Crunchy red snapper with salsa is a snap

FAST & FRESH

March 31, 1993|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Contributing Writer

Every so often you experience a meal in a restaurant that merits mimicking. If only home cooks had the same advantages as the professionals' prep cooks and equipment. Given our domestic limitations, I am enthusiastic about the following efficient creation that surpasses most professional efforts I have consumed in the past year.

This dish has three levels and each is a snap. First, red snapper fillets are coated with crunchy ground corn cereal crumbs and then baked quickly along with the interesting garnish which are piles of very thin baked strands of corn tortillas. All this

is done on the same baking sheet.

The middle layer of the entree is a chunky vegetable salsa made from America's favorite condiment (red salsa) with the addition of a frozen vegetable medley. Black beans are the accompaniment and are perfectly acceptable in the tinned version and can be heated quickly in the microwave or stove top. Store-purchased lemon tarts add a festive finish.

Items you should have in your pantry: jarred salsa, corn breakfast cereal, 1 lime, eggs, corn tortillas.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list:

4 (6-ounce) red snapper fillets, 1/2 -inch thick

frozen corn-vegetable medley (such as corn, broccoli and red bell peppers)

2 (14-16 ounces) cans black beans

lemon tarts

Crunchy red snapper

Serves four.

4 (6-ounce) red snapper fillets, 1/2 -inch thick

1 egg white

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 cups crumbs from corn breakfast cereal, placed in a bag or shallow bowl

1 cup jarred salsa (red)

1 cup frozen corn, broccoli and red bell pepper medley, thawed

3 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Blot the fish with paper towels to dry.

In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg white with the lime juice until frothy. Dip the fish in the egg white mixture and then toss in corn cereal crumbs until well coated (you may have to press them to adhere). Place coated fish on a flat, greased baking sheet, leaving space for the tortilla strings. Bake for 5 minutes in hot oven.

With a sharp knife cut the tortillas into strips about 1/8 -inch wide. Toss to separate strands.

After fish has baked for 5 minutes, add tortilla strings to same baking sheet and bake another 10 minutes. While fish is baking, mix salsa and corn medley. Heat to room temperature by microwaving.

To serve: Spoon salsa over fish; top with tortilla strings.

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