Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cornmeal Crusted Snapper Fillets w/ Sweet Pointed Pepper Salsa

Sweet pointed peppers have been in season for a while now. Almost every weekend I go to the farmer's market and pick up my bag of these veggie delights. I love to slice them up and layer them on paninis, or flatbread pizzas, or just eat them over a pita and hummus. There's something irresistible about these peppers. So naturally, the other day when I made fish, I had 2 peppers left in the fridge and I thought I might as well integrate them into dinner. I like my fish with a bit of something to garnish the top, and I thought back to my fish tacos with salsa. Yep, salsa sounds good, but I think I'll make it a biiiit differently. The cooked salsa is a lovely complement to the dry cornmeal crumb, and the almost tortilla-like flavour of the crust melds perfectly with the slight acidity of the salsa. Yum!

Cornmeal Crusted Snapper Fillets w/ Sweet Pointed Pepper Salsa

Cornmeal crusted Fish:

1 large egg, lightly beaten 
coarse salt and ground pepper 
2 cups fine cornmeal (I use Purity brand)
1 tablespoon garlic powder 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
500-600 grams snapper fillets, cut into wide strips (snapper seems to be the fish of choice around here, but you can use tilapia or haddock, etc)

1. Preheat oven to 475 F and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. You'll need two oven racks.
2.  Place egg in a wide shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine cornmeal, garlic powder, and oil. Dip the fish into egg, shake off the excess, then dip it into the cornmeal mixture, pressing it so the crumbs adhere. Place breaded fish onto prepared baking sheets.
3. Pop in the oven and bake, about 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the sheets between racks halfway through.

Sweet Pointed Pepper Salsa

3 roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
juice of 2 lemons
2 sweet pointed peppers 
1/3 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (+ a bit more, to taste)

1. Place the chopped tomatoes in a nonstick pan, over medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and allow to simmer about 10 minutes. 
2. Add the pointed peppers and cilantro to the pan, cover and allow to simmer another 5-7 minutes. Then uncover and allow to simmer, until liquids have evaporated.
3. Add salt and pepper, to taste and serve over fish.

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