Sunday, August 17, 2014

Catfish with a Chunky Avocado-Tomato Sauce

One of the things I will never grow tired of living in California is the availability of perfect avocados. One of the vendors at the Saturday farmer's market sells bags of small avocados which are the perfect size for snacking on. Occasionally, I realize that I should maybe try to do something with the avocado abundance rather than just eating them. This recipe pairs creamy avocados with Indian spices for a refreshingly different (and spicy!) dinner.

I was using very thin sole for this dish instead of catfish, so I skipped the initial browning step entirely to avoid overcooking the fish and left the fish in filet strips.

Two years ago: Creme Brulee French Toast
Three years ago: Creamy, Lemony Eggs with Prosciutto
Four years ago: Corn and Tomato Gratin

Catfish with a Chunky Avocado-Tomato Sauce (from 660 Curries)

1 tsp ground turmeric
1 lb skinless catfish fillets, cut into 2" pieces
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1 large ripe Haas avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1" cubes
1/2 cup canned (or fresh) diced tomatoes
12 medium to large curry leaves
4 fresh green chiles, stems removed and cut in half
3 lengthwise slices fresh ginger (1.5"x1"x1/8"), cut into matchsticks
1 tsp coarse salt

1. Sprinkle turmeric over catfish and rub in. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes - overnight.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cover, and let pop like popcorn, ~ 30 seconds.
3. Add fish and cook until each side is lightly browned, ~ 15 seconds each. Transfer to a plate.
4. Add avocado, tomatoes, curry leaves, chiles, ginger, salt, and 1/2 cup water to skillet. Heat to a boil.
5. Return fish to skillet and spoon sauce over them. Cover and poach until fish is cooked. (You may need to reduce the heat a bit.)
6. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fish to a serving platter.
7. Simmer sauce uncovered for 1 - 2 minutes until it starts to thicken. Spoon over fish and serve.

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