Today, I was able to take a few steps away from my regular education beat (lately, I've been writing about pensions  and teacher contracts ) to cover an event featuring that lovely, jumping, invasive fish, the Asian carp.
You can read much more about the event I covered in tomorrow's paper, but I couldn't resist the urge to blog about having the chance to try it.
(Update: Here's a link to that story .)
Chef Philippe Parola fileted the fish at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen this morning, and Tassilo Homolatsch, who's studied at the Culinary Institute of American and volunteers Wednesdays at the soup kitchen, pan-fried it after crusting it with creole seasoning.
My opinion: the filet still had bones, which wasn't optimal. But I found the cooked fish to be surprisingly white, firm and not fishy at all. It's such a cliche, but ... it tasted like chicken. I had a small sample, but I definitely would have eaten more.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois American Water and Feeding Illinois are trying to get the word out that silver Asian carp (or silverfin) are filter-feeders, not bottom feeders, are a safe, nutritious fish.
When they come to my grocery store, I'll probably buy them. In the meantime, I'll have to buy some creole seasoning and recreate the recipe with tilapia. Yum.
News-Gazette photo by John Dixon.