Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tilapia with Roasted Pepper and Tomatillo Sauce

Today I traveled into Pittsburgh to soak up some city life. :)

First stop was the Strip District where I stocked up on some beautiful, and rather inexpensive, red bell peppers, snow peas, zucchini, scallions, and other veggies that are a bit pricey in the grocery store just now.

Next, Trader Joe’s for the usual (wonderful) stuff.

Then I browsed through a couple of gift shops for no particular reason than to see what is out there. I found a few decorative items that I think may go on my birthday wish list (can’t start too early now, can we?).

Then lunch at an Indian restaurant, Petco for a new scratching post for Spooky, TJ Maxx for a few items, Michael’s to figure out an unusual way to present and gift wrap a necklace which I bought my Mom for her birthday next week (thanks, Jan—before I met you I would have wrapped the store gift box, and that would have been that), Sam’s Club, grocery store,… it was an exhausting day and all I did was drive and shop!

After the car was unloaded, I had several bags and 2 coolers to unpack. I changed back into my alter-ego farm clothes, washed the makeup from my face, decided on wearing slippers for the rest of the evening (am I getting old or what???), and unpacked stuff. Lots of stuff. It was 7pm before I even thought of dinner.

Before unpacking, I placed a package of tilapia fillets in a bowl of cold water in the sink to thaw. Looking through the refrigerator, I took note of a couple of key ingredients, and decided to pan-fry the tilapia and serve with a quick sauce.

Salsa verde is a cooked salsa made from tomatillos. We enjoy it more than the traditional tomato-based salsa. I have also seen salsa verde made with green chili peppers, and this recipe may be good with that type but I won't make any recommendations until I can try it myself.

The fish would actually be quite good without the sauce, as the coating is crunchy and spicy. But the sauce is very flavorful, with the smokiness of roasted red pepper and the tang of tomatillo.

I served with steamed corn tortillas and corn (I love the frozen shoepeg variety) and edamame.

A cilantro garnish would have been nice, but I was too tired to chop! I also forgot the lime wedge...

* Exported from MasterCook *

Tilapia with Roasted Pepper and Tomatillo Sauce

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings : 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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

1 1/2 ounces roasted red pepper -- roughly chopped, about 1/4 cup

1/3 cup salsa verde

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

3/4 teaspoon honey

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons cornmeal

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper -- optional

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

10 ounces tilapia fillets

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro -- optional

1/2 medium avocado -- diced

1 medium tomato -- diced

2 lime wedges

Place the red bell pepper pieces in a small food processor and pulse a few times. Add the remaining sauce ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin) and pulse a few times until the mixture is still a bit chunky but well mixed. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine the flour through ground black pepper.

Heat oil in a large nonstick sauté pan until it shimmers. Dip the tilapia fillets in the flour mixture, pressing the mixture into the fish, then turning and pressing more. Place in the pan and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned and done--depending on the thickness of the fish, around 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side).

While the fish cooks, warm the sauce in the microwave.

Serve the fish with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, if desired. Garnish with diced avocado and tomatoes. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over all.

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Per serving: 220 Calories (kcal); 15g Total Fat; (58% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 292mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates


Laura said...

This looks fabulous--I love tomatillo salsa verde myself. The chile pepper-only variation is blander and hotter if you know what I mean (less flavor but more kick) and I vastly prefer the tomatillos.

We are heading into Pittsburgh for DH's spring break to visit his family--and I have insisted they take me to the Strip. I heard about it all 3 years I lived in State College but never managed to get there.

Vicci said...

Laura, you are in for a treat! :) The only problem (for me, anyway)is that in the entire area there are no Indian restaurants or grocery stores-- although there are Oriental, Middle Eastern, Mexican/Latin American, Greek, etc. And wait till you set foot in that kitchen store!