cloth sa­chet. Com­bine all in­gre­di­ents in a medium-sized saucepan and sim­mer on a medium heat un­til ten­der. Trans­fer mix­ture to a blender and puree.

Once the puree has been pre­pared, it is time for the fish. You may use any af­ford­able fresh fish that you find at the mar­ket. Cod or pol­lock are both great af­ford­able fish that the av­er­age home chef can pre­pare. Sim­ply pat the fish dry and sprin­kle with salt and pep­per. Heat a large sauté pan up over a medium heat and add 3 ta­ble­spoons of veg­etable oil. Gin­gerly add the fish to the hot pan. Sear the fish for ap­prox­i­mately 4 min­utes per side or un­til cooked through. Re­move from the heat and add a ta­ble­spoon of but­ter. Swirl the fish around gen­tly in the but­ter. Heat the car­rot broth and add your fa­vorite sea­sonal veg­eta­bles. Roasted pota­toes, parsnips, cipollini onions and kale work very well, but let your tastes and cre­ativ­ity be your guide.

To serve, sim­ply scoop 4 ounces of the puree into a shal­low bowl, ar­range your veg­eta­bles to your lik­ing and place your but­tered fish on top.


Spiced Cat­fish & Poblano-Ched­dar Grits with Stewed Col­lard Greens IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

2 cat­fish fil­lets

1 cup yel­low grits

½ bunch col­lard greens

1 poblano pep­per

1½ ounces ched­dar cheese

1 ta­ble­spoon but­ter

2 ta­ble­spoons spiced cat­fish spice blend (rice flour, an­cho chile pow­der, ground cumin, smoked paprika)


Pre­pare the in­gre­di­ents: Wash and dry the fresh pro­duce. Re­move and dis­card the col­lard green stems; roughly chop the leaves. Grate the cheese.

Cut out and dis­card the stem, ribs and seeds of the poblano pep­per; small dice. Im­me­di­ately wash your hands, knife and cut­ting board after han­dling the poblano pep­per.

Cook the poblano pep­per: In a medium pan (non­stick, if you have one), heat 2 tea­spoons of olive oil on medium-high un­til hot. Add the poblano pep­per; sea­son with salt and pep­per. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, 3 to 5 min­utes, or un­til soft­ened. Trans­fer to a bowl. Wipe out the pan.

Stew the col­lard greens: In the pan used to cook the poblano pep­per, heat 2 tea­spoons of olive oil on medium un­til hot. Add the col­lard greens and ¼ cup of wa­ter; sea­son with salt and pep­per. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, 6 to 8 min­utes, or un­til the col­lard greens have wilted and the wa­ter has evap­o­rated; sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste. Trans­fer to a bowl and set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Cook the grits: While the col­lard greens stew, in a large pot, heat 4 cups of wa­ter and a big pinch of salt to boil­ing on high. Once boil­ing, slowly whisk in the grits; re­duce

the heat to low. Sim­mer, whisk­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, 10 to 12 min­utes, or un­til thick­ened. (If the grits seem dry, grad­u­ally add up to ¼ cup of wa­ter to achieve your de­sired con­sis­tency.) Re­move from heat. Whisk in the but­ter, cheese and cooked poblano pep­per un­til thor­oughly com­bined. Sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste. Set aside in a warm place.

Coat the cat­fish: While the grits cook, place the spice blend on a plate. Pat the cat­fish fil­lets dry with pa­per tow­els; sea­son with salt and pep­per on both sides. Coat 1 side of each sea­soned fil­let in the spice blend (tap­ping off any ex­cess).

Cook the cat­fish and serve your dish: In the pan used to cook the col­lard greens, heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high un­til hot. Add the cat­fish fil­lets, coated sides down. Cook 3 to 5 min­utes on the first side, or un­til golden brown and crispy. Flip and cook 2 to 3 min­utes, or un­til cooked through. Re­move from heat. Di­vide the cooked grits be­tween 2 bowls. Top with the stewed col­lard greens and cooked cat­fish fil­lets. En­joy!


Whole Foods in Devon sells porgy for $3.99 a pound.

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