The first thing that came to mind when I made this dish the other day was that my parents would have loved it! The only times I remember my Mom cooking fish was during the time of lent. Nopalitos (cactus) was also a popular food to cook with during that time. I did not learn to cook fish from my Mom, but have been practicing different recipes and techniques the past few years. Still have a few things I would love to try, like cooking a whole fish! Maybe I will wait on that one. Let's just say it does not intimidate me anymore and it's something I cook at least once a week now. I thought the chipotle rice was a good pairing for the tilapia in the salsa verde, colors that pop, and taste good!
3 tilapia fillets, cut in half, lengthwise (about 4 oz. each)
1- 26 ounce can tomatillos, drained
2 cups nopalitos, Dona Maria brand, drained and rinsed, roughly chopped
1 small sweet onion, sliced into thin strips
1 to 2 serranos, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 key limes
1/3 cup white wine
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons Knorr brand chicken bouillon
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup water
For Chipotle Rice:
1 cup long grain rice, I really like using Jasmine rice
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 chipotles en adobo
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons Knorr tomato-flavored bouillon
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper
It's good to make a habit of going through your pantry once a week and use up items to create meals from. That was how this dish was created, nopales, canned tomatillos, and chicken bouillon, good staples.
1. Season the fish with salt and fresh cracked pepper and keep chilled until ready to use. Transfer the tomatillos to a blender, and blend until smooth,pour into a bowl and set aside. Roughly chop the tomatoes and chipotles and set aside. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, chipotles, tomato paste, water and Knorr tomato bouillon, blend until smooth, set aside.
2. In a medium skillet heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the rice to skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the rice becomes opaque and aromatic. Add the onions and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. add the tomato broth mixture from blender and stir well to combine. Taste for salt and pepper and season to taste. Cover, cook on low until all liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
3. Crush the cumin and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle, set aside. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, add the onions and serrano peppers, cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper, add the cumin and coriander, tomatillos, cactus, lime juice, and white wine. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Add the chicken bouillon and water. When it comes to a boil, gently add the tilapia to the pan. make sure it's covered with the salsa verde. Carefully turn fish over after 3 minutes and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Fold in the cilantro before serving. Yields up to 6 light servings.
Note: The Tilapia fillets I purchased were about 8 ounces in size, and I decided to cut them in half because it made it easier to turn them without them falling apart.
Tilapia in Cactus Salsa Verde with Chipotle Rice. I cannot wait to try this with shrimp and scallops, yummy!
Other recipes by Sonia:
Mexican Red Rice
Chile Relleno with Serrano Shrimp
Tacos al Pastor
Cheesy Chorizo Bread
Flank Steak Tacos
Frijoles Borrachos con Chorizo
Buffalo Chicken Flautas
Chile Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
Chicken Enchilada Soup with Chayotes
Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Chip Chimichangas
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