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Cornmeal Fish with Cherry Tomato Tequila Butter Salsa

September 12, 2011

Normally I’d say that there’s plenty of summer left in Atlanta after Labor Day, but this cooler weather this week has me

fish with tequila tomato sauce

rethinking that.  And of course I found the perfect meal that feels like summer…lots of fresh veggies and light, but filling.  Isn’t that how it goes?  This is a recipe I found on Food52 and really loved it…it’s quick, light and really flavorful.  I served this fish with fresh creamed corn and sauteed garlic spinach.  It was the perfect summer meal.  This serves 2 and can be doubled.


Marinade and coating for fish:

1/2 T olive oil

1 T lime juice

1 clove crushed garlic

2 fillets of catfish (I used tilapia)

1/2 c corn meal (I used masa harina and loved how crunchy the coating got)

1/2 t  salt

ground black pepper

 Tequila Butter Salsa:

2 c cherry tomatoes, cut in half

pinch red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 T chopped cilantro stems

1 t lime zest

1/2 t salt

water or chicken stock

2 T tequila

lime juice and/or zest to taste

1 T soft butter


Mix the olive oil, lime juice, and garlic with the fish in a non-reactive bowl and let rest for 1 hour in the fridge.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the tomatoes red pepper flakes, garlic, cilantro stems, and lime zest and begin cooking it down, stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is well cooked down and bright red, and the juices are reduced. Add stock or water to the salsa if needed to keep it from sticking.  Add the tequila some lime zest and juice.  Cook until the sauce has reached the desired thickness.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a large non-stick saute saute pan over medium high heat. Season the corn meal with salt and pepper, then dredge the fish and fry it in the olive oil until golden brown on both sides, flipping once, about 1-2 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Remove the tomato sauce from heat and stir in the butter.  Spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with chopped green onions, then serve.

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