Dinner of the Week: Chipotle Tilapia Tacos and Jalapeno Cheddar Mashers

I really kicked up the heat this week!  I tweaked a recipe on allrecipes.com to make an incredibly spicy, yet healthy dinner on Friday night.  One of our favorite restaurants is Cabo Fish Taco, which is near Virginia Tech.  I decided to bring Cabo home to us by making chipotle tilapia tacos and mimicking one of their signature sides, Jalapeno Cheddar Mashers.  The meal was a perfect combination of a bold tilapia taco, a smoky chipotle aioli sauce, tangy mango-cilantro salsa, and sinful jalapeno-cheddar mashed potatoes.

Chipotle Tilapia Tacos and Jalapeno Cheddar Mashers
 Chipotle Tilapia Tacos:
– 1 pound tilapia fillets
– 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
– 2 teaspoons garlic powder
– 2 teaspoons cumin
– 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
– 1 teaspoon salt
– Olive oil
– Soft taco tortillas
– 1 red cabbage, chopped

Chipotle Aioli:
– 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
– 1 clove garlic, pressed
– 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
– 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Mango-Cilantro Salsa:
– 1 ripe mango, cubed
– 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
– 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Jalapeno Cheddar Mashers:
2 pounds red skin potatoes
– 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– 1/2 cup skim milk
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
– 1 tablespoon cumin
– 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
– 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
Start by making the mango-cilantro salsa.  Peel and cube a fresh mango, and mince approximately 1/4 of a cup of cilantro.  Place the mango, cilantro, and lime juice into a bowl and mix well.  Set aside.
For the chipotle aioli, puree approximately half of the can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with the lime juice, mayonnaise, and clove of garlic in a food processor or blender, scraping down the sides as necessary.  Set aside for future use.
Next, the jalapeno cheddar mashers.  Heat a pot of water on the stove on high.  Wash and pat dry the potatoes, then peel away the soft spots and eyes, leaving the majority of the skins intact.  
Chop up the potatoes and place them into the pot to boil.  Boil for approximately seven to 10 minutes, just after you can pierce the potatoes easily with a fork.  Once cooked, drain the potatoes and place them into a large mixing bowl.  Add milk, butter, cheese, jalapenos, cumin, black pepper, and salt to the bowl.
Mix thoroughly with a hand or stand mixer.  Feel free to add more milk and/or butter to reach your desired consistency.  
For the tacos themselves, wash and pat the tilapia fillets dry.  Slice them into manageable strips, then brush on some olive oil.  In a small bowl, mix chipotle chile powder, garlic powder, cumin, pepper, and salt together.  Pat the rub mixture into the fillets.  
Heat a skillet over medium / medium-high heat and cook the tilapia thoroughly for five to seven minutes.  I don’t often cook with fish, so the tilapia fell apart on me, and then I decided to shred the rest.  Still tasted delicious!   

Meanwhile, chop up the red cabbage.  Then, heat the tortillas by placing three of them at a time on a plate, covering it with saran wrap, and placing it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Serve the tacos with cabbage, the tilapia, mango-cilantro salsa, and chipotle aioli, and then a side of the mashed potatoes.

You could certainly substitute the fish with shrimp, chicken, or even tofu.  To minimize the heat, use less of the chipotle aioli and less chipotle chile powder in the rub.  

It’s definitely a unique recipe that we’ll be trying again!  Hope you like it, too.

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageBurlap and DenimC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Everything Under the MoonGet Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeThe Graphics FairyMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSew Happy GeekSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyFunky Polka Dot Giraffe,  I’m Topsy TurvyJillify ItThe Kurtz CornerMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNatural NestersNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts,  Sweet Little GalsTales of a Trophy WifeTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogWednesday: Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingYesterday on TuesdayFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFinding FabulousFingerprints on the FridgeHappy-Go-LuckyMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaPerfectly ImperfectThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different… Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt’s So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: Embellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

12 thoughts on “Dinner of the Week: Chipotle Tilapia Tacos and Jalapeno Cheddar Mashers”

  1. Your dinner looks so good. Spicy too! Yum. I've been hearing so much about fish tacos, but they never sounded good to me. Well, a picture is worth a thousands words (they say) and this time it is definitely true. I'm adding your ingredients to my next shopping list. Oh, your home projects are very impressive. It is so wonderful having your own house to fix-up and make, “HOME”. Thanks for sharing, Connie


  2. Hi Kristen, my SIL made fish taco like this for us and now we are hooked. YUM-O! I have never tried the jalapeno mashers. They sound delicious. My daughter told me to hop over and see your bathroom shelves. She has been redoing her bathroom and would like shelves like this. We just finished a redo in our living room. Wanted to add a bit of cottage charm. Loving your blog and now am a follower. Hope you will hop over for a visit.


  3. First of all I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick question in
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