Catfish with Tomatillo and Garlic Sauce
- SERVINGS: 4
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.
- Eight 4-ounce catfish steaks, about 1-inch thick
- 2 cups Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, preferably fresh ground
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2/3 cup Fish Stock or chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer the fish to a serving platter, spoon the sauce over and around the fish and garnish with cilantro. Serve without hesitation.
This dish calls for a well-chilled medium-weight beer. Try Anchor Steam from San Francisco or Grolsch from the Netherlands.