Jerk-Spiced Catfish

Posted1/13/2010 12:01 AM

Jerk-Spice mix



cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2 allspice berries


teaspoon ground allspice

1 Scotch bonnet chili pepper (see note)


teaspoon mild chili powder

teaspoons chopped parsley


teaspoon ground cinnamon

tablespoons light brown sugar

Juice of 1 lime

1 scallion, white and light green parts, chopped



cup olive oil, plus a bit more for brushing limes

4 catfish fillets (6 ounces each)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 limes, quartered

Make the spice mix: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, allspice (berries and powder), chili pepper, chili powder, parsley and cinnamon, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, and stir until melted. Transfer to a blender or mini food processor with the remaining ¼

cup olive oil, the lime juice and scallions. Puree until smooth.

Make the fish: Mix together the jerk mix and the ½

cup olive oil. Brush all over both sides of the catfish. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

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Heat a grill pan or cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Season catfish with salt and pepper. Place the catfish on the grill, and cook for 4 minutes on each side. When 2 minutes of cooking time remains, brush the lime quarters with olive oil. Place on the skillet, and cook until caramelized, about 1 minute on each side. Serve immediately. Serves four.

Cook's note: Substitutions include one habanero pepper, or two serrano or jalapeno peppers.

"New American Table" by Marcus Samuelsson (2009 Wiley)