Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant

I was taking the long way home from Baton Rouge today and stopped by Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant. It was the first time I’d been back since the flooding following Hurricane Isaac.

They cleaned it up real well!
I started with something cool and refreshing on a recommendation from Chris, the bartender. It was a Southern Fly which was Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka mixed with lemonade and served in a Mason jar. Very good and quite enjoyable after an over 400 mile loop around south Louisiana.
It being Middendorf’s, I hardly had to look at the menu. I just ordered their thin fried catfish meal that came with hushpuppies and slaw. Chris asked if I wanted silverware to eat the coleslaw and I told him no. I was there for the catfish and French fries only.
The order came out quite quickly and the four pieces were wonderful – very thin with moist and flaky flesh under a light corn flour crust. 
I finished the meal with some house made pineapple ice cream. All it was missing was some rum!
This place is rarely on the way to anywhere I’m going but it is worth the extra miles to get there.


Mushroom Risotto

When you have time to spare, making risotto is worth the time it takes to stand around and stir for an hour.

Mushroom Risotto
Olive Oil         
2 cloves garlic, minced          
1 1/2 lbs assorted fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 T butter       
Kosher salt         
2 cups arborio rice          
2 cups white wine           
6-7 cups stock (if serving vegetarians, use mushroom stock, otherwise use chicken) 
1/2 cup Parmigiano, grated 

Coat a large saute pan generously
with the butter and add the minced garlic
. Bring to a medium-high heat. When the garlic cloves are very aromatic (but not brown), add the assorted fresh mushrooms to
the pan and season with salt. Saute the mushrooms until they have released most of their moisture. Turn off the heat and reserve.

Coat a large Dutch oven with
olive oil. Add the onions and season generously with salt. Bring the pot to a
medium heat. Cook the onions
, stirring frequently until they are very soft and aromatic and translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat with the olive oil. Cook the rice
for 5 minutes to toast, stirring frequently. Add wine 
to cover the surface of the rice and stir constantly until it
has completely absorbed. Add the stock in 1 cup increments 
until the liquid has covered the surface of the rice. Stir
frequently until the stock has absorbed into the rice. Repeat this process until the stock is all absorbed.
During the final addition of stock, add the reserved mushrooms. When the stock has absorbed into the rice and the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the heat. The rice should flow and look very
creamy but not runny. 

Prior to serving, add 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano.