Tilapia Lasagna Contest Finalist
– by Sheri Bowling
- 4 Regal Springs tilapia filets
- 1 package lasagna (no boil) noodles
- 2 lbs. tomatoes, divided
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 jalapeno pepper (use less for milder flavor)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 4-5 oz. (about 1/2 bag) fresh spinach
- 2 onions, divided
- 8 oz. ricotta cheese
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
- Salt, as desired
- Pepper, as desired
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp. oregano
- To make Tomato Onion Salad: Make a day in advance to blend flavors. Wash and dry 1 lb. tomatoes. Slice 1 and 1/2 onion. Toss together in a bowl adding salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. oregano. Toss with olive oil. Cover and place in refrigerator until serving time.
- To make Lasagna: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. After washing and drying tomatoes, place 1 lb. in blender (do not blend until end.) Wash and pat dry cilantro. Add to blender. Add 1/2 of a sliced onion. Wash and remove seeds from both poblano and jalapeno peppers and add to blender. Squeeze in the juice of 2 limes (reserving just a bit for the tilapia when cooking). Add salt and pepper to taste, usually about a teaspoon at least. Add 1 Tbsp. of cumin, dash of cayenne pepper and a dash of olive oil. Blend all ingredients together for a chunky salsa. Set aside.
- Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add olive oil and sauté tilapia filets until cooked through, turning as needed (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle with garlic powder and lime juice. Set aside.
- In a 13 X 9 baking dish, drop a hefty scoop of salsa into the bottom of the pan. Lay lasagna in the dish. Cover with some salsa (enough to moisten the noodles to help cook them) and arrange tilapia filets to square in. Sprinkle with some Mozzarella. Lay lasagna pieces again in the opposite direction. Cover with ricotta cheese and spinach pieces. Cover with last layer of lasagna noodles. Use remaining salsa to cover noodles and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Drizzle top with olive oil.
- Cover and place in oven. Cook for 45 minutes. Then remove cover allowing the cheese to brown on top. Remove from oven and let lasagna sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 4 servings