Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Coastal Culinary Creation: Coconut Crusted Tilapia with Chop Salad

We had the most delicious coconut crusted tilapia while dining al fresco at TradeWinds restaurant in Virginia Beach. I think we ordered it 5 or 6 times within one week. It was ridiculously good. Once, I actually asked the chef if I could follow him into the kitchen. So back home in my kitchen, I attempted my own version. If you enjoy coconut shrimp, you'll love this. It is also easily gluten-free and super healthy. What's missing is the gentle roll of the ocean waves, and an endless stretch of soft white sand.

Coconut Crusted Fish:

1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/3 cup brown rice crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
Organic olive oil or coconut oil for frying

1. Combine coconut and brown rice crumbs in a shallow bowl. Place cornstarch in a separate bowl, and the beaten egg in a third bowl.
2. Dredge fish in cornstarch, dip in egg, then coat generously with coconut mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place enough oil in the bottom of a frying pan to coat the bottom. Fry several minutes on each side, until fish is browned and cooked through.

This is REALLY good with cocktail sauce. To make your own, combine 1/4 cup ketchup with 2 tbsp horseradish (or more if you like kick).

Chop House Salad:

2 ears corn, kernels removed from cob
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small tomato, diced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 avocado, diced

Lime Vinaigrette:

Juice of half a lime (1+ tbsp)
2 tsp good olive oil
1-2 tsp honey (depending how sweet you like it)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Toss vinaigrette with salad ingredients and set aside while fish is frying.


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