Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pan-Fried Striper with Charred Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salsa

Recipe: Pan-Fried Striper with Charred Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salsa

A few weeks ago I met my friend Jenni at Trader Joe’s for our semi-regular Foodie Shop-a-Thon. This would not be necessary if I lived near TJ’s or Whole Foods, but since the trip to that part of town takes about 50 minutes, I have to stock up when I get the opportunity. Because of my broken ankle this past winter, I have not been there since November and the trip to these stores was greatly missed.

I brought a cooler and plenty of ice so I was able to buy some frozen and refrigerated items. While looking through the selection of frozen fish, I was pleasantly surprised to find striper fillets. Jack and I have had striper when we go on vacation because it’s a local fish to the middle/ southern Atlantic coast but I have never seen it in the stores in western Pennsylvania. It is a great tasting fish—mild, sweet, delicate, similar to tilapia but the fillets are larger. Of course, I bought two packages. It was an incredibly fun day, we had a great lunch while sitting in the outdoor courtyard of Casbah, and I returned home with lots of food and meal ideas for the next few weeks.

I wanted fish for dinner last night and when I opened the big freezer and slid open the lower bin, guess what was lying on top. An internet search for striper recipes was uninspiring, so I looked in the refrigerator. I needed to use an avocado asap, and the cherry tomatoes on the counter were looking very ripe, so I came up with pan-frying the striper, then topping it with a salsa. This was served with rice, and it was excellent. The fish, under a crispy cornmeal crust, was tender; the avocado-tomato salsa was the perfect accompaniment with a little added jalapeño contributing some spice. Our favorite restaurant while on vacation in Lewes, DE is called Striper Bites, and we usually buy three or four bottles of their own (wonderfully spicy, chipotle-based) hot sauce every year, so we also added some additional heat with several drops of that.

This was an excellent way to make striper, which is also called rockfish and striped bass (or you can use any other mild fish like tilapia or bass).

* Exported from MasterCook *

Pan-Fried Striper with Charred Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salsa

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

--------- ---------- ---------------------------------------

1 cup frozen corn kernels -- thawed and drained

3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 whole green onions -- slice diagonally; keep the light colored bottom part and

dark green tops separate

2 medium garlic clove -- minced

1 teaspoon minced jalapeño

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2/3 cup chopped tomato

4 ounces avocado -- pit removed, peeled, diced (one small avocado, about 6

ounces before pitting and peeling)

1/3 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon canola oil

10 ounces striper fillets

1/2 cup rice -- uncooked

Spray a medium sized skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium flame. Add the corn kernels and shake to form a single layer in the pan. Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until the kernels are lightly browned on one side. Mix in the bell pepper, the light-colored green onion bottom slices and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and stir for one additional minute. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool a bit.

Prepare the rice and keep warm.

Mix the cornmeal, flour, and ground cumin on a large rimmed plate and set aside.

Drizzle 1 teaspoon of canola oil into a large nonstick skillet and heat over a medium-high flame. Dip the fillets into the cornmeal mixture, firmly patting the mixture into the fish, turning a few times to coat thoroughly. Place in the hot skillet and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for three minutes on one side, flip, the cook for 2 minutes on the other side.

While the fish is cooking, mix the lime juice, olive oil, salt, cumin, and pepper in a small cup. Add the reserved green onion tops, cilantro, chopped tomato and avocado to the corn mixture and lightly toss with the lime juice dressing.

When the fish is done, serve with rice and salsa.

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Per serving: 691 Calories (kcal); 22g Total Fat (5g saturated); (27% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 94g Carbohydrate; 75mg Cholesterol; 574mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 5 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 9 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

To expand more on my "turkey post", I took this today of Spooky watching our new yard-friend...

Somehow, I don't think that they will become buddies!