Food: Fish is a great resource of nutrients |

Food: Fish is a great resource of nutrients

Angela Shelf Medearis and Gina Harlow


For the Anchovy Chimichurri:

3/4 cup fresh basil

3/4 cup fresh celery leaves

3/4 cup cilantro

3/4 cup parsley

7 anchovy fillets (boneless and skinless), finely chopped

1 celery stalk, sliced

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tomatillo, husk peeled and discarded

2 garlic cloves, 1 chopped

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Catfish:

4 catfish fillets (3.5 to 4-ounces each), U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix the basil, celery leaves, cilantro and parsley with 6 of the 7 chopped anchovy fillets. Transfer 1/3 of the basil herb mixture to a medium bowl. Add sliced celery and 1 teaspoon each of the olive oil and lemon juice. Cover and reserve mixture to garnish the fish.

To make the Chimichurri:

Puree the remaining basil mixture and the remaining anchovy in a food processor or a blender. Slowly drizzle in the 1/4 cup olive oil until ingredients are well-combined. Season the Chimichurri with salt, as needed. Cover and set aside.

To prepare Catfish:

1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Rinse catfish fillets and pat dry. Season catfish on both sides with the poultry seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper. Place fillets in skillet and saute for 3 minutes per side, or until fish is completely opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

2. Remove catfish from pan. Serve with a generous amount of Anchovy Chimichurri and top with the remaining basil mixture garnish. Serves 4-6.

Since prehistoric times, man has seized a spear, fashioned a rod with string or tied a net together to pull a meal from streams and oceans. Even today, in some cultures, fishing is much more meaningful than just providing food. It’s a way of life, handed down and etched into the heredity. Taking food from the water was, and is, the most basic way to provide sustenance and survival.

Today, food choices abound. Having fish as a part of our diets is not a necessity, but it’s a common and a healthy choice. Along with being a naturally low-fat protein, most fish, especially fatty fish, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to heart and brain health. Omega-3s also can be found in nuts, flaxseed and soybeans.

Choosing the right fish is important. Some fish are susceptible to mercury and other environmental contaminants. Other fish are in danger of becoming overfished. So what’s a fish lover to do? Luckily, new fishing practices have evolved that allow us to choose types of fish we can feel good about eating. There also are informative websites like that provide up-to-date information about the best types of seafood to serve.

Here are a few suggestions from eNature:

Catfish: responsibly raised, fast-growing herbivores

Dungeness Crab: from well-regulated fisheries

Salmon: wild caught

Crayfish, crawfish or Crawdads: appropriately farmed

Anchovies: fast-growing and abundant

Shrimp — Atlantic Northern Pink: Abundant and captured without environmental damage

Scallops: responsibly farm-raised and abundant

Along with species and harvesting methods, it’s important to choose the right place to buy your fish. Select a store known for selling in large quantities on a daily basis, so you’ll have some assurance that your fish is fresh. Never buy packaged fish unless it’s frozen, and then make sure you read the labels and check the producers. Don’t be afraid to ask the fishmonger to let you smell the fish. Fresh fish should have no smell, a translucent quality to the meat and be firm to the touch (although they’re probably not going to let you touch it).

My recipe for Sauteed Catfish with Anchovy Chimichurri showcases two relatively inexpensive but nutritious types of seafood in a simple, flavorful dish.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Read Gina Harlow’s blog about food and gardening at Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

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