May 28, 2010

Lettuce Cups

Get ready for something wonderful and flavorful. It is like a party in the mouth. It arouses all your taste-buds -  a combination of salty, sweet, crunchy, cool and warm. Yeah, it is the lettuce cup with pan fried breaded fish and mango-avocado salsa. What is not to like there. Got to try it to believe it!

Lettuce cup with fish and salsa

I made 20 lettuce cups. I wanted to make it bite sized, but it turned out to be really big bites - we ended up using fork to eat them :)  You can make it actual bite size and you will probably end up with 40 cups using this recipe.

Ingredients for pan fried fish

2 white fish fillets ( Cod, Bass, Tilapia or Catfish will work. I used Tilapia.)
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt, Pepper
Cayenne powder
1/2 cup yogurt
Breadcrumbs (I used store bought Italian seasoned bread crumb. You can make yours)
Olive oil
Sage leaves chopped

Heat a pan on a medium high flame. Add couple of TBS of olive oil to the pan.

Pat dry the fish using a paper towel. Cut the fish fillet into bite size cubes and season the cubes with salt, pepper and cayenne.
Set up the breading station by following the steps below.
In a bowl beat the yogurt and season it with salt, pepper and cayenne.
In a wide baking dish or a plate take 2 TBS of flour and season it with salt, pepper and cayenne.
Put the bread crumbs in a plate or wide baking dish.

To bread the fish - add all the fish cubes in the yogurt mixture. Let it hang out there for couple of minutes. After few minutes,  take the fish out of the yogurt mixture and dredge the fish cube in flour.  Shake off the excess flour. After that, coat the fish with yogurt again. Then coat the fish with bread crumbs. Shake off the excess bread crumb.

Pan fry the fish, on each side for 2 to 3 minutes or till it gets golden brown on each side.  Season the fried fish with salt, pepper, cayenne and chopped sage. Season them when they are still hot. It helps the seasonings to stick to the fish. Every time add 3 to 4 fishes to the pan. Repeat this process till you finish frying all the fish cubes.

Ingredients for Avocado-Mango Slasa

Olive oil
1 corn
1 mango
1 avocado
1/2 cup red onion
2 TBS lime juice
Salt, Pepper
Cayenne powder
Cumin powder
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Take the husk off the corn, rub it with little olive oil, slat, pepper and cayenne. Roast it over the gas burner. Let it cool for a couple of minutes and then take the corn kernel off the cob by using a knife. Chop the mango and avocado into small cubes. Combine roasted corn, mango, avocado and diced onions in a bowl and toss them with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin powder, lime juice and olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro to the salsa. Keep aside.

Ingredients for Roasted Tomato and Chipotle salsa

1 roasted plum tomato
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilanto
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
salt, pepper
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor till you get a smooth salsa.

Ingredients for Lettuce cups
1 iceberg lettuce head
Pan fried fish cubes
Avocado-mango salsa
Roasted tomato-chipotle salsa

Carefully separate the lettuce leaves.  Then tear them into small cups - large enough to hold the fish cubes.  On each cup add a fish cube, 1 full spoon of avocado-mango salsa and a little drizzle of roasted tomato-chipotle salsa. Here is the party I was telling you about! You can use room temperature or slightly warm fish for this. I think it tastes good either way.
You can use this pan fried fish and roasted tomato-chipotle slasa for dinner as well. I served red cabbage salad and some arugula leaves with the fish. I used a very simple light dressing (olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, little honey) for the reg cabbage salad.

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