Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Salad

As I mentioned in the previous post, I cannot resist any sort of ocean-dwelling animal that has been coated, dredged, or crusted in something. I love all of the many options-almonds, macademia nuts, pecans, cornflakes, various cheeses, basic flour, and in this case, cornmeal. I made cornmeal-crusted tilapia salad earlier in the week, and it was not only flavorful and light, but quite a lovely presentation. The tilapia emerged from the pan with its light and golden layer of crisp cornmeal, and I promptly placed it atop a fresh green salad flecked with chopped purple onions and red bell pepper. A delicate garnish of thinly sliced, toasted corn tortillas finished it off! Hmmmmm!

I found the recipe in “Cooking Light: Annual Recipes 2008”-I’m beginning to grow attached to Cooking Light, although I find it a bit sad when I get to the dessert sections of the cookbook and the recipes are so tragically low in cream and sugar. Anyway, another highlight of the salad is that I was able to add a can of black beans to the leftovers to make our lunch for another two days.

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Salad

4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4 inch strips
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon onion flakes, crushed (I didn’t have these on hand-didn’t make a difference!)
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
7 teaspoons canola oil, divided
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Place tortilla strips on a baking sheet lined with foil; lightly coat tortilla strips with cooking spray. Sprinkle strips with 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes or until crisp, set aside.
3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornmeal, onion flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder in a shallow dish. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt, dredge in cornmeal mixture.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.
5. Combine romaine and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine juice, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add 4 teaspoons oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat. Place 1 1/2 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese. Place 1 fish fillet on each salad; top with 5 tortilla strips.

Definitely a great weeknight dinner!


One Response to “Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Salad”

  1. Andrea and Arthur Says:

    This looks yummy.

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