Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shrimp and catfish cakes

Here's something you may not have thought of. I started making shrimp and catfish cakes some years ago. I've fried them, baked them, steamed them...and enjoyed the heck out of them.
My first taste of catfish was while on a concert tour nearly 40 years ago. We were in some city along the Mississippi and I had them at a restaurant. Those catfish were right from the big M River and tasted like muddy water. That doesn't sound very appetizing but I've never found another way to describe that taste. If you ever swam in a river as a kid maybe you can divine what I mean.

These days I can find only farmed cats. They are relatively tasteless. The shrimp bring their own sweetness and flavor, especially if you use wild-caught ones.

I'm excited to announce that I now have a good digital camera. I'm still in the learning curve, but I am pumped.

Shrimp and catfish cakes (4 cakes)
10 oz. catfish filet
10 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp fresh fennel fronds, chopped (or fresh dill)
2 tbsp parsley, chopped (or cilantro)
unseasoned bread crumbs, about 1/3 cup
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp wasabi powder
1 scallion, finely chopped (both white and green parts)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
4 lemon wedges

Cut the catfish and shrimp into 1” pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse until well mixed but not entirely pureed.

Put the fish into a large bowl. Add fennel (or dill), parsley (or cilantro), 2 tbsp of the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, egg, wasabi powder, scallion, salt and pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Microwave 1 tsp of the mix for 20 seconds and taste. Adjust seasonings as necessary.

Form the mixture into 4 cakes. Coat both sides with more bread crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large sauté pan, heat the other 2 tbsp olive oil and the butter over medium high heat. Add the burgers and cook for 3 minutes on the first side. Turn them over and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until cooked through.

Serve on buns if you wish, with some lettuce. Or serve on plates without buns. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
For a free excerpt of my book, “A Year of Food,” in which I opine, report, cook, muse and philosophize about everything that passed my lips for an entire year, write to me at:

1 comment:

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