Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sucko and the Salmon

I've been frying up trout and salmon for dinner lately.
My recipe is simple.
1. Coat the fillet with Cajun Seasoning.
2. Fry it in a cast iron skillet with melted butter.*
3. Open the kitchen door so the smoke alarm doesn't go off.
4. Fish is ready when the thickest part flakes and doesn't look like sashimi.

I never liked salmon until I started cooking it this way. I decided to expand to other fish. First up was catfish.
It lacked the meaty texture of salmon and trout. In fact, the meat seemed strangely familiar. Light and delicate like...
...every smelly decomposing fish I'd handled in my tropical fish shop days! This shouldn't be on my plate I thought, this is what I find when I lift up tank decorations and discover what's drifted underneath. Yecch!
Then I remembered Sucko. He was a suckermouth catfish I had about ten years ago. He had funny underslung lips so he could suction himself to rocks (or vegetables I provided) to slurp up food. There was something silly, almost cartoonlike about him: the goofy lips, the googly eyes...
He grew quite large over the years, and when he died he was too big to flush.
It's Sucko!I couldn't shake the thought. How can I eat a Sucko?
I won't be frying up catfish anytime soon.

*olive oil works too. Yes, it's fattening, but I just eat the fillet for dinner. No bread, no veggies, no salad or desert. The trade off is worth it.


Linda said...

I love the lips on that fish!

Salmon is my thing these days. Wild Alaskan / olive oil. Sometimes Safeway has it on sale. Dr. Perricone wasn't kidding when he said it would make your skin soft. Also the red kind in cans is good.

Sally said...

funny story. somehow I can never bring myself to eat catfish either. Salmon cakes with shrimp in them are really tasty, especially with horseradish sauce.

stray said...

like the drawing. I've been cooking salmon like in French Women Don't Get Fat: just lemon juice and a tiny bit of salt.

Namowal said...

Thanks, Linda,
I sometimes use olive oil instead of butter too. Tasty stuff.
Can you tell the difference between wild and farm salmon? I hear wild salmon get their flamingo-tinted flesh from the krill they eat, and that farm salmon are fed red dye to duplicate the effect. It's Red Velvet Salmon!

Hi Sally,
You're not missing much by skipping catfish. Feh! I have a new rule- don't eat animal with "cat" in its name.
I'll have to try salmon cakes sometime.

Hi Stray,
Lemon juice and salt? I'll have to try that.

Linda said...

Namo, obviously I don't know what I'm talking about. I thought red salmon was wild salmon. All I know is that farmed salmon is not supposed to be so good for you. I think I must have meant coho salmon in a can is pretty good--but wild/coho is pretty pricey. But if I drink Trader Joe's wine with it, I figure I'm OK.

Namowal said...

Hi Linda,
I believe that most salmon sold as Atlantic Salmon were farmed (Can't you picture someone herding a bunch of flopping fish into the barn each night?), while most sold as Pacific were hauled out of the ocean.

This site has some info:

Namowal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Namowal said...

Trying the link again...