Chipotle Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia with Avocado Cream and Black Bean & Corn Salad

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!

-Serves 4-6

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.


Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Great idea. This looks really interesting. Makes a change from the usual breaded Tilapia.

Victoria said...

This sounds really fantastic! I love the tortilla chips on top (I've done that before too) and the avocado cream (and using yogurt no less) is the perfect sauce!

Belinda @zomppa said...

I LOVE this added bit of heat 'n' crunch.

Every Little Thing said...

This looks like a great spring meal! Definitely bookmarking :)

Rochelle said...

Tilapia is such a plain fish by it's self. Great idea to spice it up with the chipotle and add some texture and crunch with the tortillas... the Avocado cream sounds perfect with it :)

Joy, The Herbed Kitchen said...

You and my hubby are quite the pair. I can only take so much salt but he is a total fiend. I love your avocado cream, it would definitely take some of the kick out of the salty tortillas. Beautiful recipe.

Susan said...

Glad I read this post! This looks so great! I love battered cod fillets ... so will try them with your prep! I, too, love a salty snack, so this is right up my alley!

Sarah said...

Oh yum! I can't wait to grab some fresh Tilapia at the market this weekend!

Ang said...

That's why I love popcorn so much. I get a little carried away with the sodium for sure. But it's so darn good. All this talk about salt and now I'm thirsty. The fish looks amazing. We are actually headed over to the beach tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to fresh fish. Can't wait!

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

Those tortilla chips sound so good. I love millet and am happy to see that it's in the chips. YUM!
What a creative use of the tortilla chips. Your tilapia looks amazing. :)

Katrina said...

I think I may just eat the avocado cream by the spoonful. s that wrong? Probably! ♥- Katrina

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Love this recipe! I got the chips to try too and have been trying not to finish 'em so I can at least attempt to create a recipe. Kudos to you for not just eating the entire bag in one sitting :)

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