Fish: The Entree That Sets New Orleans Apart
Just about everywhere you go, the appetizer course in restaurants and a lot of homes is more often than not shrimp, crabmeat, scallops, clams, or other shellfish. What you find much less commonly is seafood for the main course.
It could be said that people in most of the rest of America don't have as powerful a taste for seafood as we do here. Or you can explain why that is: not many other places have such a rich, varied supply of local fish as does the Gulf Coast.
State laws (some of them clearly favoring the interests of the recreational fishing industry over those of us who just like to eat fish) limit the commercial sale of fish to a very small percentage of the total catch. Despite that, the restaurants, seafood stores (of which we have not nearly enough) and regular folks always seem to come up with trout, redfish, drum, flounder, pompano--whoops! I've begun a pescatorial litany that will be more usefully presented below.
During the three hundred years in which New Orleans people have taken advantage of the wealth of the waters, we've figured out more than our share of great recipes for fish. I have divided all of mine into these categories. (Which, if clicked, will take you lists of links to the recipes.)
Enjoy, and remember: when you find a bone in your fish, it's a good sign. It's only the overpackaged fish that are without that evidence of life.