You are probably amazed that I can write a cookbook and still post 3 or more times a week. Today’s Pan-Fried Catfish Tacos with Mango Salsa prove that there are three simple facts accounting for this seemingly amazing feat:
- My posts aren’t as good as they used to be. So sue me. Sue me. Shoot bullets thru me.
- My brother Grant is coming up to the plate and providing wine notes for some of my posts. Do you know how much real estate a wine notes box takes up? So much that my posts don’t seem quite as inconsequential as they might have.
- I am a blog obsessed freak. I simply have to post or I become irregular. Yeah, that kind of irregular!
Of course there is also the fact that I have been attending quite a few of the wonderful blogger events that come my way. These events provide content. Because they are new experiences about the things I love about blogging. The very things that energize me. Things like my week in the Amish country of Ohio. My trips to Driscoll’s Berries and California Avocados were geeky food adventures that still occupy my dreams at night. Really.
And of course Camp Blogaway. The nice folks at the National Mango Board sent all us campers home with quite a few mangos. Then, one week later they mailed another big boxful! How did they know I already ate up all that mango-love from camp?
Well, this latest box of mango-love inspired me to make salsa. Salsa needs a partner to spread its love all over (who doesn’t??). Salsa is a condiment (who isn’t??). My mango condiment spread its love all over Pan-Fried Catfish Tacos! Who wouldn’t want to spread their love all over Pan-Fried Catfish Tacos? Is this joke wearing thin?
Of course there’s some brotherly love too this week. ‘Cuz my brother Grant and I worked together to pair these mango-smeared-tacos with Bodegas As Laxas Albarino 2010. A terrific pairing, in more ways than one . GREG
- 1 large ripe yet firm mango, cut from pit, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 T lime juice
- 2 t minced fresh mint leaves (optional)
- 1 pn each kosher salt & black pepper, as needed
- 4 catfish fillets
- 1 c wondra flour
- 1/2 t chili powder
- 1/4 t ground cumin
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 2 T canola oil
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 c shredded cabbage
- 1/2 c chopped cilantro leaves
Prepare the salsa: In a medium bowl combine the mango, bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice, and minced mint if using. Gently fold the ingredients together. Season very lightly with salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
Prepare the catfish: In a small bowl mix the wondra, chili powder, and cumin with a big pinch each salt and pepper.
Rinse and dry the catfish fillets, laying them onto a plate in a single layer. Using fine meshed sieve or flour-sifter shake an even amount of the Wondra and spice mixture over all 4 fillets. Gently turn them over and repeat.
Heat butter and canola oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet set over medium heat. The skillet should be large enough to hold the fillets in one layer, otherwise work in batches.
When the oil is hot, but not too close to smoking carefully lay the fillets in the pan. Cook about 2 minutes on one side without disturbing them. Then flip them and cook them another 2 or 3 minutes until the fish is firm and cooked through but not overcooked. Remove the fish from the pan so that they stop cooking. Set aside, to cool somewhat then break the fish into bite-sized chunks.
Carefully wipe out the same skillet. Set it back over medium heat. Place the tortillas, one at a time to soften, about 20 seconds per side. Divide the fish among the tortillas, then top them with shredded cabbage, cilantro and some of the mango salsa. Serve warm.
Greg Henry writes the food blog Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food, and contributes the Friday column on entertaining for The Back Burner at Key Ingredient. He’s active in the food blogging community, and a popular speaker at IFBC, Food Buzz Festival and Camp Blogaway. He’s led cooking demonstrations in Panama & Costa Rica, and has traveled as far and wide as Norway to promote culinary travel. He’s been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web. Greg also co-hosts The Table Set podcast which can be downloaded on iTunes or at Homefries Podcast Network.