Good could not be more of an understatement. This dish was outstanding. I literally felt like I was eating at a 3 star Michelin rated restaurant. The tropical fruit flavors burst out of the salsa via lime juice, jalapeno and rice wine vinegar for some extra acidity, and fresh mint contributed to a garden-picked feel. This juicy citrus topping was the perfect contrast for the fish - while its crunchy nut outside was crisp, it revealed a light and flaky interior. Of course, macadamias are a warm weather nut mostly associated with Hawaii, only adding to the dish's tropical feel.
Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia with Papaya Salsa (derived from Epicurious)
Yield: 6 servings
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 papaya, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 large eggs or 3 egg whites
3 cups macadamia nuts
6 6-ounce tilapia/yellowtail/red snapper/mahmahi fillets
4 tablespoons olive oil (or use an olive oil spritzer)
1. Combine first 12 ingredients in large bowl and stir to blend. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place flour in shallow bowl. Whisk eggs in small bowl to blend. Finely grind nuts in processor. Transfer nuts to another bowl. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Coat fish with flour. Dip fish into eggs, then macadamia nuts, coating completely. Heat 2 tablespoons oil (or a generous spray with the olive oil spritzer) in each of 2 heavy large skillets over medium heat. Place 3 fillets in each skillet; cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to large baking sheet.
3. Bake fish until just opaque in center, about 7 minutes. Divide salsa among 6 plates. Top with fish and serve.
Center for Science in the Public Interest. "Pick A Papaya." Nutrition Action Health Letter 39.5 (2012). Print.