Sunday, August 14, 2011

Recipe: Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia with Mango Salsa

It’s the epitome of a dreary Sunday night. I’m exhausted despite multiple naps and zero physical activity. I smell like NJ Transit. And I can’t think of a single thing to say about tilapia.

So let’s talk salsa. After all, the sole purpose of the fish here is to justify eating mounds of fresh salsa for dinner. (More on condiments later in the week!) This salsa recipe is about as chop-and-drop as it gets. Dice up a few ingredients, throw them in a bowl with some lime juice, and voila! Be weary, though, that the flavor here relies heavily on the mangos, so if they’re not lookin’ so hot that day I would venture to say you could swap in 2-3 ripe peaches. Agh and now I’m craving peach salsa. Add that to the list of grievances above.  

Now while this salsa is certainly good enough to enjoy on it’s own, I don’t want to completely discount the tilapia. The crispy tortilla crust pairs especially well with any Mexican flavors – mango salsa (duh), salsa verde, red chile sauce, and mole would all make great compliments.

2 ripe mangos, peeled and diced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
½ medium red onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 peeled cucumber, seeded and diced
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
½ tsp cumin
Salt and pepper

1 filet of Tilapia per person (can substitute cod or flounder)
2 eggs
1-2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Make Salsa: In a bowl, combine mango, lime juice, lime zest, onion, garlic, cucumber, cilantro and cumin. Stir to combine, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook Fish: Lay out two shallow dishes. Crack both of the eggs into one dish and add a splash of water. Beat with a fork or whisk. Spread the crushed tortilla chips in the second dish. Heat a large pan over medium high heat with enough oil to cover the pan.

Pat fish completely dry and season with salt and pepper. Dip both sides in the egg then transfer to the dish with the tortilla crumbs. Pat down on both sides to ensure the filet is covered. Place fish in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. (You’ll know it’s done when a fork or knife slides easily into the filet and the fish flakes apart.) Add as many filets as you can fit in the pan without overlapping, and repeat process until all of the fish is cooked.

Assemble: Top fish with mango salsa. Serve with extra lime wedges.

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