You don't need a court order to love the catfish mousse and sweet potato waffle fries at Brennan's of Houston. This duo inspired by local lawyers is simply divine.
OTHER CATFISH CAPITALS
The Delta isn't the only region in the South that loves catfish. Here are more of our favorites.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Almost too pretty to eat, the butterflied and fried entrée ($6.79) at The Flying Fish mirrors the colors of the summer sun. Located in the River Market, this eatery serves catfish that looks like it could soar off your plate. 511 President Clinton Avenue; (501) 375-3474.
Brennan's of Houston offers one of the most inventive catfish dishes anywhere. Developed as an appetizer for lawyers killing time between court cases, the catfish mousse, served with sweet potato waffle fries ($9), renders one delicious verdict. Spicy, smooth, and decadent, the mousse contains smoked catfish, hot sauce, cream cheese, capers, homemade Worcestershire sauce, and a hard-cooked egg. 3300 Smith Street; (713) 522-9711.
While diners at Tenpenh Restaurant love to gossip about the latest political scandal, there's one dish that's hotter than the aforementioned topic. The tasty Hong Kong-style whole catfish ($16) comes fried in rice flour and served with a garlic dipping sauce. Yum's the word. 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue; (202) 393-4500.
ONE BIG FISH FRY
Nobody knows more about the whiskered water dweller than folks at The Catfish Institute in Belzoni, Mississippi. President Roger Barlow offers advice on frying great catfish. "You want to purchase 3- to 5-ounce, skinless, boneless fillets," he says. "Cooks should fry catfish in pure vegetable or peanut oil. Lightly dust the fish with cornmeal or flour, and keep your temperature at a perfect 350° to 360°. When the fish rises to the oil's surface, it's ready."
This article is from the August 2005 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.