Friday, July 31, 2009

August is National Catfish Month!

Celebrate by Supporting American Agriculture

JACKSON, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To honor the hard work and innovations of U.S. catfish farmers, the month of August was designated as National Catfish Month in the late 1980s. But the U.S. catfish industry’s contributions to our nation’s health and economy have never been more vital than they are today, as illustrated by recent imported seafood scares.

Of course, it’s the perfectly mild flavor that made U.S. catfish so popular in the first place, and the strict standards of U.S. catfish farmers ensure superior freshness and taste. Blackened, broiled, grilled or fried – U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish works in virtually any recipe, which makes celebrating National Catfish Month pretty easy. Just make sure to look for the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish seal in the grocery store, and ask before you order if you don’t see it on the menu at your favorite restaurant.

“August is National U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Month, and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the many delicious preparations of this versatile, all-American fish,” says Roger Barlow, president of The Catfish Institute (TCI). “Long-regarded as a Southern staple, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is now being embraced across the country not only because of its health benefits, quality assurance and environmental safety, but also because it is American-grown and widely available.”

U.S. catfish are raised in pure freshwater ponds and fed a nutrient-rich diet of floating grain pellets. This extremely eco-friendly farming practice also eliminates the “fishy” taste found in other varieties of fish.

The majority of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is produced on family-owned farms in the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana, where many of these growers are second- or third-generation farmers. Since the farms and processing plants exist in primarily rural areas, catfish farming provides a significant source of revenue and employment.

“Our goal at TCI is to educate consumers about what a wonderful, home-grown product we have in U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish,” says Barlow. “When consumers purchase catfish labeled with the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish seal, they are supporting our nation’s farmers and providing jobs to tens of thousands of Americans.”

Remember the hardworking American farmers during National Catfish Month and purchase products grown in the U.S.A., including U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish.

This August, try Grilled Catfish Over Mixed Salad Greens as a healthy, tasty option for your family.

Grilled Catfish Over Mixed Salad Greens

2 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets
1/4 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon)
1 small shallot, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups mixed salad greens such as arugula, chicory, escarole, mustard and radicchio, washed and torn into bite-size pieces and dried

1. Place catfish fillet strips and mushrooms in a shallow dish. Mix olive oil, vinegar, tarragon, shallot, salt and pepper in a small bowl using a wire whisk until well blended.
2. Pour two-thirds of the marinade over the catfish. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate. Reserve remaining marinade to use as salad dressing.
3. Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler.
4. Place catfish fillets on an oiled grill rack or broiler pan rack. Grill or broil 4 inches from the heat source for 2 or 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Allow to cool slightly; serve warm.
5. Toss salad greens, mushrooms and reserved marinade in a large bowl. Top with grilled catfish.

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