Grilled Catfish Steaks with Chipotle-Avocado Salsa
Rick Bayless can give any main ingredient an authentic Mexican taste. Working with catfish, a mild fish, he adds sparks with chipotle-based salsa, cooled with bits of avocado.
- Chipotle-Avocado Salsa
- Chipotle Chilies - 3-6 (about 2 oz total), stemmed, or canned chipotle chilies en adobo
- Canned Chipotle Chilies - en adobo
- Garlic - 3 large cloves, unpeeled
- Tomatillos - 5 medium (about 8 ounces), husked and rinsed
- Water - 3 tablespoons
- Avocados - 2, small
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1/4 teaspoon
- Catfish Steaks - Eight 3-4 oz, cut 1-inch thick
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Cilantro - Sprigs
To prepare the salsa: Toast the dried chilies on an ungreased griddle or skillet over medium heat, turning regularly and pressing flat with a spatula, about 30 seconds. In a small bowl, cover the chilies with hot water and rehydrate for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water. If using canned chilies, they need only be removed from their sauce.
Cook the garlic on a griddle or in a skillet, turning occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Cool and peel. Cook tomatillos in a small foil pan until blackened on one side, about 5 minutes; flip and cook the other side for 5 more minutes.
Place the garlic and tomatillos with juices into a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Place paste into a bowl; finely chop the chilies and add to the mixture. Add water until the sauce is a medium-thick consistency. Peel and pit the avocadoes, then cut into 1/4-inch dice. Add avocados, salt, and sugar to the developing sauce; stir.
To prepare the catfish: Place the catfish steaks in a shallow glass dish. Combine 1/4 cup of the salsa with the olive oil and brush on the catfish steaks. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
Prepare a grill for direct heat cooking: Light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until covered with light grey ash. Or, light a gas grill according to manufacturer’s directions. Place the cooking grate on top and let it heat for a minute or two until hot.
Remove the catfish from the marinade. Place the fish on the cooking grate. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill 8 to 12 minutes, turning once half-way through the grilling time.
To serve: Place the fish on a warmed serving platter. Spoon salsa across the fish. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro.