Saturday is National Catfish Day, a fitting topic for Steve Garner and I on “The Good Food Hour” KSRO radio show.
PANFRIED CATFISH WITH TOMATILLO AND AVOCADO SALSA
Most of the catfish that we see in the market today are farm raised in clean waters. With wild caught fish they sometimes can have a muddy taste, which can be reduced by soaking the fillets in milk for a few hours before cooking them. This is a simple recipe that takes advantage of Mexican flavors.
1-1/4 pound fresh skinned and boned catfish fillet
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt
1 – 2 tablespoons pure mild to medium chile powder such as Ancho or New Mexico
1/4 cup olive oil
Tomatillo and avocado salsa (recipe follows)
Garnish: Cilantro Sprigs and Crema or sour cream, if desired
Rinse catfish and blot dry. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and chile powder together on a plate. Dredge fish in mixture and shake off any excess. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan and sauté catfish on both sides until golden brown and cooked through.
Place on warm plates and top with a heaping tablespoon or two of the salsa, cilantro sprigs, a drizzle of crema or sour cream and serve immediately.
Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
Makes about 1 cup
Often tomatillos are cooked when they are used in recipes. Cooking tones down their natural acidity and astringency. Here however I’m using it raw where it’s a perfect foil for the buttery avocado.
1/3 cup husk removed, washed and coarsely chopped fresh tomatillos
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon seeded and chopped fresh serrano chile, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped scallion
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
Fresh lime juice to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a food processor add the tomatillos, garlic, chile and scallion and pulse to finely chop. Coarsely chop the avocado, add to the processor and pulse until just blended. Salsa should still have some texture. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper. Store covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
John Ash (c) 2016