Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chili-Lime Fish Fry with Tex-Mex Peperonata

We are big tilapia fans over here. I have four or five recipes I switch between, and I usually make one a week. I got this recipe from a cookbook my mother-in-law bought me for Christmas. There are so many recipes in here I want to try. I'm making another two this week: Spinach and Artichoke Mac n' Cheese and Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Marsala Sauce and Pasta (which if I continue to make this, I will shorten to Pork Tenderloin Marsala). Some of her recipe names are crazy long. Anyway, here is another one of our favorites. (This may not be something you want to make now since bell peppers are really expensive right now.)

Chili-Lime Fish Fry with Tex-Mex Peperonata
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beer or chicken stock
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Chili-Lime Fish Fry
4 Tilapia fillets (I sometimes use basa if I have it)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 limes
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup oil

To prepare the peperonata, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeño, bell peppers, and salt and pepper. Saute until the peppers are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes, then add the beer or stock and stir for a minute or two more. Top with cilantro and set aside.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Arrange 3 shallow dishes; place the flour in one, beat the eggs in the second, and scatter the bread crumbs in the third. Season the bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp grated lime zest, the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. Coat the fish in the flour, eggs, and seasoned bread crumbs.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. If the pan is not large enough to fry 4 fillets, heat the oven to 275 degrees and place a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. As you fry the fish, transfer it to the rack in the hot oven to keep warm. Cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until deeply golden and crispy. Season with a little extra salt and top the fish with lime juice. Serve with peperonata.

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