Tilapia and White Bean Taco Salad Bowls

First of all, I want to thank eat.drink.MISSISSIPPI magazine for publishing a really nice article about me and Mississippi Kitchen in their April/May issue.  If you have Mississippi roots (or are just a lover of the South), check out their magazine.  Lots of interesting foodie stuff.  I made a note of several restaurants I would like to try and wouldn’t have known about otherwise, as well as several recipes.   Their Facebook page is here. 

I finally broke down over the weekend and ordered an iPhone.  When the scrolly ball on my Blackberry bit the dust and I could no longer scroll upward, bringing all texting to a complete halt, I knew it was time.  So as of yesterday, I have a shiny, new 4G iPhone.  I’m feeling pretty awesome, let me tell you, and I’m on the lookout for some really cool apps.  I’ve always wanted apps.  And Siri?  Well, I’m looking forward to getting to know her more.

In other news, several people in my family have decided to quit eating meat.  My daughter is one of them, which is freaking my Mississippi kitchen out.  But I put on my thinking cap and pulled a special recipe out the other day just for my little pescetarian.  This recipe landed me a spot in a cook-off in Hollywood a couple of years ago sponsored my Mission Tortillas.  It’s got some good stuff in it and look–no meat!

Here are my notes:

-I use ramekins that have a flat bottom to them to make the bowls, so the bowls will sit flat on the plate.

-The dressing and pickled relish can totally be made the day ahead.

-You could put any kind of bean you like in these.  Pintos or black beans would also be good.

-If you don’t have a taco seasoning packet, do what I did the other day and add chili powder and cumin to the cornmeal for seasoning.  About a teaspoon of each.

Tilapia and White Bean Taco Salad Bowls with Creamy Avocado Dressing and Pickled Red Relish
7 Mission medium soft taco flour tortillas, divided
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup matchstick cut radishes
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 pound tilapia, cut into 3/4 inch bite-size pieces
1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning
1 (14-16 ounce) can cannellini or great northern white beans, rinsed and drained
Canola oil for frying
4 cups shredded lettuce
1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place five 8 to 10-ounce custard cups or bowls upside down on a baking sheet.  Microwave 5 tortillas on high heat for 30 seconds until warm and pliable.  Brush both sides with melted butter.   Place a tortilla over each cup, forming a bowl shape. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove tortillas to wire racks to cool.  Stack remaining 2 tortillas; cut into 1/4-inch strips.  Set aside.
 
2.     Stir together the radishes, red onion, white vinegar, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
3.     In a food processor, process the avocado, sour cream, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, the cilantro, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper until smooth.  
4.     Place the corn meal and taco seasoning in a zip lock bag; shake to combine.  Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a large skillet.  Heat to 375 degrees over medium-high heat.  Add fish to cornmeal mixture and seal bag; shake gently to evenly coat.  Fry fish for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and done.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.  Fry tortilla strips in the oil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to paper towel-lined platter.
5.     To assemble, divide the lettuce evenly between each tortilla bowl.  Top lettuce with the white beans, then the fish, then drizzle with the avocado dressing.   Add the pickled relish using a slotted spoon to drain excess liquid.  Garnish with the tortilla ribbons.  5 servings.

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