Saturday, October 23, 2021

Mr. Hawthorne Fries Snakehead Fish.

I've lived on the coast for over half my life now and I thought I'd eaten most every kind of seafood offered.  And at my semi-ripe age, I've just eaten a fish I've never had before.  Snakehead.

Now, I wish I had the whole fish to show you, but I just received cleaned fillets, not that I'm complaining at all, mind you.  But still, I would've like to have seen the original fish in all its glory.

To be honest with you, I'd never even heard of a snakehead fish.  But I did some research (i.e., I Googled it.) and I was enlightened by Youngest Hawthorne.  So here's some background on this little   fishie.

Snakeheads are freshwater fish, bearing little tolerance for salt water and they're at the apex of the food chain.  They are an invasive species, competing for food and habitat with native species. Found in the mid-Atlantic range, if you catch one, you're actually supposed to kill it.

From NCWildlifeIt is unlawful to transport, purchase, possess or sell live snakehead in North Carolina....If you catch a snakehead, DO NOT RELEASE IT!  Keep the fish, freeze it or place it on ice and contact N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Well, don't come after me.  Don't arrest me.  I didn't catch or transport or purchase this fish.  I just received  some fillets, breaded 'em, and fried 'em up.  And they were delicious.

Mr. Hawthorne was in charge of the prep-work and cooking today.
First he soaked the fillets in buttermilk for about 20 minutes.
Then he dredged the fillets through a breading mix:
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Fry in 325° - 350° peanut oil (1/4" - 1/2" of oil) for about 2 minutes each side.  Until beautifully golden brown.
 Don't happen to have a snakehead fish?  Try perch.  Striped bass.  Tile fish.

And Mr. Hawthorne made a dipping sauce:

2 TB plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Texas Pete
pinch salt/pepper
Mix all together.
Give it a sprinkling of cayenne on top, if desired.

Isn't this pretty meat?

                                                                   Nice, firm texture.


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