In life, there are those with a mean sweet tooth (like my husband), and there are those who constantly crave salty snacks. Greg calls me a "halophile"--an organism that can survive in high concentrations of salt. It is an accurate nickname. There are few snacks I like more than tortilla chips...and (perhaps horrifyingly) the saltier the better. I take them salsa-less, so as to not interfere with the simple pleasure of baked corn and salt.
So, it was a great day when, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I received two bags of Tostito's Artisan Recipes tortilla chips--Black Bean-Garlic and Fire-Roasted Chipotle. Greg and I tucked into the bags right away. I loved the simple flavor combinations that turned tortilla chips into a less scary, whole-grain (they have millet in them!) version of Doritos.
I once made a fabulous recipe for oven-baked chicken which utilized plain yogurt as a base and had a spiced bread crumb coating. The Fire-Roasted Chipotle chips made me remember that recipe and inspired me to try it anew with fish. I made the avocado cream as a dipping sauce, which also ended up working well as an accompaniment to the black bean-corn salad.
Chipotle Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia with Avocado Cream (by me)
For the Fish:
-4 tilapia fillets, approximately 1 pound
-Approximately 1/2 bag of Fire-Roasted Chipotle Tostito's tortilla chips
-1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons cup plain yogurt
-1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/8 teaspoon cumin
-1/8 teaspoon cayenne
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a cooking sheet with spray oil.
2. Put tortilla chips in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin. Pour out onto a plate. On a separate plate, combine the yogurt and spices, spreading out a bit.
3. Dredge both sides of each fillet in the yogurt, then the chips. Place finished fillets on the baking sheet. The chips may not stick to the fillet entirely, so don't be afraid to finish one side, put it on the baking sheet, and press extra chips on the top.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. Serve with the avocado cream for dipping.
For the Avocado Cream:
-1/3 cup plain yogurt
-2 tablespoons sour cream
-1 ripe avocado
-1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
-1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1. In a small bowl, mash up the avocado as finely as possible. Mix in the yogurt, sour cream, salt and pepper. Combine well and serve immediately.
Black Bean & Corn Salad (from Rachel Ray)
-1 can, 14 ounces, black beans, rinsed and drained
-2 cups frozen corn kernels
-1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
-1/2 red onion, chopped
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
-2 teaspoons Tabasco
-1 lime, juiced
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil
-Salt and pepper
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss and serve. The corn will also place a quick-chill on this easy side-salad as it defrosts -- no need to refrigerate!
Verdict: This was a pretty delicious meal. The fish baked up wonderfully--silky soft inside with a tasty, crunchy crust. The avocado cream, though simple sounding, was both me and Greg's favorite part of the entire shebang. It really tied the meal together. The salad was spicy and cold, crisp and fresh. I loved it.