Thursday, July 30, 2015

Asian-Style Catfish Wraps, July 29, 2015

When I finished making dinner last night, I thought, "Oh, boy, this could be a terrible flop." By the time my darling got home, I had already decided just to make quesadillas if she hated the food I had made. The meal of Asian-style catfish wraps, sweet & sour potato shreds, and a spring mix salad was pretty outside-the-box for me. I was fairly certain it was going to be too weird for Jeannene. But, she picked up the wooden spoon perched on the side of the skillet containing the filling for the wraps, nibbled a bite, and made yummy noises. Whew! "Now," I wondered, "is it going to be too weird for me?" I'm not big on wraps, except for Mexican food, and I am not a huge seafood fan. However, I do tend to like catfish, although my favorite way to eat it is either fried or blackened. I'd had some amazing Vietnamese catfish nuggets at The Winds Cafe, but this was nothing like those. However, when I bit into it, I thought, "Okay, that's pretty good!" I was skeptical about the potatoes, as well, especially since I don't tend to like sweet not-dessert dishes and since I hadn't followed Madhur Jaffrey's recipe, passed on to me by my mom, who was very enthusiastic about the dish. The potatoes I thought I had had gone bad on me, so I was left with the option to use already mostly baked potatoes left over from Sunday. I want to try it again using raw potatoes, to see what the difference is. I suspect I will like them better done the way they were intended to be made, but they were certainly edible as it was. The catfish wraps are based on a Cooking Light recipe from April 2005.

Asian-Style Catfish Wraps
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
1/2 lb. catfish, cut into chunks
1 1/2 c. thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp. minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 c. hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp. Asian chili garlic sauce
4 small flour tortillas

Heat half the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add catfish and stir-fry to cook through, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Add the rest of the oil. Once heated, add vegetables and stir-fry until carrots are crisp-tender, a couple of minutes. Return catfish to pan, add sauces, and heat through. Warm tortillas and fill with catfish mixture. Serves 2-4. 

Sweet & Sour Potato Shreds
1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into fine julienne strips
2 tbsp. peanut or canola oil
2 scallions, sliced
1 slice ginger, peeled and minced
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
Large pinch salt
1/2 tbsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife & peeled
1 tsp. sesame oil

Place potatoes in cold water to cover. Shake the bowl to release the starch. Pour out water & repeat process several times. Drain well. Heat oil in large skillet or wok. Stir fry ginger and scallions about 30 seconds. Add potatoes and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic. Stir fry 2-5 minutes, until potatoes are browned. Add sesame oil and stir to mix. Remove garlic cloves to serve. Serves 2-4. 

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