Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Simply Catfish

Last night's dinner was more in keeping with the new spring season.
I went out to the garden (in the rain) and picked a very large armful of red chard. Catfish filets were defrosting on the counter.

Clay and I had been munching on small slices of Arcata's Brio Olive Bread, McKinleyville's Cypress Grove Chive Chevre (sitting in a pool of Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufactory - extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar), Blue Lake's Fish Bros. smoked, wild caught king salmon, and kalamata olives. I mention these products by name to honor the culinary and entrepenurial spirit that is so alive and successful right here in our back yard.

After enjoying the above, which was a meal in itself, we wanted a very light dinner so I prepared the following:

Catfish Filets on a Bed of Chard

Wash the dirt off the chard and tear the leaves from the stem, tearing the leaves into medium size pieces. Put in a colander so water can drain, but don't dry the leaves.

Drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil into a large roasting pan. Place the chard (leaving some of the water that gets caught in the leaves) in the pan - I stuffed the pan to the top with the amount of chard that I had. Don't worry, it will cook down.

Place the catfish filets on top of the chard, not overlapping. I used about 6 catfish filets so we would have leftovers for Clay's tacos.

Drizzle another bit of olive oil over all of this. Sprinkle with generous amounts of salt and freshly ground tellicherry pepper and then squeeze the juice of a whole lemon over the whole thing.

Place in a 350 oven for about 1/2 hour, more or less, depending on the amount and size of the fish.

When the fish was cooked through, I sprinkled toasted sesame seeds over each filet. I cut through the chard that was between each filet, and with a spatula, scooped up a filet along with the chard underneath. Put it on a plate and Voila! Nothing but fresh goodness!

On a wine note, we opened a bottle of Fetzer Barrel Select Syrah, Mendocino County 2000. It's very, very good. AND, I believe it can be purchased from Bevmo.com right now for around $7.50 a bottle.

Thanks to Dianna and Mike for the wine!

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