Fish Fajitas

During Lent, a lot of people are looking for tasty fish recipes that go beyond the traditional fish fry, tuna casserole or salmon loaf. Even more important to some is that the recipe be healthy.

Here’s a recipe that crossed my desk this week that certainly fits the bill in both categories. It’s for a baked fish fajitas.

Of course, we all know that baking is a lot healthier than deep-frying — and also less messy. This particular method — breading then roasting fish at high heat — provides crunchy texture similar to fried, while keeping it moist and flavorful. It’s served fajita-style by wrapping fish strips in a soft flour tortilla with sauteed onion, colorful red pepper and tomatillos with touch of cilantro, lime and strips of nutty cheese.

Shake-Bake Fish Fajitas
1 pound cod or tilapia fillet, cut lengthwise in ½-inch wide strips
¼ cup fine, unseasoned bread crumbs
½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cut in strips
8 tomatillos, husks removed, then quartered (or 1 cup chopped green tomatoes)
1 teaspoon cumin
4 large 10-inch flour tortillas
4 ounces Jarlsberg (or reduced fat version) cheese slices, cut in strips
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro, mixed with squeeze of lime
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In plastic bag, gently shake fish to coat with bread crumbs, salt and pepper and place on nonstick baking pan. Spray fish lightly with oil and roast 15 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes easily. In large nonstick skillet, saute onion, pepper and tomatillos with cumin until just tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer vegetables to warming plate.
Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide cheese evenly between tortillas; top with vegetables, fish and cilantro. If desired, serve with traditional tartar sauce or make a Tex Mex version, combining 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo with ½ cup mayonnaise.
 Yield: Serves 4.