Saturday, August 6, 2011

The life and death of a redfish

Like Toyotas and Hitchcock Movies, some food fads become plain ole American.
Nachos, gyros, margaritas, calamari, sushi, salsa, yogurt, gyros, even plain ole pizza got the Hollywood gourmet makeover. Then there was redfish.

Bout the same time Ozzy was bitin the head off a bat, Nawlins foodies were taking notice of Paul Prudhomme (y'know the dude so pondiferous he cooks in a wheelchair). His claim to fame was nutty roux and redfish. The kinda recipes traditionally conjured by po foks to mask the taste of of trash fish what nobody useta wanna eat.
The trash fish he famous'd was red drum.
The Boudreaus and Fonteneaus and all the other crawfish-pie Bayou boys call em redfish. Folks round her call em channel bass. I was 25 before I ever heard of somebody besides my old man using channel bass for anything but bait or pier photos.
Prudhomme spiced em fiery, burnt em black and called it Blackened Redfish.
Purty soon gastronome eggheads were enshrining Prudhomme as a porcine prophet. New york foodies took to him like a street hooker on a gold-trimmed Lexus. For the next 25 years every bayou boy with a pirou and a cane pole was out at the turn of the tide reeling in the once plentiful gulf fish, pricing it like snapper and sole and selling it to the big city boys. Nowadays since redfish has been fished out, every finned swimmer cept gefeltafish and blowfish is being offered cajun style. . .