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Catfish with Tomatillo Salsa in Packets

July/August 2009

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (8 votes)

Tomatillos provide a distinctive tart flavor to a super-easy salsa that cooks with the catfish. Try it with tomatoes too.



READER'S COMMENT:
"Fantastic way to prepare catfish; the fish practically melts in your mouth (loses any hint of rubberiness). The salsa has just the right amount of tanginess, tartness, and underlying heat. Lots of variations come to mind with the recipe,...
Catfish with Tomatillo Salsa in Packets Recipe

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1-1 1/4 pounds catfish, cut into 4 portions, or 4 tilapia fillets (4-5 ounces each)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound tomatillos, (see Tip), husks removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, or serrano pepper, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (or see Grill Variation, below).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: 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.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Per serving: 241 calories; 13 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 53 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 19 g protein; 3 g fiber; 500 mg sodium; 725 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (40% daily value), Potassium (21% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 1/2 vegetable, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat


More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Ethnic/Regional
Southwest
Ease of Preparation
Moderate
Main Ingredient
Fish
Preparation/ Technique
Bake
Grill/BBQ
Meal/Course
Dinner

Season
Summer
Fall
Publication
July/August 2009

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