Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pan Fried Catfish Filets, Tomato Curry and Sunny Eggs with Miso Shiitake Grits

     It has been a while since I posted a breakfast recipe that featured fish.  This breakfast would be nice after a morning of fishing while camping out in the wild.  Pan fried catfish and eggs has always been a nice campfire cookout breakfast entree.  Most campers eat fried catfish and eggs plain or with bottled hot sauce.  I thought that a simple tomato curry would be a nice mildly spicy flavor for the eggs and catfish.
     Many chefs who cook to their own personal taste do not put grits on a menu.  Basically, that is the trait of a yankee chef.  Modern southern cuisine grits recipes are often flavored.  This miso shiitake grits recipe is a good example of southern asian fusion.  Grits are like polenta, because many items that flavor polenta can be used to flavor grits.  Cheese grits are very common.  I have posted a few flavored grits recipes in this food blog.  Shiitake mushrooms have a very agreeable mild morning flavor.  Adding miso paste to grits?  Yes!  The mild miso paste adds a very interesting mild fermented soy flavor.  Miso soup is a traditional Japanese breakfast food.
     I thought of whether the miso shiitake grits would taste good with this breakfast.  When considering the fish and tomato curry flavors, the miso flavor is a good accompaniment.  The miso shiitake grits turned out to be exceptionally nice tasting!
     I alway use old fashioned hominy grits instead of instant grits.  The texture of old fashioned grits is superior.
     Miso Shiitake Grits:
     Heat 1 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 3/4 cup of old fashioned grits, while stirring, till the grits just start to thicken.  (The grits will absorb quite a bit of liquid just like polenta does.)
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 finely chopped shiitake mushroom.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1 pinch of black pepper.  (No salt is necessary.)
     Stir in 1 tablespoon of miso paste.
     Let the grits gently simmer over low heat and stir occasionally.
     Add water if the grits become too thick.
     When the grits are cooked soft and they become thick, then set the grits aside and keep them warm on a stove top.
     Tomato Curry:
     Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 finely chopped peeled and seeded Roma tomato.
     Saute the tomato gently, till it becomes tender.
     Add 2 pinches of garam masala spice mix.
     Add 1 pinch of turmeric.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of hot Chinese chile powder.
     Stir the tomato curry.
     Add 1 finely chopped green onion.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce, till a medium tomato sauce consistency is formed.
     Set the tomato curry aside and keep it warm.  (This simple tomato curry is mildly seasoned.  It does not take much time for this curry to cook.  The tomato and green onion flavors should be bright and fresh for this recipe.)
     Pan Fried Catfish Filets:
     Dredge 2 small catfish filets in flour.
     Dip the floured filets in milk.
     Dredge the catfish filets in a 50/50 mixture of corn meal and flour that is seasoned with sea salt and black pepper.
     Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet or a saute pan over medium/medium high heat.  The oil should be 1/2" deep.
     When the oil becomes hot, add the catfish filets.
     Flip the catfish a few times, so they pan fry evenly.
     When the catfish is pan fried to a golden brown color and is fully cooked, set the filets on a wire screen roasting rack to drain of any excess oil.
     Pan Fried Catfish Filets, Tomato Curry and Sunny Eggs with Miso Shiitake Grits:
     Heat a non stick saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add two eggs to the pan.  (Try to keep the eggs separate from each other so they don't stick together.)  
     Cook the sunny side up eggs, till the egg whites are fully cooked and till the yolk just begins to cook.
     Place a small mound of the miso shiitake grits on a plate.
     Place the 2 pan fried catfish filets on the plate.
     Spoon and spread the thick tomato curry over the pan fried catfish filets.
     Use a spatula to set a sunny side up egg on each catfish filet.
     Garnish the plate with a parsley sprig.
     Delicious!  The mild warm feeling curried tomato flavor is not overly overbearing.  The curry has a nice fresh breakfast flavor that goes well with the catfish and eggs.  Pan fried catfish is a very nice mild flavored breakfast white fish.
     The flavor of the grits are sensational!  The mild soy flavor and the shiitake are such a nice combination for a very different kind of flavored grits.  Fusion grits!
     This is a nice recipe for the home kitchen or for camping out.  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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