Quick Monday Supper: Coconut Crusted Tilapia
One of my husband's favorite fish dishes is Coconut Crusted Tilapia. The inexpensive fish bakes up moist, with a slightly crunching topping. Best of all, the mild tilapia is complemented, rather than overwhelmed, by the nutty flavor of toasted coconut. To get even more "coconut flavor" in the dish, I add a bit of coconut extract to the topping. This is an incredibly quick to cook meal. About 20 minutes is all it takes. My usual game-plan is to cook a pot of rice and nuke a vegetable in the microwave while the fish bakes. With a quick salad, I can have a really nice dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. Not bad for a busy Monday.
Coconut Crusted Tilapia -- Serves 2
2 tilapia filets (about 12 ounces, total)
1 tablespoon of plain fat-free yogurt
1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1/8 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of plain panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract
1/4 cup of shredded coconut
Coat a small baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pat the tilapia filets dry with a paper towel and lay them on the prepared baking sheet. In a cup or small bowl, blend the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper, and salt well. Divide the mixture between the two filets and smear it all over the top of each filet so that the entire surface of each filet is covered with a thin layer of the yogurt/mayonnaise mixture. Toss or stir the panko, coconut, and coconut extract together well. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over each filet, pressing it into the yogurt/mayonnaise mixture slightly. Bake the filets for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let the filets sit a few minutes before serving them.