Catfish with Tomatillo Salsa in Packets
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (or see Grill Variation, below).Advertisement
To prepare packets, start with four 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of parchment paper or foil. Fold in half crosswise. With the parchment or foil folded, draw half a heart shape on one side as you would if you were making a Valentine. Use scissors to cut out the heart shape. Open up the heart.
Season fish with cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Combine tomatillos, onion, chile pepper, garlic and cilantro in a large bowl; stir in lime juice, oil, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cayenne to taste (if using).
Place one portion of fish on one side of each open heart fairly close to the crease and leaving at least a 1-inch border around the edges for folding. Place one-fourth of the salsa (about 1 cup) on top of each fish portion.
Close the packet to cover the ingredients. Starting at the top, seal the packet by folding the edges together in a series of small, tight folds. Twist the tip of the packet and tuck it underneath to help keep the packet closed. Place the packets on a large rimmed baking sheet (packets may overlap slightly). Bake until the fish is opaque in the center, about 20 minutes. (Carefully open one package to check for doneness--be cautious of the steam.) Let packets rest unopened for 5 minutes before serving.
Grill Variation: Cooking in packets is great for the grill, but it's not safe to put parchment paper over an open flame, so use foil. To prepare packets for grilling, start with eight 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of foil. Layer two sheets for each of four packets (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning). Arrange the ingredients on one half of each double layer. Fold the foil over the ingredients and tightly seal the packets by crimping and folding the edges together. Grill over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the packets to another spot on the grill about halfway through to ensure even cooking.
Equipment: Parchment paper or foil
Tip: Tomatillos are tart, plum-size fruits that look like small, husk-covered green tomatoes. Find them in the produce section near the tomatoes. Remove outer husks and rinse well before using.