The fish dinners I grew up with were all fried, sometimes deep-fried filets of bass and sunfish (yum!) and sometimes pan-fried, cornmeal-crusted chunks of catfish, both caught in the Cumberland River by an uncle or a cousin. Mother always had to hide her chagrin when my cousin showed up with a huge river catfish. Yes, it was free meat, but catfish are bottom feeders, so a Cumberland River catfish tasted strongly of diesel fuel.
Nowadays I only get fried catfish when I go back to Tennessee to visit. It’s farm-raised, so the taste is light and fresh. I learned to love fish over the years prepared a lot of different ways. Recently I experimented with some fish filets. The end result was very easy and very good, two of my criteria for cooking. Here’s the result.
Salsa Verde Fish Filets
1 1/2 lbs. halibut, cod, catfish or other white fish filets
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup salsa verde or tomatillo sauce (i.e., green salsa)
1/2 cup sliced black olives
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13″ x 9″ baking dish with vegetable oil or grease with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place fish filets in a single layer in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and top with salsa verde.
Bake uncovered 20 -30 minutes or more until fish is done (flakes easily with a fork). Garnish with olives and cilantro.
Makes 4 servings.
This is good with rice to soak up the sauce!