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Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Grill Report: Catfish...

Last week or so, I fried up some talapia out on the gas grill so as to avoid the smell of the fish in the kitchen. This week, my wife bought a pound of catfish for me to experiment with, now that we have figured out that you can keep the smell outside.

I have a long history of terrible fish fry incidents. There was the time we bought one of those super deep fryer type things that has a cover on it to keep the oil from splattering all over the place. That was a total disaster. It was then that I decided that we would fry things the old fashioned way - in a skillet with the grease flying up and landing all over everything.

The last time I got a new gas grill (I go through gas grills at a rate of about one every three years), my wife and daughter bought me one and splurged for the little side burner attachment. You never know when you might need to heat up a tortilla. Outside.

But when my wife got the bright idea to ban all fried fish from the kitchen, I suddenly had found the purpose. I guess I just never bothered to look at the pictures on the box - you know, suggested ways to use your new gas grill with side burner attachment.

But enough of my yammering on about the grill.

I love catfish but I prefer it cooked by a licensed fry cook from a certified restaurant. The reason is really simple; the thought of undercooked catfish gives me the creeps. People in my extended family often talk badly behind my back about my tendency to under cook chicken. If I can't cook chicken right, how the hell am I to verify that the fish I'm about to eat is not just this side of sushi? It is quite a problem.
So, here is what I did. I used my special breading device to get the catfish nuggets ready for a long bath in a hot greasy tub. I used some standard catfish stuff from HEB. It might have even been Hill Country Fair!I got the fry pan loaded up with some oil and started it frying. If you look at the oil in the pan, you can actually see the trees in the reflection. I assure you, no birds crapped in the oil prior to or during the cooking session.Up next, a few catfish nuggets in for a swim. I started with some of the chunkier nuggets. I'm told that in a deep fryer, you would let these things cook for about 4 minutes. But in this case, the nuggets don't get fully covered in oil, so I figured I'd just let them cook for a several minutes on each side, and it would work out.

Everything went great. If 4 minutes was supposed to do the trick, I was pretty sure I'd be good with about 10 minutes in the pool.
Okay, who knows how long I cooked them really? I forgot to look at my watch when I put them in and I just stood there and played with my nuggets until they were done.

I'd show you a picture of the finished product, but I started popping them in my mouth as soon as I pulled them from the pan. They were cooked fully and tasted great! I'll try to save some for you next time.

1 comment:

Anon E. Mouse said...

I don't know Dave, that story seems sort of fishy for some reason. :)

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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