Classic catfish chowder – a great addition to the menu

catfish_chowderAs many seafood lovers know, buying seafood isn’t as simple as it used to be.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, many marine species are either endangered or threatened, and overfishing is an escalating problem. Between overfishing, oil spills, climate change and other human activities, not a single portion of the ocean remains unaffected.

In fact, a pack of radioactive bluefin tuna recently migrated to the Pacific Ocean from Japan. The tuna, already Japan’s most expensive fish, had harmful levels of radioactive cesium, an outcome of Japan’s devastating earthquake. As a species, bluefin are also substantially overfished.

To avoid contributing to the problem of overfishing, ask chefs and seafood markets about sustainable options. For instance, request albacore tuna instead of bluefin tuna, or stick to sustainable farmed seafood like U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. Buying American-farmed catfish, as opposed to imported varieties, guarantees freshness and quality.

Try a twist on your classic chowder recipe by using catfish.

Classic Catfish Chowder

4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Fillets, cut into bite-size pieces

6 slices thick-cut bacon

3 cups yellow onion, diced

1 1?2 cups celery, diced

3?4 cup flour

2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

6 cups chicken stock

2 large baking potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces, boiled and drained

1 15-ounce can whole kernel sweet corn, drained

1?4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 cup thinly sliced green onion, divided

1 cup heavy cream

1?2 teaspoon hot sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1. In large stock pot over medium high heat, cook bacon until nicely browned. Remove bacon strips and set aside. Add onion and celery to pot; cook 5 minutes.

2. In small bowl, combine flour and Old Bay seasoning. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over onion and celery, stirring to absorb all oil. Cook 3 more minutes.

3. Add chicken stock; stir to combine vegetables. Add potatoes, corn, parsley and 3?4 cup of green onions; cook 5 minutes. Add catfish; cook 5 more minutes or until catfish is cooked through.

4. Add cream and hot sauce. S & P to taste. Garnish with remaining green onions and diced bacon pieces. Serve with crusty bread.

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