Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fried Squash Blossoms and Catfish

I just recently traveled to Albuquerque NM for a quick visit with family and to do some fishing.  The Sandia Pueblo boasts terrific fishing year round so I decided to visit the picturesque lakes to see for myself.  The reservation allows visitors to fish in three of their stocked lakes for twenty dollars a day with the limit of 5 fish per person.  During the summer months the lakes are stocked with catfish and the winter months, bass, trout and blue gill. 

I'm not a fan of catfish because they generally taste like mud so I tend to steer clear of bottom feeders when cooking and eating fish.   I was sceptical about the delicious "fish tales" being spun by my cousin and uncle but decided to give it a try nonetheless. I caught 3 nice size catfish that were around 2-3 pounds each.

The story is...these are not just your run of the mill variety catfish; they are raised by the Sandia Indians, feed on corn at the fish farm then stocked on the reservation to live their lives in the fresh water lakes, or until they meet up with the hook at the end of a fishing line.   Renowned for their white, firm flesh with a clean taste unlike the mud cat or channel cat varieties. 

We headed home after only two hours of fishing with everyone's limit in the bag.  My uncle meticulously filleted the days catch resulting in about 8 pounds of fillets.  The flesh looked pink and firm and smelled very clean so I was hopeful the flavor would follow suit.

To go along with my catfish meal, I also cooked a few fried squash blossoms from my mother's garden.


Cornmeal Catfish Fry
1/2 cup corn meal
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
4 cups corn or vegetable oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste

season fish fillets with salt and pepper, mix corn meal and flour, dip fillets in milk then dredge in cornmeal mixture, heat oil on stove to 375 degrees, fry fish for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towel. 

add 1 egg to remaining milk and additional 1/4 cup milk if needed, repeat process with squash Blossoms, dipping first in milk then in cornmeal mix.  Fry for 1 minute turning several times, drain on paper towel, salt and pepper to taste

I was truly impressed with the taste and texture of the Sandia catfish being by far the best I've ever experienced, but I could still taste a hint of mud!  I suppose I'll never really like catfish but I did give it an honest try.  Luckily, everyone else thought it was absolutely the best catfish they had ever tasted.  I just smiled and smeared a bunch of tarter sauce on mine and filled up on squash blossoms. 

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  1. I had fried squash blossoms recently and loved them, now I just have to figure out where to buy them??

  2. Hi Foodness Gracious, I was lucky enough to get my squash blossoms from my mothers garden. I haven't seen them in the grocery store. Maybe you can find a friend with a garden that's willing to part with a few? Best of luck!

  3. Love the catfish dish with the squash blossoms. Fabulous combination. I am a big catfish guy. U.S. farm-raised catfish is one of our most sustainable fish.

  4. Hi Lazaro! I'm so happy you stopped by. Thanks again for featuring Anncoo on your blog. She's a real gem! I would love to hear how you prepare your farm-raised catfish...

  5. Wonderful! Awesome!
    Thanks for sharing, Rebecka! You make my day!

  6. Fried squash blossoms? I have never heard of that, but it looks so yummy. Who knew?

    I am a new follower from the Wild Wednesday Blog Hop. Would love a follow back at



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