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Catfish with Tomatillo and Garlic Sauce


Meaty, moist catfish is one of Rick Bayless' favorite candidates for the grill or broiler. Have your fishmonger cut steaks from a whole fish. Or substitute thick catfish fillets or bluefish steaks or fillets. Skewered, grilled scallops are great with this sauce too.

  1. Eight 4-ounce catfish steaks, about 1-inch thick
  2. 2 cups Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa
  3. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  4. 12 unpeeled garlic cloves
  5. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  6. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, preferably fresh ground
  7. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  8. 2/3 cup Fish Stock or chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  9. Salt
  10. Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. Lay the catfish steaks in a large nonreactive baking dish. Mix 1/4 cup of the Roasted Tomatillo–Chipotle Salsa with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the brush the mixture on both sides of the fish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 6 hours.
  2. Heat a large nonreactive skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and toast, turning occasionally, until softened and blackened in spots, about 15 minuts. Let cool slightly, then peel.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups salsa to the skillet along with the cumin, pepper and toasted garlic cloves. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the stock, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  4. Light a grill or preheat the oven to 450° and heat a large cast-iron grill pan. Remove the catfish from the marinade and season lightly with salt. If grilling, cook on a lightly oiled grill, turning once, for 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until nicely seared and cooked through. Alternatively, lightly oil the grill pan and cook over moderately high heat until nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the fish and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Transfer the fish to a serving platter, spoon the sauce over and around the fish and garnish with cilantro. Serve without hesitation.

Suggested Pairing

This dish calls for a well-chilled medium-weight beer. Try Anchor Steam from San Francisco or Grolsch from the Netherlands.



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