Saturday, January 24, 2009

Coconut Almond-crusted Tilapia with Pineapple Coconut Rice

I am trying really hard to eat more fish, and really, to talk myself into having more of a taste for fish. At this point, I can feign interest in fish; appreciate what is coating the fish; and I enjoy the lightness of it. But I really want to develop more of a passion for fish. I meet so many people who are really passionate about their seafood, and I feel like I must really be missing out on something, as I sit in the dark corner eating my plain, ordinary chicken while everyone else is basking in the light of a delicious fillet of Mahi Mahi or some other fish I don't know anything about. So the other day at the grocery store (there aren't many days when I CAN'T refer to "yesterday at the grocery store," by the way - I go shopping for food entirely too often), I wandered into the seafood section and picked out a little bag of frozen tilapia fillets. This is what came of it. And please, if you do have any suggestions for me of what kinds of fish or seafood to try, and how to prepare it, leave a comment for me!!

Coconut and Almond-Crusted Tilapia with Pineapple Coconut Rice

For the rice:

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 small can of diced or chunky pineapple (~1/2 cup)
1/2 of 1 small can diced green chilies
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 5.5-oz can coconut milk

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until onion starts to become translucent, and add the can of diced pineapple and the 1/2 can (or more if you desire) of diced green chilies. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 2 cups of water and the can of coconut milk, bring to a boil, and then add the rice, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over reduced heat for 40 - 50 minutes, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. You should be left with a slightly creamy rice dish.

For the tilapia:

2  4-oz. tilapia filets
1/2 cup ground almonds (hazelnuts or macadamia nuts would work very well, too)
2 tbsp. shredded coconut flakes (I used unsweetened)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg + 1 tsp. water or soy milk

Preheat the oven to 425 F or prepare a saute pan. Whisk the egg and water/soy milk together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the ground nuts, coconut, thyme, ginger, salt, and pepper. Take each filet and dip it first into the egg mixture, and then into the nut mixture, coating well and evenly. If you are baking the filets, place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. If you are sauteing them, place them in the prepared pan and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes, flipping them once or twice. Serve with the pineapple coconut rice.


Anonymous said...

I just tried this recipe and LOVED it! I cooked it in my electric grill- very moist and flavorful. Thanks!

Claire Berman said...

That's so great - I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you for your comment :)

Anonymous said...

Made this for my family and it is great! My son even had the fish for lunch today too .

Claire Berman said...

I'm so glad your family loved it as much as I did! And if you can get your son to eat fish, I call that a successful meal :) Enjoy the rest of the leftovers!


Anonymous said...

Claire, thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night for myself and a friend, and it was my FIRST time preparing fish (don't ask!). It turned out AWESOME. Couldn't believe how delicious and simple it was! Thank you. :)

Claire Berman said...

Hi there, I'm so glad that you liked it and that it was so easy! That's exactly why I liked it so much, too, as a seafood novice. It's become a favorite for me! Thanks for your comment :)