If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ve figured out that I tend to cook a specific ingredient in spurts (bread being my current obsession). This week, I am cooking tilapia to death. Tuesday, I decided to try a recipe for a tilapia sandwich, and paired it with one of my old stand-by corn recipes, a maque choux. Doesn’t it sound exotic? It’s basically a southern Louisiana dish that typically combines corn, green peppers, onions and some other stuff in a pan and cooks it for a bit with some butter and seasoning. It’s especially yummy with fresh corn, but that wasn’t available this week – frozen works fine.
I really liked the cilantro-lime mayonnaise on the tilapia sandwich, too. It was my first time trying this fish recipe and it was pretty good. My only hiccup was that after I slathered the tilapia in melted butter (guess who wrote this recipe? PAULA DEEN) and put it in the seasoning, I had to wait for the pan to get hotter and all of the seasoning came off on my prep plate. Husband to the rescue. He added some blackening seasoning he had made from scratch and it was all good. This is a great summer meal!
I highly recommend trying the maque choux – I add stuff to it every time I make it and play around with the recipe! This time, I didn’t serve the maque choux inside the avocado shells – I just mixed the avocado right into the pan at the end!
Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise (Recipe courtesy Paula Deen, 2007)
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons ground thyme
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 4 (10-ounce) tilapia fillets
- 4 Kaiser buns, split, buttered and toasted
- Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise, recipe follows
- Store-bought mango salsa
In a shallow dish, combine first 6 ingredients.
Pour melted butter into another shallow dish. Dip fish fillets in melted butter and coat with seasoning mixture.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook prepared fish, in batches if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Spread Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise evenly over toasted buns. Place blackened fish on bottom half of bun, top with mango salsa, and cover with top half of bun.
Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill.
Maque Choux: (recipe adapted from Rachael Ray’s maque choux recipe)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped [I omitted]
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 ears fresh corn on the cob, husked [or 12 oz package of frozen corn, thawed]
- A sprinkle sugar
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 ripe avocado
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Heat a skillet over moderate heat . Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (1 turn of the pan,) chopped onion, jalapeno and red bell pepper. Saute 2 or 3 minutes. Working on a plate to catch the milky juices, scrape corn off the cob. Break up the kernels and pour into the skillet. Combine corn with peppers and onions. Season with a sprinkle of sugar, a dash of cayenne pepper and salt. When mixture bubbles, reduce heat to simmer. Cut butter into pieces and stir into corn mixture. Add a splash of lime juice and cilantro, if desired. Allow mixture to simmer and cook until creamy, 5 to 7 minutes.
Cut avocados in 1/2 lengthwise and remove pits. Squeeze lime juice over the avocados to keep them from browning and season them with a little coarse salt. Arrange on the serving plate. To serve, fill the avocados with maque choux, allowing the corn to spill down and over the sides of the avocado onto the serving platter. The ripe avocado is spooned away from its skin with bites of creamy, warm corn and peppers.