Saturday, October 4, 2014

Recipe #299: Foil-Baked Catfish

Plenty of times I buy a main ingredient with no recipe in mind, and then I have to find a way to make it with things already in my pantry and fridge.  Here's an example with catfish.  I changed a couple things in this recipe because I didn't have exactly the right ingredients, but it turned out great.  Super easy cleanup.  I had plenty of leftovers because two fillets was way too much.  I love the different textures and the citrus-y flavor.

1 cup couscous (preferably whole wheat)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6 -ounce skinless catfish fillets
2 lemons (1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced)  (I used an orange because I didn't have lemons)
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley or mint  (I used dried parsley because I didn't have fresh)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved  (I used the same amount of chopped regular tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lay a 2 1/2-foot-long sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, letting the ends hang off. Lay another sheet of foil perpendicular on top. Rinse the couscous in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water. Mix the olive oil, paprika and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pile the couscous in the center of the foil; toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the seasoned oil and spread in an 8-inch-square layer.

Brush the fish fillets on both sides with 1 tablespoon of the seasoned oil and arrange side by side on top of the couscous. Toss the lemon slices, parsley, red onion, tomatoes, garlic and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon seasoned oil in a bowl, then scatter evenly over the fish and couscous. Drizzle with 2/3 cup water, then bring the opposite ends of the foil together, fold over and crimp closed to make a sealed packet. Transfer the foil packet (on the baking sheet) to the oven and bake 25 minutes.

Open the foil packet; divide the fish among plates. Toss the couscous and vegetables; serve with the fish. Sprinkle with the lemon juice.

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