Thursday, November 3, 2011

RECIPE: Crunchy Chipotle Lime Tilapia with Coconut

This recipe came by way of my mother, but I have made a few alterations since we first tried making it together.  Namely, I have eliminated the sour cream in favor of plain yogurt (which tastes better, funnily enough), and substituting coconut for crushed tortilla chips.  The chips were fine, but the toasted coconut is the perfect flavor complement to the lime.


1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can
2 fresh chopped roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 tilapia fillets (or 6, if they are small)
3/4 cup shredded coconut

1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into large chunks
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place foil in the bottom of a baking sheet, or grease with cooking spray.

Combine the chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice in a blender.  Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Spread half of the coconut on the bottom of the baking sheet; coat one side of your fillets with the chipotle mixture, then place them on top of the coconut, chipotle-side down.  Spread more of the chipotle sauce on the top sides of the fillets, and press remaining coconut on top of that.

Bake the fillets for 15 minutes, then turn over and bake until golden brown (about 10 to 15 more minutes).  Serve hot.

While the fish bake, blend together the avocado, yogurt, and 1 tablespoon lime juice until smooth.  The consistency should be similar to ranch dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon the sauce over the baked fillets when serving.

VERDICT: By now, I'm sure you're aware of how much I love strong, spicy foods.  This is no exception--the tilapia is hot, hot, and richly sharp in flavor.  You really can't do much better than that!  I recommend serving it with sticky jasmine rice.

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