I’ve become a big fan of pairing green chile with coconut. It seems like a strange combination, but I think they complement each other. The sweet and creamy flavors from the coconut and the green chile spice make a perfect warm-weather dish. Green chiles are often grouped with corn, beans, and cheeses to make a typical New Mexican casserole. I do feel like a casserole-type dish tonight, but with something a bit more “cocnutty.” And with seafood.
But instead of throwing the ingredients in a casserole dish and turn on bake, I thought about making them into cute little cupcakes (or “fish cups”). A thin layer of white fish hugs the cup of a muffin tin and a coconut chile blend is pipetted into each “fish cup.” Then we bake! So here we have a New Mexican staple and a product of the Philippines wrapped together and heated for a healthy and delicious plate. Hot.
I used cape capensis fish for this dish, but any mild-flavored fish should work. The fish is filleted and trimmed to about a quarter inch thick and long enough to line the inside cup of a muffin pan. The pieces are brushed with a mixture of coconut oil and lime juice and placed around the interior perimeter of the muffin cups. The coconut oil will solidify when contacted with the cold fish and will help keep shape when molded into the cups.
The coconut chile batter is a mixture of egg, coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut oil and a lot of green chiles A lot of eggs are needed when baking with coconut flour, but they also add some extra protein and nutrients to the dish without competing with the chile and coconut. And it gives the cakes a pretty yellow color.
Once the batter is prepared, a scant teaspoon amount is dropped in the center of each fish cup. The remaining batter is pipetted in the cup to the top level of the fish, then baked. Twelve minutes later, and we have a balanced dish of south western and tropical flavor! It’s also Paleo!
- 1 lb of Cape Capensis Fillets, or other white fish, cold
- 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil, liquid-from slightly above room temperature
- 1 tablespoon of Lime Juice
- ½ cup of Green Chile, canned with juices
- ½ cup of Coconut Flour
- 4 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil, liquid
- 4 Tablespoons of Coconut Milk
- 6 Eggs
- ¼ teaspoon of Salt
- ¼ teaspoon of Baking Powder
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease the cups of a standard size muffin tin pan.
- Divide the fish into 12 strips about ¼-1/2 inch thick and long enough to hug the inside perimeter of the muffin cup.
- Mix the lime juice with 2T of liquid coconut oil
- Brush each side of the filet with the mixture.
- Immediately line the muffin cup interior with the brushed filet to make a "fish cup." The coolness of the fish with solidify the coconut oil and help retain it's form.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining fish pieces.
- To prepare the batter, whisk together the remaining coconut oil, milk, and eggs in a bowl. Mix in the green chiles.
- In a separate bowl mix the coconut flour, salt, and baking powder. Combine the wet mixture into the dry mixture until incorporated.
- Scoop a scant tablespoon of the batter into the bottom of each fish cup. Evenly distribute the remaining batter. The level of the batter can be above the fish level, however should not completely cover the fish.
- Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes, and enjoy!