Catfish Fritto Misto with Citrus-Almond Gremolata and Balsamaic Orange Syrup

INGREDIENTS:Catfish Fritto Misto:
1 qt. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. red pepper, ground
3 cups club soda
24 fillets, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish
as needed, canola oil for deep-fat frying
1½ gal. prepared creamy polenta
3 cups Citrus-Almond Gremolata (recipe follows)
3 qts. tomato pieces marinated in balsamic vinaigrette
3 cups balsamic-orange syrup (recipe follows)

Citrus-Almond Gremolata (yields 3 cups):
3 cups parsley, flat leaf, chopped, patted dry
1/3 cup orange, lemon and lime zest, fresh
1/3 cup almonds, slivered
2 cloves garlic, minced

Balsamic-Orange Syrup (yields 3 cups):
1 qt. balsamic vinegar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup orange juice, fresh
2 Tbsp. orange zest, fresh DIRECTIONS:Mix flour, salt and pepper; remove 3 cups flour mixture and stir in club soda until almost smooth. Reserve. Dredge catfish fillets in remaining 1 cup seasoned flour. Dip dredged fish into reserved batter and deep-fry at 350°F for 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Keep warm.

For each serving: Mound 1 cup polenta in center of plate and place one fried catfish fillet on top. Sprinkle top with 2 Tbsp. Citrus-Almond Gremolata and spoon ½ cup marinated tomato pieces around outside of polenta. Drizzle top with 2 Tbsp. Balsamic-Orange Syrup.

For Gremolata: Place all ingredients in container of food processor and pulse until mixed well but still rough. Store in tightly covered container. Use as directed.

For Balsamic-Orange Syrup: In saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and orange juice; bring to a boil, lower heat and reduce by half until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in zest. Store in tightly covered container. Use as directed. SERVINGS:24 servings From:Chef Jeannie Pierola, Sidebern’s and Bern’s Steak House, Tampa, Fla. PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: THE CATFISH INSTITUTE