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Jalapeno-Corn Meal Crusted Catfish and Okra Curry

October 22, 2006

CatfishThere was some small fresh water catfish at the grocery store the other day and being the adventurer eater that I am, I decided to buy a bunch to try it out as I had never eaten any catfish before. I did a quick search on the net and it appeared that only the Cajuns seem to post catfish recipes on the net so for the second time in a row I was going to post a southern United States-inspired recipe. The recipe I initially though of doing was a catfish gumbo but as I was pondering the twist I was going to take with it, with the help of southern staple Gov’t Mule, I decided to go another route with an Okra Curry.

 

As hinted previously, the entire meal was enjoyed and cooked with the help of Gov’t Mule, specifically the “With a Little Help of our Friends” Collector edition. This box set combines the two previous released live concerts and adds two more CDs filled with Mule live action. Despite the fact that I really enjoy the Mule’s recorded output, there is nothing like the live recordings. This was a band that was an offshoot of the Allman Brother band’s backing band and yet they have surpassed the Brothers in more than one category. First, I like the fact that there is a bunch of psychedelia in addition to the southern rock and the fact that they jam as well as any but always keep a clear view that the song is the number one priority. They just write good, catchy songs.

 

Most music critics would probably say that this is all crappy jam-band non-sense and they would be wrong. The jam portion of this band is important but it has nothing to do with the Greatful Dead or Phish, simply because it is rarely to show off chops, but rather to lengthen the experience each of the songs with more twists and turns than the original songs had. And that Warpigs cover is freaking gold. And this is were everything comes together, the Mule isn’t just a southern rock band, it is a rock band that covers a lot of ground and I love them for that. Finally, Mr Woody, Rest in Peace, we miss you.

 

Okra CurryOn to the recipes. First with the curry because that will take some time:

 

  • 1 tablespoon of raw cane sugar
  • 1 medium size onion, minced
  • ½ a head of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch off a fresh ginger root, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 2 Cardamom pods
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, minced, or any hot pepper you like
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 pound of fresh stemmed Okra
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Put a deep frying pan, or sauce pan if you don’t have any, over high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the sugar and let caramelize. Add the onion and let cooked until onion becomes soft, add the garlic and ginger until the ginger looks like going soft. Add all the spices and the hot pepper in and fry for a few minutes, careful of the consistency and add a bit of water if the mixture becomes too dry. Add the tomatoes and the Okra, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Take a look from time to time to verify consistency and add a bit of water as needed. Let cook for 40 minutes. More than enough time to prepare the fish.

 

  • 1 big or two small Jalapeno peppers, minced
  • ½ cup of yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 tablespoons of salt
  • 1/3 teaspoons of crushed black pepper
  • ½ pound of fileted Catfish
  • 1 cup of peanut or Canola oil

 

In a shallow dish combine all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Dip the fish filets in the mixtures making sure to push the mixture in and coating the fish well and reserve. In a large sauce pan or a wok (my instrument of choice,) over high heat add the oil. Once the oil is hot dip the fish filets in the oil in batches until all of them are done, making sure to reserve on paper towels once fried. Serve with Okra and lime. Enjoy.

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